US

The first direct commercial flight between the US and Cuba landed today in the city of Santa Clara, in the center of the island, after more than half a century of restrictions.  It marked a further step in the normalization process between the two countries, reported dpa news.

Yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement on the United States reaching President Obama's stated goal of increasing the number of Syrian refugees permitted to resettle in the United States through the U.S. Refugee Admission Program.  Secretary Kerry noted, "A year ago, President Obama set the goal of welcoming at least 10,000 of the most vulnerable refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria to the United States. 

President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday joined a global agreement to cut greenhouse gases, moving the world toward a significant reduction in climate-warming emissions faster time frame than previously imagined.

The Korean Wave, or the popularity of Korean culture, is the best tool for South Korea in reaching American people and bringing the two countries' closer together, said a United States diplomat recently posted in Seoul. "I think the best thing to use is a soft power approach. The best thing Koreans have going for them in foreign countries is the Korean Wave," Brian Peterson said in an interview with Yonhap News Agency on Friday.

Strisvara, an all-women musicand cultural exchange project, will take place in Bengaluru come September 10. Organized by Arun Sivag and NH Subhash Gowda — the 18-day residency and concert tour programme will see female musicians from the US, Sweden, Spain and Nepal engage in music with independent Indian artistes, along with those from native Soliga tribe of Biligirirangana Hills. 

In New Jersey, an eastern US state, the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) held its 9th regional conference that was attended by Nepalis from around the world. From a small community that was trying to establish its identity and get access to dual citizenship and the opportunities accompanying it, the NRNA has grown into a larger organisation with multiple issues to deal with.

 

Overseas, U.S. prestige appeared to be a thing of the past. Policymakers and diplomats, hoping to “fix” this problem, used several ways to do so, including turning to public diplomacy (PD), a little-known, among the American public, foreign policy instrument, implemented by the United States Information Agency, established by President Eisenhower (in 1953), at the height of the Cold War, in order to counteract Soviet propaganda.

Russian President Vladimir Putin described “soft power” in 2012 as “a matrix of tools and methods to reach foreign policy goals without the use of arms but by exerting information and other levers of influence.” His government has used state-owned media outlets like RT, formerly known as Russia Today, and other pro-Kremlin organizations to bend public opinion in other countries toward Russia.

Pages