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Information campaigning in various forms is as old as politics itself, and nor is it the sole province of political bogeymen. Research shows that democracies are better than autocracies at influencing foreign public opinion, and businesses, politicians and states all use the mass media strategically for their information campaigns. The names we give a particular information campaign not only reflect our inferences about its aims; they can in fact amplify its power and advance its goals.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, has just made a four-day trip to Russia. It was the first time in 19 years that a holder of that powerful office, sometimes described as “prime minister” of the Holy See, had visited Moscow.

This week's headlines explore international exchanges and their role in public diplomacy

As he arrived to Russia for his official three-day visit, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin said the Holy See has a special role on the global scene given its attention to both spiritual and diplomatic themes.

During their visit to Rostov-on-Don, students from China will communicate with their Russian peers on internet media technologies and together they will produce a video clip on the city landscape, which will be broadcast at the opening ceremony of the 2017 China-Russia Media Forum, following the China-Russia Youth Innovation Union.

Thousands of Russians have paid homage to Vladimir Putin, some with tongue in cheek, after the Russian president was photographed topless enjoying the Siberian summer. [...] Men, women and children across Russia and elsewhere answered the call from Durov, who is reported to be living abroad after repeated clashes with the authorities.

Because of ASTP, not the Watergate scandal, Nixon’s name is well remembered in Russia where everything related to space technology and reaching space is a matter of national pride. During the Cold War, the mutual demonization of both major powers towards one another was transformed into friendship and partnership, even for a short time.

Olga Krasnyak looks at Nixon's presidency through the lens of space cooperation with the USSR.

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