Thursday, October 17, 2013

October 16-17

"Your Press and Blog Review is getting too long again."

--From an e-mail by a valued PDPBR subscriber; image from


Public Diplomacy: Academic and Cultural Exchange Programs - "On October 17, the Brookings Institution celebrated its 50th year as a designated sponsor of the Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program. Brookings is just one of several organizations that bring individuals and their families to the U.S. for academic and cultural exchange. The decades of exchange have strengthened our research and enriched our community. But most of all, the alumni of our exchange program have returned to have an impact in their home countries and added their voices to critical discussions globally. Brookings welcomed back some of our exchange visitor alumni to share their experiences as exchange program participants and how they continue to affect the global policy-making community. Dr. Nicholas Arrindell, a leader in the field of international education and exchange, moderated the discussion. The discussion was preceded by keynote remarks from Tara Sonenshine, distinguished fellow at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs and former under secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs."


Hot Books, Cold War [Hot Books in the Cold War by Alfred A. Reisch, Central European University Press, 2013, ISBN-13: 978-6155225239, pp. 574, $63.00] - Review by Leonard J. Baldyga, American Diplomacy: "'Hot Books in the Cold War' is a must read for all those diplomats who served in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, since I am certain, that they too were affected and assisted in carrying out their political, press and cultural work without ever hearing about the existence of the extraordinary CIA-run book program. I, myself, can attest to that. Bravo CIA."

The Creation of the American Era [Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Presidential Leadership and the Creation of the American Era, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013 ISBN 978-0-691-15836-5 Cloth, 183 pp., $27.95] - Review by John H. Brown, American Diplomacy:

"Quiz question to bright high school students on the It’s Academic TV show: Who is soft/hard/smart power guru Joseph Nye, Jr.’s favorite twentieth-century American president in the field of foreign affairs? ... It turns out ... that ... reputedly liberal ... Nye’s commander-in-chief of choice is a middle-of-the-road conservative, Republican George Herbert Walker Bush."


Progress in Iran’s nuclear issue - Kaveh Afrasiabi, "[G]iven the scope of anti-Iran hostility in the US Congress, which has inserted itself in the US's Iran policy for some time, the fate of a future [nuclear] deal may hinge on the White House's ability to deliver sanctions relief to Iran without facing backlashes by Congress.

Given the present inter-party US factionalism, vividly demonstrated over the US government shutdown, this is indeed a formidable challenge that the Obama Administration may or may not be able to overcome, thus requiring a great deal of public diplomacy by the White House." Image from entry

An Obama field guide to friends and enemies - "Though newly elected President Hasan Rouhani has signaled a fresh approach to Iran’s relations with the West, it’s most likely for show. Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is Iran’s real boss, and he’s waged a low-level war against the United States for decades.

 Then the regime will continue with Perhaps Iran is simply adjusting its public diplomacy strategy so cash-strapped and war-weary America and Europe will ease up on tough economic sanctions, thus allowing Iran to recover economically. ...Remember, Iran excels at chess. Let’s stop playing checkers." Image from article

Parliament Deputy Speaker: US-Iran Friendship Not Red Line - Arash Karami, Days after members of Iran’s parliament welcomed a “parliamentary friendship” between the United States and Iran, deputy speaker of parliament and conservative politician Mohammad Reza Bahonar agreed that the formation of such a group is a positive step. Bahonar said, 'Parliamentary diplomacy between Iran and America must take shape before official diplomacy.' When asked if the formation of such a group were not a 'red line,' he said that one of the weaknesses of the previous administration was that it did not use 'public diplomacy,' and that 'Official diplomacy has limitations that public diplomacy does not have. Public diplomacy can start with a soccer match, parliamentary consultations or lobbying.' On the issue of lobbying, Bahonar added, 'It’s possible to say that in the American congress, the Iranian lobby is not significant, but I believe that if we have five people there who support Iran — not that they believe in the system of the Islamic Republic, but they feel that their interests or their group’s interests lie in dealing with Iran — if we have this type of lobby, it is positive and not negative. Therefore, the administration must use public diplomacy.' Bahonar added, however, that if the plan is not welcomed by the United States and 'If Washington plans on pursuing a win-lose game in favor of itself, the previous direction will be repeated and we will pursue a win-lose game in favor of ourselves, which is defense of the heritage of the revolution.'”

