Prompted in part by reports that a leaders of the Hezbollah has urged Palestinians to step up their suicide bombings, the Canadian government has banned the Lebanese group. Only problem is, the alleged statement from Hezbollah was probably invented by Washington Times reporter Paul Martin, who has a history of fabricating news about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"The State Dept. is looking for a PR firm to promote a monthly Arabic language magazine that it plans to debut in the Spring," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "The magazine will be targeted at Muslims aged 18-to-35 living in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia. The International Information Programs unit, which is the result of the Oct. 1999 merger of the U.S. Information Agency into the State Dept., is handling the magazine launch."
"The Bush administration has recruited prominent American
writers ... in a campaign started after
9/11 to use culture to further American diplomatic
interests. ... The Smith-Mundt Act ... bars the domestic dissemination of official American
information aimed at foreign audiences. The
essays can, however, be read on a government Web site
O'Dwyer's reports that top PR and lobby firms for the Saudis are dodging subpoenas from the Congressional Committee on Government Reform. Says the O'Dwyer website (now only accessible by subscription, but well worth the fee), "Michael Petruzzello, head of Qorvis Communicatins and Jack Deschauer of Patton Boggs, were not found at their offices or homes by U.S. Marshals, according to The New York Sun. A lawyer for Jamie Gallagher of the Gallagher Group stalled Congressional staffers until too late in the day for agents to serve a subpoena, reports The New York Post.
"Saudi Arabia's latest public relations
problem may be with its public relations firm. Three of the founding partners in the Washington firm, Qorvis Communications, have announced that they are leaving, and associates say their departure reflects a deep
discomfort in representing the government of Saudi Arabia
against accusations that Saudi leaders have turned a blind
eye to terrorism. The firm, hired by the Saudi government in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, has been paid about $200,000 a month
Outside the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in August in Johannesburg, there were poor street vendors and farmers holding signs and wearing t-shirts reading: "Save the Planet from Sustainable Development", "Say No To Eco-Imperialism", "Greens: Stop Hurting the Poor" and "Biotechnology for Africa." The problem, according to environmental reporter and activist Jonathan Matthews is that the anti-environmentalist demonstration was organized by the corporations that environmentalist wanted to be held accountable.
"The House Committee on Government Reform, which is investigating reports of American children kidnaped and held in Saudi Arabia, has issued subpoenas to the Kingdom's top lobbying firms Qorvis Communications, Patton Boggs and the Gallagher Group demanding they turn over their PR and lobbying records," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "The Saudi Embassy claims those documents are protected under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations as 'archives and documents of the mission.'" Committee head Rep.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations hired APCO Worldwide to develop "positive U.S.-ASEAN ties." "President Bush has made establishing free trade agreements with each individual ASEAN nation a foreign policy priority," O'Dwyer's PR Daily reports. "The U.S. Administration also counts on ASEAN support for its war on terrorism." Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, Viet Nam, Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei and Myanmar are ASEAN member countries.