House Passes Broadcasting Board of Governors Remake

The House Friday passed the National Defense Authorization Act. That is the bill that would, among many other things, abolish the board of governors (people) that oversees the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) (media outlets/news operations) and concentrate authority in the CEO of BBG. BBG oversees government-backed, nonmilitary international media outlets.

Tags: united states, Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), international broadcasting, government pd, voice of america, radio free europe, media

US-China Relations: Public Diplomacy and Soft Power

The Rebalance author Mercy Kuo regularly engages subject-matter experts, policy practitioners, and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into the U.S. rebalance to Asia. This conversation with Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch – Founder and President of the U.S.-China Education Trust and the first Asian American to hold the rank of U.S. ambassador – is the 70th in “The Rebalance Insight Series.”

Tags: united states, china, smart & soft power, international exchange, government pd, culture, education, us-china education trust, Donald Trump, xi jinping

New Orthodox Church Next to the Eiffel Tower Boosts Russian Soft Power

The skyline of Paris has just acquired yet another arresting feature. Only a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, a spanking new Russian Orthodox cathedral, complete with five onion domes and a cultural centre, was inaugurated on December 4th by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, amid sonorous rhetoric about the long and chequered history of the Russian diaspora in France.

Tags: russian orthodox, france, paris, russia, smart & soft power, religion diplomacy, cultural exchange, russian diaspora, ecclesiastical diplomacy

The Spice Exchange: Giving Hope & A New Start to Refugee Women

A social enterprise in Queensland is helping refugee and migrant women gain employment and foster community spirit through cooking. The Spice Exchange sees these enterprising women come together to creates spice blends, condiments and gingerbread. [...] Backed by Access Community Services, the social enterprise in Logan, south of Brisbane, also helps the women practise their English-speaking skills. 

Tags: the spice exchange, australia, cultural exchange, gastrodiplomacy, non state pd, refugees, entrepreneurship, education

India to Train Qatari Police for 2022 FIFA World Cup

India will train Qatar's police for the FIFA World Cup 2022. This was agreed upon during a meeting between Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Home Minister Rajnath Singh in Delhi on Saturday. The Prime Minister, who holds the Interior Ministry portfolio, invited Mr Singh to Qatar to strengthen bilateral security cooperation as the country prepares to host the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Tags: bilateral cooperation, bilateral relations, professional exchange, police training, FIFA 2022 World Cup, india, qatar

Pakistani Movies Captivate New York Audiences as Film Festival Debuts

Celebrated Pakistani movies drew packed houses on Saturday, the first day of Pakistan Film Festival’s triumphant debut in New York City. [...] Earlier, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi declared open the two-day festival, saying it is a part of the continuing efforts to promote cultural diplomacy and to project the country’s soft power.

Tags: soft power, Cultural Diplomacy, film diplomacy, cinematic arts, pakistan film festival, pakistan, new york city, united states

Silicon Valley’s Culture, Not Its Companies, Dominates in China

[W]hen Mr. Zhao, a Chinese tourist, arrived with his wife in September, they spent their first day wandering the humdrum suburban office parks that Facebook and Google call home. Joining a guided bus tour with a dozen other Chinese visitors, the two became part of the steady flow of Chinese tourists to Silicon Valley that represents — despite pervasive censorship and outright hostility from the Chinese government — the tremendous influence Silicon Valley wields in China.

Tags: soft power, global influence, tourism, silicon valley, facebook, google, china, united states

World AIDS Day Activities Electrify Corporate Area

St. William Grant Park in downtown Kingston was abuzz with activities last Thursday, as people converged on the venue to commemorate World AIDS Day. [...] This year’s World AIDS Day activities had a youth focus which strategic information advisor at UNAIDS Erva-Jean Stevens told the Jamaica Observer was vital, as data shows that new infections among young people 15-19 years old are not decreasing at a fast enough rate.

Tags: international advocacy, world aids day, unaids, global health, hiv/aids, jamaica

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