Should We Negotiate With Terrorists? -- Analysis - Lara Sievers, "First, it can be stated that terrorist groups hold rather temporal than transformational aims. An example of AQ is provided arguing that while, as previously stated, the group holds global aims, it also emphasises temporal and local goals which are held by specific local groups.

These aims can be identified, for instance, as security in certain districts. If these aims are placed within the present socio-political context one can argue that these temporal aims hold more common values than is generally assumed. Secondly, terrorist groups can act with surprising loyalty to existing diplomatic norms. The Taliban, for instance, engaged in public diplomacy in the time between the events of 9/11 and the demolishing of the group by the US in Afghanistan."  Image from

Viewing U.S. in Fear and Dismay - Damien Cave, New York Times: "Faced with Washington’s march toward a default, the world has reacted mostly with disbelief that the reigning superpower could fall into such dysfunction, worry over global suffering to come and frustration that American lawmakers could let the problem reach this point." Comment by Prof Craig Hayden on Facebook: "The wages of our dysfunction: the de facto public diplomacy of our reckless and unnecessary political crisis."

As it happened: US debt deal - Tom Geoghegan, Jude Sheerin and Jasmine Coleman, BBC News: "1933: The international media is whipped up by the sense of crisis emanating from the Obama administration, says Helle Dale, senior fellow for public diplomacy at The Heritage Foundation. But the US has been through shutdowns and debt ceiling confrontations before and survived as a world power, she tells BBC Mundo's Thomas Sparrow."

Getting the Message Out - Daniel Larison, "Now it’s possible that House Republicans’ message wasn’t 'getting out' because it seemed to change from day to day, but it seems more likely that the original message–shut down the government to defund the ACA–was received and rejected by most of the people that heard it. I am reminded of the clumsy efforts at public diplomacy during the Bush years, which started from the premise that other nations would ultimately be more approving of what the U.S. was doing abroad if Washington could just get the message out and get the messaging right. It was unthinkable that the problem might have been the substance of U.S. policies or the way they were being carried out, and so the only thing that needed fixing was the 'messaging.' When someone insists that the main problem that a party or a country has is that it needs better or more effective messaging, it is usually the case that he doesn’t have the first clue what the real problems are."

USA: DofS Regulations: Program sponsor eligibility - "d) Program administration. Sponsors must ensure that all organizational officers, employees, representatives, agents, and volunteers acting on their behalf: (1) Are adequately trained. Sponsors must administer training for local coordinators that specifically includes, at a minimum, instruction in: Conflict resolution; procedures for handling and reporting emergency situations; awareness or knowledge of child safety standards; information on sexual conduct codes; procedures for handling and reporting allegations of sexual misconduct or any other allegations of abuse or neglect; and the criteria to be used to screen potential host families and exercise good judgment when identifying what constitutes suitable host family placements.

In addition to their own training, sponsors must ensure that all local coordinators complete the Department of State mandated training module prior to their appointment as a local coordinator or assumption of duties. The Department of State training module will include instruction designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Exchange Visitor Program; its public diplomacy objectives; and the Secondary School Student category rules and regulations. Sponsors must demonstrate the individual’s successful completion of all initial training requirements and that annual refresher training is also successfully completed." Image from

Does Technology Persuade (Part II): Looking to Media Practices for Insight - Craig Hayden, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "US public diplomacy has been dubbed a 'cauldron of innovation.' To live up to this label, it must engage in more pilot programs, mine the localized knowledge of the communication infrastructure, and remain aware of the work being done outside the context of diplomacy.

As an interface between diplomats and publics, public diplomacy must leverage knowledge of how people, publics, and organizations live increasingly mediated lives, where politics are shaped by media connections or facilitated by politics uniquely engendered by media contexts. Indeed, the history expressed in public diplomacy memoirs reveal Foreign Service officers doing these very things all along. Now, as before, public diplomacy practitioners and policy-makers need to be better consumers of knowledge production about media technology (though perhaps less so the systemic debates that define international relations theory)." Image from entry

