Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for January 21, 2020

Newsline: Three rockets fall near US embassy in Iraq

Three rockets have fallen inside Baghdad’s Green Zone on Tuesday morning, close to the US embassy. A BBC reporter said alarms were sounding in the US embassy complex and speakers were telling those inside to take shelter. Iraqi police told Reuters that three Katyusha rockets fell inside the Green Zone, which houses government buildings and foreign missions. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/20/three-rockets-fall-us-embassy-iraq-baghdad) The rockets were launched from the Zafaraniyah district outside Baghdad, the sources said, adding that two rockets landed near the US embassy.

Newsline: German foreign ministry backtracks after sense of humor failure

Social media can be a minefield for the strait-laced world of diplomacy, as the German Foreign Office just found out, when it was forced to delete a tweet and apologize for its contribution to a mildly off-color Twitter meme. The meme was the hashtag #SeduceSomeonein4Words. Submissions ranged from “You hungry? I’m cooking” to “Donald Trump Is Impeached”. Then @GermanyDiplo, the foreign ministry’s English-language channel, came up with “Your visa got approved”. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-diplomacy/german-foreign-ministry-backtracks-after-sense-of-humor-failure-idUSKBN1ZG17Z) That got hundreds of retweets and thousands of likes. But it also got a fair amount of criticism, much of it from people suffering through the process of acquiring a German visa.