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The Daily: For September 17, 2013

September 17, 2013 6:45 am by: Category: The Daily Leave a comment A+ / A-
photo credit: Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs

photo credit: Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs

Our round-up of news, notes, tips, and Tweets exhibiting how public diplomacy effects the world each and every day.

A day after Internet users in Iran were surprised to gain access to Twitter and Facebook – a sign many took as an easing of restrictions by the new president – the firewall was restored. Authorities blame a technical glitch.

The country’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, has promised several times to reduce Internet censorship, and several of his cabinet ministers, including the foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, have set up Facebook pages and opened Twitter accounts, some of them quite active. Insiders say the glitch could have been caused by infighting between groups seeking to reopen the Web sites, who are struggling with hard-liners who continue to control the hardware to block Web sites. By Tuesday, Iranian officials had restored the blocks. [New York Times]


With politics at a stalemate, the urgent need for bird conservatism has bridged the divide between Palestine and Israel.

In 2000, he and Dr. Leshem brought Palestinian and Israeli schoolchildren together as part of an educational project to track migrating birds. “The parents said we were crazy,’” Mr. Atrash recalled. When border crossing became too difficult after the second intifada, the pair worked on educating Arab farmers not to kill barn owls – a traditional bad-luck symbol – and permit them to roost in nesting boxes set up along the Jordan River valley to nurture the birds as a chemical-free means of controlling pests. [The Globe and Mail]



ETH Zurich’s International Relations and Security Network has a new deep-read into Kenya’s reliance on regional economic diplomacy as domestic problems persist.

Against this background, this study examines the nature of Kenya’s economic diplomacy in East Africa. It will particularly scrutinise the role of foreign policy in advancing Kenya’s commercial interests, offering a perspective on the country’s contribution to the region’s development and economic stability. The assessment explores how this form of diplomacy has become a mainstay of its foreign policy; how Kenya co-operates with neighbouring states within the framework of the new common market; its regional trade policy and the political risks it faces while pursuing its national vision. [ETH Zurich]




Is Twitter diplomacy the 21st century equivalent of ping pong diplomacy?

Zarif’s Rosh Hashana message was obviously a novel and important initiative. Perhaps we are now in an era where Twitter diplomacy works better than the “ping pong diplomacy” of the last century, the exchange of table tennis players between the United States and China in the early 1970s. The event marked a thaw in US–China relations that paved the way for a visit to Beijing by President Richard Nixon. During the week of June 9, 2008, a three-day commemoration of ping pong diplomacy was held at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California. [The Majalla]



According to Asif Ezdi, a former member of the Pakistani Foreign Service, Germany’s recent attempt at music diplomacy in Kashmir was fraught with insensitivity to current events. 

Bachler’s criticism of Steiner might be unfair but it is clear that the ambassador’s foray into music diplomacy backfired disastrously. Far from showing to the world that ‘normalcy’ has returned to occupied Kashmir, the popular rejection of the hugely expensive spectacle only highlighted the fact that the state remains a vast prison under the brutal watch of an occupying army. The Kashmiris will remember the concert not as a ‘cultural tribute’ to them, as Steiner said it was intended to be, but as another instance of hypocrisy and double standards on human rights. [The International News]




David Clary reflects on his time as the U.K.’s first chief scientific adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

I was delighted to be able to work with the UK Science and Innovation Network, which is a unique organization placing about ninety officers in UK embassies and high commissions in twenty-five countries. The network is involved with enhancing international relations through scientific collaborations between the UK and other countries. I was pleased to champion this organization’s excellent work and made visits to eighteen countries to promote its various projects. Scientific interactions with emerging economies were a priority. In Istanbul I launched a new Knowledge Partnership between the UK and Turkey together with Vince Cable, the UK secretary of state for business innovation and skills. In similar visits to Delhi, Medellín, Nanjing, Ottawa, Singapore, and other cities, I saw exciting collaborative scientific initiatives across the continents. [Science & Diplomacy]



The U.K. is contemplating hefty bonds on visa applicants on high risk, first-time visitors from India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ghana, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. Nigeria, for one, is unpleased.

Opposition has continued to gather momentum with Abuja merely echoing the mass discontent of Nigerians with the visa bond proposal. Abike Dabiri, Member of the House of Representatives and Chair of the Diaspora Affairs Committee, described the plan in harsh words, saying it is capable of affecting diplomatic relations between Nigeria and the UK. Dabiri stated, “I think it’s ridiculous. I know they’re saying it will only affect a small percentage of ‘high risk’ Nigerians but who defines these criteria?”, the lawmaker queried. [The CPD Blog]





American Film Showcase bird conservation David Clary Kashmir Model UN Palestine ping pong diplomacy rice cake TED Talks visa bonds
The Daily: For September 17, 2013 Reviewed by on . [caption id="attachment_406" align="alignnone" width="640"] photo credit: Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs[/caption] Our round-up of news, notes, ti [caption id="attachment_406" align="alignnone" width="640"] photo credit: Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs[/caption] Our round-up of news, notes, ti Rating: 0

About Michael Ardaiolo

Michael Ardaiolo is currently a student in Syracuse University's Public Diplomacy Master's Program: M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and M.S. in Public Relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. In addition, he is a recovering record slinger, a Criterion Collection addict, an NBA obsessor, and a struggling student of the Korean language.

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