Hillary Rodham Clinton Named 2013 Chatham House Prize - Winner 2013 - Hillary Rodham Clinton, "Hillary Clinton has been awarded this year’s Chatham House Prize in recognition of her significant and impressive contribution to international diplomacy as US Secretary of State and her work on behalf of gender equality and opportunities for women and girls. ... Her creation and implementation of the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) made a bold comment

on the importance of comprehensive diplomacy and 'civilian power'. Her understanding and use of public diplomacy demonstrated that values and ideas must be promoted through two-way dialogue, especially in the age of social media." Image from entry

IBB’s Kim Andrew Elliott is wrong on USIA’s record at Voice of America, distorts CUSIB’s positions - BBGWatcher, "I ... strongly disagree with Mr. Elliott’s attack on USIA record’s historical and his assertion that USIA was not missed by VOA journalists, especially those in the language services. I and many of my colleagues missed USIA after we realized that IBB was far worst. Many of my friends at VOA tell me that the state of VOA has never been as bad as it is now."

Op-Ed: VOA and U.S. public diplomacy failed on Obama-Malala meeting - Ted Lipien, "Voice of America (VOA) and U.S. public diplomacy failed to take full advantage of President Obama's meeting Friday with teenage Pakistani campaigner for girls' education Malala Yousafzai. But Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) did a good job.
If web users around the world went to the Voice of America (VOA) English website Friday, Saturday and until 9 p.m. ET Sunday (when this op-ed was being written), they would not find a photo of President Obama meeting with young Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai. Even worse, they would not have learned from a very short VOA English-language news report that during the Friday's meeting at the White House, Malala confronted President Obama on the issue of U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan. ... VOA regularly misses major news stories of great interest to international audiences, is often late in posting its news reports, and offers only superficial coverage of many news developments. ... U.S. funded broadcasters: VOA, Radio and TV Marti, RFE/RL, RFA, Alhurra and Radio Sawa are primarily in the news business. When they do their journalistic job right, there are enormous short-term and long-term benefits for U.S. public diplomacy around the world. When they fail, as VOA did on the Obama-Malala meeting and on many other major news stories, U.S. public diplomacy abroad is diminished or even suffers real damage.

But there is also a larger problem with U.S. public diplomacy as seen by how the White House handled the media angle of the Obama-Malala meeting or the fact that the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad website failed to post any information or a photo from this remarkable event. U.S. public diplomacy structure also needs a major reform. These journalistic, management, and public diplomacy failures make America less understood abroad and less safe. If done right, however, the work of the Voice of America on the journalistic side, and the work of the White House and the State Department on the public diplomacy side, can not only help to make America more secure but also help those who struggle for freedom and democracy abroad." Image from

VOA faulted for insufficiently duplicating RFE/RL on the Malala story - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: Elliott comment: "When USIB is finally consolidated into a single nonprofit corporation, it should have a for-profit subsidiary corporation. The for-profit would engage in various media projects that make money, while avoiding competition with US private-sector efforts. The profits would be channeled into the non-profit activities of USIB. One such profit-making activity would be to translate the unique reportage of the many USIB non-English services into English, then selling that content, as text and/or as videos, to English-language media in the USA and elsewhere. US media and their audiences would benefit from greater international news coverage. USIB would derive additional income. This could be the making of a win-win."

Advocacy group for US international broadcasting advocates keeping things much the same - Kim Andrew Elliott reporting on International Broadcasting: Elliott comment: "CUSIB [Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting], BBG Watch, and fellow travelers want to Keep Everything The Same As Before, and that includes keeping USIB in the second tier, allowing BBC to bask alone alone at the top, even though the BBC has a smaller budget for international broadcasting. I will never be satisfied with this state of affairs. USIB should aspire to compete with the BBC. It can do so only by consolidating its resources into one corporation, with a single, powerful, memorable, global brand. It must have an unambiguous commitment to independent, credible journalism, leaving public diplomacy to the public diplomacy branches and bureaus in Foggy Bottom. And just as the BBC world services derive advantages from working with the domestic BBC (and vice versa), so, too, should USIB partner with US domestic media."

Africans without a privilege: Is the Maghreb the Black Swan of US diplomacy? - Abdelilah Bouasria and Mohamed Abdouh Kabir, American Diplomacy: "Radio SAWA (our American public diplomacy arm in the MENA region)"

Chinese Public Diplomacy: Winning Hearts and Minds Abroad or at Home? - Nicholas Dynon, PD News–CPD Blog, USC Center on Public Diplomacy: "Interestingly, the many aspects of Beijing’s international charm offensive that have arguably had limited efficacy among external audiences have nevertheless found public relations success domestically, celebrated as examples of China’s national rejuvenation and growing international clout."

