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The foreign aid budget has been increased so quickly that ministers and officials are ‘struggling’ to spend it properly, a major report warns today. It found that they were ‘unprepared’ for the challenge of spending a 30 per cent increase in the budget last year. The increase followed David Cameron’s controversial pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of the UK’s income on foreign aid.

 

A poster of Johnny Cash shares space on his office walls with portraits of President Obama and Winston Churchill. Since being appointed ambassador in 2013, he's plopped a turntable and a swelling record collection front and center, removed the conference tables and name cards, and brought in indie bands like Belle & Sebastian, Damien Jurado and The National to mingle with guests such as Prime Minister David Cameron.

Emergency food, drinking water and shelter to help people displaced in Rakhine State, western Burma.

PD News headlines this week about Unicef, and foreign aid from the UK, Canada and the UN seem to suggest so.

The Department for International Development’s (DfID) extensive use of US organisations to strengthen parliaments in developing countries risks using British taxpayers’ money to promote “less accountable” American-style political systems at the expense of those based on the Westminster model, MPs have warned.

Newspapers all over the world were unanimous in praising the legacy of reforms and peace-making efforts by the late King Abdullah. All noted his efforts at giving Saudi women a greater role in society by having better educational and professional opportunities, and highlighted the fact that he extended the right to vote to women.

Israel’s hasbara efforts just received an enormous boost thanks to a new collaborative effort launched jointly by the Prime Minister’s Office and StandWithUs. The initiative, in which StandWithUs will coordinate closely with the PMO’s National Information Directorate, is designed to “educate young people about how to use social media for education and public diplomacy.”

The BBC World Service is being financially outgunned by Russian and Chinese state-owned news channels, its former director Peter Horrocks has warned, amid high-level concerns that Britain and the US are losing a global “information war” with the Kremlin.

The British Embassy in Cairo re-opened on Tuesday after suspending public services nine days ago for security reasons, the embassy said in a statement.

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