With help from British public relations guru Lord Timothy Bell and his firm, Bell Pottinger, the country of Belarus -- where "opposition protests are regularly crushed with overwhelming force by riot police" and the domestic spy agency is still called the KGB -- is getting an image make-over.
The British "country brand capital development" firm Acanchi is crafting a "new image" for Israel. "Our research shows that Israel's brand is essentially the [Israel-Palestine] conflict," explained Israeli Foreign Ministry official Ido Aharoni.
The Louisiana Senate has appointed former veteran Hill & Knowlton (H&K) lobbyist and Democratic congressional aide Gary Hymel to the Louisiana Board of Ethics. The board's role is to "interpret and enforce" ethical standards for the state's government employees and electoral campaign finance and lobbyist disclosure laws. "I have seen the government from a lot of different angles," Hymel said.
In a scathing review of the Chinese government's handling of the Olympics, Jacquelin Magnay writes "there has been the fake singer, the fake fireworks, the fake minority kids (they were all Han, and not from the 55 different ethnic groups as portrayed), the fake press freedoms, fake internet access, fake promises. ...
When China submitted its bid to host the 2008 Summer Olympics, it promised that journalists would have "complete freedom to report" from the country. However, "sites such as Amnesty International or any search for a site with Tibet in the address could not be opened at the Main Press Center [in Beijing], which will house about 5,000 print journalists when the games open Aug.
Human rights and labor activists protested outside the Washington DC offices of Public Strategies, Inc., claiming that the public relations firm helps the Bridgestone / Firestone Tire Company "deflect attention away from the company's long history of exploiting workers and the environment on its rubber plantation in Liberia." The protest comes shortly after the publication of a
The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless plans to hand out free movie tickets, free passes to the Zoo, Denver's Museum of Nature and Science and other cultural attractions to homeless people during the Democratic National Convention August 25-28. They will even provide free bus tickets for the homeless to visit attractions that are beyond walking distance.
To understand how the Bush administration "could fool tens of millions of Americans, intimidate Democrats, and transform the vaunted Washington press corps from watchdogs to lapdogs," look to the 1980s, suggests Robert Parry.