China’s foreign propaganda chief outlines external communication priorities - "This article was first published in today’s People’s Daily. Cai Mingzhao, director of the Foreign Propaganda Office (or State Council Information Office)

discusses the future priorities in public diplomacy work in the light of Xi Jinping’s recent speech at the National Propaganda and Ideology Work Conference. Interestingly, it mentions soft power only once. Rather, the tone of the article is – in a welcome development – much more moderate than other documents that have come out of Beijing. The core of the argument is that China must develop its own conceptual vocabulary to be able to better set the terms of the international debate, rather than being forced to discuss itself in a discourse that is not its own."  Mingzhao image from

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Some European countries against Chinese robbed robbery cracked slower [sic] - "This year is the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership between the tenth anniversary. By the China Association for Public Diplomacy and the State Development Bank, Shanghai Public Diplomacy Association organized the China-EU partnership, cooperation and win-win as the theme of Chinese enterprises in Europe forum October 10 to 11 held in Shanghai. Delegates on the European economic situation, investment laws and regulations, cultural traditions, corporate public diplomacy and other topics in-depth discussion. State Councilor Yang is very concerned about this forum, I hope all walks of life participate in the forum Central Europe frank exchanges, enhance understanding, and discuss cooperation, to promote the further development of China-EU relations play a constructive role. Li Zhaoxing, China Association of Public Diplomacy during an interview at the forum, said that Chinese enterprises into Europe can not be a one-shot deal, to perseverance persistence."

3 years mayoungsam promote public diplomacy ambassador invited [Google "translation" from the Korean] - "Mayoungsam Ministry of Foreign Public Diplomacy Ambassador to remember that public diplomacy in the field (Public diplomacy) is the scene of a one. Do metabolic last August 2011 inviting public diplomacy ambassador been appointed to the public has led to foreign policy. What is public diplomacy countless questions yinyaneun 'The nation's most captivating one partner' is defined as. 'the September 11 attacks on the United States starting to worry about anti-Americanism began in the United States since the one to announce a significant budget and personnel are pouring the major two countries (G2) is emerging as China also strives to inform its're.' Shem is a kind of national image improvement. promote public diplomacy this year by the country for three years, becoming the unconventional one. Ambassador Matthew 'whilst unfamiliar concept for our internal study was obtained after the budget and strategy for the organization and did establish the public diplomacy to build a foundation that can be for,' he said. Attractive in the future against the world informed properly Korea, South Korea became interested in the work that will be explained in earnest. One of them, middle and public diplomacy between the three countries, we can say the government's key challenges. Political and historical conflicts in Northeast Asia through public diplomacy can continue to release a portion rea believe. past nine wolen had the expected results. Bangwan anti - privatization of public diplomacy, opened the first one in China, the two sides in the forum, we jointly propose projects and public diplomacy, China readily accepted this measure has a specific plan was to meet again. Do ambassador 'of the Chinese government, China and South Korea's Korea notify notify one, when the progress of the relationship with the elasticity to be able to promote,' he said, pushing one, one hundred foreign forum would also emphasized. 'One nation, one people and relationships crunch of the relationship between both countries is even worse is unfortunate youth cultural exchange and understanding through a variety of public diplomacy work is necessary to widen the width of the public diplomacy East Asia, full of conflict is the key.'"

Sri Lanka: Coming To Terms With New Environment - Col R. Hariharan, "[T]he maiden visit of Indian Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid on October 7 and 8 assumes greater importance than merely meeting with his counterpart . ... There was a welcome effort at public diplomacy during the Indian MEA’s visit."

Why Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi should visit Pakistan - Rajeev Sharma, "Officials and diplomats should keep up ... engagement. But what about our politicians? They have even a bigger role to play: conducting public diplomacy. This brings me to the main theme of this article – the role two principal contenders for the post of the prime minister in the 2014 elections, Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi need to play.

