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CDC Swine FluI’ve been getting most of my news on swine flu from either the WHO or the US Center for Disease Control (CDC).  Both are easily accessible, informative, reliable. 

It’s worth noting the  various forms of social media CDC is using to spread the word:

  1. Updates from the H1N1 page haven an RSS feed.
  2. Frequent updates are spread using Twitter.
  3. Video updates are posted using podcasts.
  4. Image sharing on the CDCs Flickr site.
  5. Buttons for your website.
  6. Information sharing on MySpace‘s e-health page and daily strength group.
  7. Updates can be shared using several different services (Google Reader, Bookmarks, Delicious, Facebook, Digg, etc.).
  8. e-Cards to send by email to family members and friends to remind people to wash their hands.
  9. Agencies can embed a flu widget on their page.

Now that’s soft power.  Nice, informative site, too, with maps, Spanish translation available, guidance, lots of links targeting different groups and concerns.

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A useful piece by David Shambaugh considers the direction of US-China relations under the Obama Administration.  Key points:

  • under Bush, the US had a dualistic approach: a China encouraged to be a responsible stakeholder, and a China to be hedged against.  The latter was pushed in particular by a ‘strong contingent’ within the Pentagon, and through appropriations, bureaucracy and programs, retains a significant amount of momentum.  
  • Obama’s policy thus far has been one generally of continuity.  But it emphasises strongly partnership with China, and downplays considerably the hedging strategy.  
  • The Administration is looking to ‘broaden the strategic partnership’ between the United States and China, with talk of a trilateral US-Japan-China dialogue and speculation of a regarding a number of initiatives to deepen the relationship, resolve outstanding issues and avoid conflict.

References

Shambaugh, D. (2009). Early Prospects of the Obama Administration’s Strategic Agenda with China. E-Notes, Foreign Policy Research Institute.

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