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The Diplomacy Cable

With the invention of the telegraph cables in the 19th century, international consulates and embassies began sending shorter encrypted telegrams using Morse Code. While the messages are now sent electronically, the moniker “cable” stuck and the term is still in use today for shorter, encrypted diplomatic messages.

By Staff Sgt. D. Myles Cullen (USAF)


Former founder of France’s National Front (FN), Jean-Marie Le Pen, has launched a new political party to be called “Blue-White-Red rally” after the colors of the French flag.  The former leader of the nationalistic, anti-immigration party was expelled by his own daughter, Marine Le Pen, from National Front last month.  Mr. Le Pen’s new party could cause problems for his daughter’s potential presidential run in 2017.  It will be interesting to watch how both parties react to the increasing amount of migrants approaching European countries.  Al-Jazeera reports this story.

China’s President Xi Jinping recently announced a 300,000 reduction in troop levels that will conclude in 2017.  While at first glance, this number seems large, it represents little more than one-tenth of their nearly 2.3 million strong military.  According to Reuters, China’s defense ministry stated that, “(t)he reduction will make the People’s Liberation Army more modern and better able to achieve the aim of China having a strong military.”  As of 2014, the United States’ military budget was 4.5 times larger than China’s, which is the world’s second largest.

On Friday, the BBC reported that forty-five soldiers from the United Arab Emirates had been killed in Yemen while fighting Houthi rebels as part of a Saudi-led coalition.  The UAE’s Foreign Minister, Anwar Gargash, said that the soldiers died when a rebel missile struck an ammunition depot.  The article also shares a grim statistic from the UN about the cost of the conflict in Yemen, reporting that some 4,500 people, half of which are civilians, have been killed because of the fighting and airstrikes.

Pope Francis has added his voice to the discussion on the welcoming of refugees into Europe, according to the New York Times.  He has called on all Roman Catholic parishes, convents, and monasteries to take in those that are fleeing from conflict in the Middle East, as he has done with two families in the Vatican.  According to an Italian Cardinal, if each of Italy’s 27,000 parishes took in a family of 4, more than 108,000 people would receive shelter.  Cities around the world have begun pressuring local governments to take in more refugees, with Munich and St. Louis serving as examples.

Ebola’s reappearance in Liberia has been eradicated, according to a recent CNN report.  Over 11,000 people perished in two years because of the disease, with nearly 5,000 of those deaths taking place in Liberia.  At the peak time of infection, hundreds of new cases were being reported weekly.

One of our readers, Patrick from New Jersey, USA, wished to learn more about Russian involvement in Syria.  According to the New York Times, Russia has sent an advanced military team to Syria, sparking U.S. concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning on expanding military support to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.  Other supplies that Russia has sent to Syria include: prefabricated housing units, a portable air traffic control station, and various ship loadings that could help house over 1,000 military advisers.

*Buzzfeed, The Guardian, and The Washington Post contributed information to the summaries and stories, as well.

Dylan Ashdown is a second year graduate student at Seton Hall, where he is a part of the School of Diplomacy and International Relations and College of Communication and the Arts.  He is pursuing dual master’s degrees in Diplomacy and International Relations and Strategic Communications. He received his undergraduate degrees from the University of Central Missouri.

Follow Dylan Ashdown on Twitter at @AshdownDylan and send any requests for stories there

Follow the Journal of Diplomacy on Twitter at @JournalofDiplo



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