The former has been officially anointed by his party, the BJP, for the top job candidate, while the latter has not been. Obviously, Rahul enjoys immense leverage over Modi in this respect as unlike Modi, he does not have to deal with dissenters, critics and nay-sayers in his Congress party. Since the two PM candidates are as different as chalk and cheese, their goals and strategic imperatives will also be different." 
Image from article, with caption: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi (L-AFP) and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi (Reuters)

The future of the Western Balkans and the role of Turkey - Bestami Bilgiç, Professor of International Relations at Ipek University in Ankara, explained that until the early 20th century, the Ottoman Empire extended its rule over large swathes of the Balkans that are multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-cultural. ... Dimitar Bechev, Senior Fellow at the European Council for Foreign Relations, explained that the situation in the Western Balkans is currently ‘a mixed bag’ as the enlargement process is continuing, and in the mid-term, the Western Balkan countries will become EU members. ... Professor Bestami Bilgiç noted that

Turkey has the capacity to speak various 'languages', and that one language which the EU is unable to speak in the Western Balkans is that of religion. While the EU can be an important mediator in the region, he stressed that the most favourable situation would be one where Turkey and the EU could “get together” and cooperate in their dialogue toward the region. Dimitar Bechev echoed the sentiment that Turkey has several “faces” and can appeal to a wider set of people, although more could be done in terms of human rights, public diplomacy and economic relations." Image from entry

Senate nearing a shutdown deal — Sequestration showdown in January - Kate Brannen, "EGYPT HIRES NEW LOBBYING SHOP, via POLITICO’s Byron Tau: “Egypt’s exile on K Street is over. The country has hired the Glover Park Group on a lobbying and public affairs contract following the U.S. decision to suspend some of its aid. Glover Park will ‘provide public diplomacy, strategic communications counsel and government relations services’ for Egypt — including communications with government officials and business leaders. Egypt has been without a K Street lobbying shop since lobbyists Bob Livingston, Toby Moffett and Tony Podesta all jointly terminated their relationships with the country in early 2012.” See also

Hamas built mega tunnel for 'rainy day' option - Yoav Limor, "Sunday saw Israel focus its public diplomacy efforts on the Arab media, especially the Palestinian media: it's not only the Negev communities that have been enjoying an unprecedented calm for the past 11 months -- it is Gaza Strip as well."

APN's daily news review from Israel - Fashion victim (Michal Aharoni, Maariv/NRG Hebrew ) "'Whoever advised Netanyahu to talk about jeans as a symbol of freedom should go home...He can be the Prime Minister's friend but not write his speeches.' Aharoni notes that hardly anyone at Rabbi Ovadia Yosef's funeral wore jeans and that the vast majority of the wives and sisters of the men who attended the funeral do not wear pants at all, and asks, 'What does that say about us as a society? If Israel's public diplomacy was clever and would think in contemporary terms - even just a little - it would understand that Netanyahu's remarks could boomerang...Israel is a democracy because it does not arrest bloggers and it has media outlets that investigate the Prime Minister and his wife and because it has demonstrations and its senior officials are investigated by the police and a former president is in jail because he did things which it is forbidden to do. Our democracy is not in clothes, it is in our ability to loudly criticize ourselves without fear; it is the ability and the willingness to hold public debates, to air the dirty laundry in public.' The author says, 'It is not that Israeli public diplomacy can drastically change our situation in the world but it can prevent us from being seen as pathetic.'"

The long road back to El Dorado - Boyd Tonkin, "Next Thursday, the British Museum will open its exhibition, Beyond El Dorado: power and gold in ancient Colombia. It has borrowed more than 200 treasures from co-organiser, the Museo del Oro (Gold Museum) in Bogotá - 'the best collection in the world of pre-Colombian gold,' confirms Elisenda Vila - and supplemented them with its own ample holdings of the gorgeous artefacts via which leaders and prophets summoned and channelled the forces of nature. Dazzlingly crafted bats, jaguars, fish, toads or caimans served as their iridescent spirit guides. 'It's a wonderful opportunity to be

in London again,' says Maria Alicia Uribe, the Gold Museum's director, 'and to put our collections together.' ... Outside Colombia's borders, the gold - especially in the British Museum, with its public that, as Uribe notes, 'comes from everywhere' - perhaps has an extra symbolic role. It will help set the seal on a decade of canny and strenuous public diplomacy that has seen Brand Colombia (a body which really exists; we lunched at its offices in Bogotá) work smartly to burnish the national image." Image from article, with caption: A lime flask in the shape of a man is displayed at the British Museum in central London.

