A curated selection of public diplomacy-relevant news from a global cross-section of English-language media outlets, including independent, corporate-owned, and state-sponsored sources. The stories featured don't necessarily represent CPD's views nor have they been verified by CPD.

Malcolm Turnbull in Singapore: From Orchid Diplomacy to Global Flashpoints

In Singapore's botanic gardens this morning, an orchid will be named after the Prime Minister and his wife Lucy in the tradition of naming a hybrid of the national flower after visiting leaders. [...] Tonight, Mr Turnbull will give the keynote address to the Asia Security summit — more commonly known as the Shangri-La dialogue. Delegates from more than 50 countries will be in the audience. [...] The Economist dubbed the incident the "Shangri-La dust up". Security will be intense and Singaporeans have already been warned to avoid anything that could be deemed suspicious. 

Tags: australia, singapore, asean, malcolm turnbull, soft power, people-to-people engagement, orchid diplomacy

Creating Human Bonds Through Cultural Diplomacy

The 4th “transatlantic dialogue” took place at the University of Luxembourg on Campus Belval in Esch-sur-Alzette. The theme was “creating human bonds through cultural diplomacy”. 320 attendees and 100 cultural actors from Europe, the United States, Mexico, Japan, South Africa and Saudi Arabia discussed and performed around the notion on how cultural diplomacy has a vital role to play in international relations.In 55 discussions and workshops, participants studied inter-sectionalism and common bonds; and how to bridge differences by understanding cultural identities. 

Tags: luxembourg, european union, Cultural Diplomacy, people-to-people exchange, transatlantic dialogue, united states, mexico, japan, south africa, saudi arabia

Kabul Ends Sports Diplomacy with Pakistan After Bombing

The Afghan Cricket Board (ACB) on Thursday said it had cancelled all matches and agreements with Pakistan after the Afghan intelligence linked the Pakistani intelligence agency to the Kabul bombing that left 90 dead and 463 wounded. [...] Kabul and Islamabad had recently reached an agreement to play two friendly matches in Kabul and in Pakistan's Lahore city, besides two series of matches in Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, and other agreements on sports.

Tags: afghanistan, pakistan, cricket diplomacy, sports diplomacy, taliban, terrorism

Meet the Venture Capitalist Who Launched a Kickstarter for War

It was December in northern Syria and the temperature was dropping fast. U.S. special operations forces urgently needed to get blankets to their partners. They turned to a small charity run by Jim Hake, a former venture capitalist. Within eight hours, 200 blankets had arrived, paid for by Hake’s NGO, Spirit of America. [...] And Hake argues, if extremists are relying on private donations to launch terrorist attacks, why can’t private citizens in America donate money to help U.S. forces fighting them?  “To prevail, we need all elements of national power — private and public,” Hake said.

Tags: united states, civil society, entrepreneurship, foreign aid, humanitarian relief, pentagon, aid diplomacy, non-governmental organizations, counter insurgency

The "Mushy" Soft Power of Hollywood?

The biggest box office stars don’t always hail from the US, they come from other places, too. Beyoncé, the internationally famous and quite possibly most talked-about woman in the world, has about 14.7 million Twitter followers. She’s ranked at, roughly, the 119th most popular person on Twitter. Shakira, the Colombian-born pop star, has a whopping 45.2 million Twitter followers. She’s about 18th on the Twitter popularity scale. [...] This is not to say that American movie stars are not popular, it's just that the Hollywood's near monopoly for almost a century is lo longer in effect. 

Tags: united states, hollywood, india, bollywood, soft power, Cultural Diplomacy, movie diplomacy, language diplomacy

Sri Lanka: Foreign Aid Arrives as Flood Toll Tops 200

Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake said 16 countries had rushed relief supplies and medicine to Sri Lanka to assist more than 600,000 people who were driven away from their homes following Friday's monsoon deluge. India and Pakistan have also deployed medical teams on the ground in some of the worst-affected areas, he said. The United Nations has said it will provide water containers, water purification tablets and tarpaulin sheets while the World Health Organisation will support medical teams in affected areas.

Tags: sri lanka, united nations, foreign aid, natural disaster relief, aid diplomacy, humanitarian relief

Baahubali 2 and Dangal's Success: Testimony to Bollywood Soft Power

Dangal’s success story in China — coming as it does, five months after its theatrical release in India and elsewhere — has triggered a stream of breathless box office updates, analytical thinkpieces, and odes aplenty. As it should. [...] Egyptian hawkers referring to Indian women visitors as “Kareena! Aishwarya!” isn't surprising. But to have a teenager from the tiny island country of Timor Leste tell you that Preity Zinta’s Kya Kehna is his favourite film, or have folks in Vietnam express sadness about Balika Vadhu actress Pratyusha Banerjee’s suicide — that is surreal. 

Tags: india, china, hollywood, bollywood, movie diplomacy, culture diplomacy, film diplomacy, people-to-people engagement

Europe and Its Attractive Power Win a Key Battle

Ukraine’s bid to eventually join the European Union wins a critical vote, a victory in its war against Russia and for democratic values. [...]  At a time when three major countries are pulling away from Europe, Ukraine’s eagerness to embrace the EU and its values shows how much other countries want in. [...] For others outside the EU, however, the allure is a deeper theme, that of civic values such as equality and openness. And they are willing to make big sacrifices to join the Continent’s biggest club.

Tags: europe, soft power, ukraine, european union, attractive power, democratic values

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