SURFing the new wave in US-Russia relations: With U.S.-Russia relations in decline, students attempt to bolster the bilateral cooperative agenda by working on collaborative research projects - Pavel Koshkin, Russia Beyond the Headlines: Five years ago, students from leading U.S. and Russian universities came together in a Moscow cafe to discuss a huge geopolitical issue: U.S.-Russia relations. This was following the Russo-Georgian war, after the deterioration of Russian-American bilateral relations and shortly before the official launch of the so-called reset. This is how the story of the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum (SURF) began. ... Annually held in Russia and the U.S., the forum brings together students from some of the world’s top universities . ... This year, SURF is celebrating its fifth anniversary. ... The project is expected to involve around 50 people, including student advisers and mentors. In April, students will travel to Stanford to present their findings and meet with high-profile experts, academics and politicians.

'I found out about SURF purely by accident: I was browsing one of Russia’s websites and, finally, came across the Stanford forum official page,' says Stanislav Budnitsky, a Higher School of Economics graduate who is currently working on a doctorate degree in communications at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. 'I am studying public diplomacy, and exchange programs like SURF are one of the most effective ways of public diplomacy,' Budnitsky says. 'Most importantly, students from the American side have the chance to be exposed to Russian expertise and pundits. Likewise, when we Russian students go to Stanford, we will have the chance to hear the American experts, academics and their analysis, thoughts on U.S.-Russia relations — and that’s crucial.' ... According to Ekaterina Markaryan, SURF president on the Russian side, organizing these kinds of conferences is very challenging and time consuming. 'First, you have to do a lot of fundraising, which is pretty competitive given the growth of interest in soft power and the increasing number of public diplomacy projects,' she says. 'This time, for example, our team did its best to get funding and scholarship from the Gorchakov Foundation for Public Diplomacy. Second, inviting experts is a pretty tricky thing, because all of them have a very tough schedule: They may promise to come, and reject shortly before the conference. That’s why you should to be as persuasive and resourceful as possible.'” Image from article, with caption: The forum brings together students from some of the world’s top universities.

Children under seven will only be able to access the Camp Nou with a match ticket or season ticket - To imitate with stream regulations as well as to equivocate the risk of surpassing capacity, young kids up to seven, who until right away could entrance the track though the sheet as prolonged as they were accompanied by an adult, will additionally need to have the chair to attend Barça v Madrid. Toni Freixa announced: 'It’s an though the friend decision, though we’re receiving this preference as an practice in responsibility. We cite to take pre-emptive measures prior to woeful any misfortunes'. ... Mr Freixa summarized the series of alternative issues discussed during the meeting, together with sponsorship deals. 'With the same resources you will consequence 8,750,000 euros some-more in this section'. He explained which the Board has supposed an call in from DiploCat (Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia) to form partial of the Plenary Council. The Club will be represented by Carles Vilarrubí, vice-president of the institutional area."

Nº52: Estrategia y diplomacia pública: el tiempo de la política -  "Este número, el 52, contiene, entre otros, un monográfico sobre Diplomacia pública y marca país. Además, entrevistamos a Bruce Gregory, profesor adjunto de la George Washington University´s Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication y en la Georgetown University´s Master of Foreign Service Program."

Social Media Campaign Review: Pockets by ICICI Bank Facilitates Financial Transactions via Facebook Application - Rahul Dubey, - "I am Public Diplomacy Officer at the Australian-Consulate General, radio announcer at All India Radio’s FM Rainbow and volunteer at Coimbatore-based Isha Foundation. I have written extensively on economics of digital and social media. I teach and learn mass media economics and research at KC College and KJ Somaiya Institute of Mass Communication in Mumbai. If you are in a generous mood, you can read my thoughts on @_Rahul_Dubey."

Imperial Designs - Review by Amb. (ret.) Greta Morris, American Diplomacy: "During her 28 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, Ambassador (ret.) Greta N. Morris served in public diplomacy positions in Kenya, Uganda, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia as well as in Washington. As Counselor for Public Affairs in Jakarta, she led the Embassy’s public diplomacy program to strengthen U.S.-Indonesia ties and build support within Indonesia for counter terrorism efforts, and participated actively in the Embassy’s outreach to the Muslim community."

Class Notes: University School grad gives insight on Egypt - "Seth Wikas, the U.S. ambassador’s staff assistant in Cairo, discussed the unrest in Egypt and the effects on the Middle East at University School’s 11th annual George E. Spencer III lecture series. ... Wikas

was previously vice consul in Cairo and public diplomacy officer at the U.S. embassy in Amman, Jordan." Wikas image from entry

Panelists focus on women’s role in technology - Grace Kim, Daily Trojan: The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Center on Communication Leadership and Policy hosted a lunch on Tuesday as part of 'Wired Women: Bridging the Technology Gap,' a series exploring the opportunities and challenges faced by women in technology. ... 'It’s interesting that the progress of women has been different in different industries,” said Elise Welch, a graduate student in public diplomacy. 'It was interesting to hear from women who have succeeded in that area. Though there are still gender biases, I think it’s important for women to overcome their insecurities. Women have to get out there.'”


Around the globe, U.S. debt deal prompts relief, but also exasperation, worry for future - Simon Denyer and Michael Birnbaum,  There was relief around the world on Thursday after Congress reached a deal to raise the debt ceiling for three months, mixed with exasperation that a longer-term solution to the political crisis had not been found and a sense that the image of the United States had been tarnished. Newspapers from Beijing to Madrid said the crisis raised fresh questions about the strength of the American political system and its claims to global leadership. On Monday, China’s state-run news agency Xinhua published a commentary calling for a “de-Americanized world.” Newspapers and state television here suggested that the entire showdown demonstrated the drawbacks of the U.S. political system.

Iran stalls, centrifuges spin - Jennifer Rubin, The regime has spent all of Obama’s first term and some of George W. Bush’s talking, but not deviating one iota from its nuclear weapons plans.

U.S. Senate Confirms Caroline Kennedy as Ambassador to Japan – Domani Spero, DiploPundit: Of all ambassadorial appointments to Japan since 1960, 71.4% went to non-career political appointees.

Forbes: State Department Number Three Dream Employer - Peter Van Buren, We Meant Well: The Department wants smart people who will do what they are told, believing that intelligence can be divorced from innovation and creativity. State has created a personnel system that will require you to serve in more and more dangerous places, and more and more unaccompanied places without family, as a routine.

Propaganda artists from North Korea paint a rose-tinted China: The Beautiful Future sees icons of Beijing's skyline reimagined by a team of propaganda painters in Pyongyang - Oliver Wainwright, The Beautiful Future, which comprises six such paintings to date, is the brainchild of British ex-pat

duo Nick Bonner and Dominic Johnson-Hill, who both arrived in the Chinese capital 20 years ago and caught the Beijing bug. Bonner runs Koryo Tours, a travel company specialising in trips to the DPRK, while Johnson-Hill presides over a street-wear empire, Plastered, producing

T-shirts emblazoned with Maoist kitsch. The paintings, on show earlier this month as part of Beijing Design Week, are the inevitable result of their mutual obsessions. Caption of top image: CCTV Tower With Bountiful Harvest' Image: The Beautiful Future; below image caption: 'Water Cube for Clean Air and Healthy Life' Image: The Beautiful Future


Crazy-Rich Serbian Bachelor Shows Off On The Internet To Find A Bride (27 pics): To all you single ladies out there, this guy can put a ring on your finger so big you couldn’t even lift it. Don Milisav Juan Gonzales Brzi is (or was, whether he has found love yet is unclear) a Serbian bachelor who decided to find the love of his life simply by showing off his wealth…which is massive! And I’m not talking about some chandeliers hanging around but fully goldified bedrooms and frescas in the bathrooms. According to the Internet, he claims to be 39, living in St. Petersburg, and looking for a rather young girl, 16-20 years old, for marriage.

Here’s how Don presented himself: “To all unmarried ones who would like to spend their life by my side and within all the beauties of my home. Please look below at all the magic of my home that I have decorated with taste, perhaps just for you.” Couldn’t have said it better myself! I suggest taking a look and giving this eligible bachelor a shot. Images from

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