Oceania & the Pacific

Australia ends its search for almost 100 asylum-seekers whose ship capsized off the coast of Indonesia

September 1, 2012

“Indonesian authorities said they planned to continue searching, though huge swells were hampering their efforts.”

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Secretary of State Clinton “gratified” by Australia’s resolve to see its mission in Afghanistan through

September 1, 2012

“Australia has said it is committed to remaining in its base in Uruzgan where it has some 1,550 troops until it can hand over security to local forces, likely in late 2013.”

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Secretary of State Clinton embarks on an 11-day trip to Asia and the Pacific

September 1, 2012

““I’ve said that the 21st century will be ‘America’s Pacific century’ — with an emphasis on ‘Pacific,’” Clinton said today, speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum in Rarotonga, the Cook Islands.”

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Update: Five Australian Soldiers killed in two separate incidents in Afghanistan

August 30, 2012

“PM Julia Gillard said that “in a war of so many losses this is our single worst day in Afghanistan”.”

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Three Australian Soldiers killed by a gunman wearing an Afghan Army uniform

August 30, 2012

“Three Australian soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan on Wednesday by a gunman wearing an Afghan army uniform, the NATO-led coalition said, the latest in an alarming series of “rogue” shootings that have damaged trust between Kabul and its allies.”

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Analyzing and Simplifying the 2012 Republican Party Platform: American Exceptionalism

August 29, 2012

“We are the party of peace through strength. Professing American exceptionalism – the conviction that our country holds a unique place and role in human history.”

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Diplomatic Cables: U.S. Government seeking to extradite and try WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

August 17, 2012

“Mr Assange fears he will be sent from Sweden to the US, and now Fairfax Media has obtained declassified diplomatic cables which it says suggest the US is intent on doing just that.”

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Australia upholds a ban on tobacco branding

August 15, 2012

“The law requires cigarettes to be sold in drab dark packaging starting in December, featuring graphic images of smoking-related diseases. Brand names can still be used, but only in a standard font, size and position.”

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Journal of Neuroscience: Scientists have proven that addiction to morphine and heroin can be blocked, while at the same time increasing pain relief

August 15, 2012

“The team from the University of Adelaide and University of Colorado has discovered the key mechanism in the body’s immune system that amplifies addiction to opioid drugs.”

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Dormant for over a century, New Zealand’s Mount Tongariro volcano has erupted

August 7, 2012

“Some local residents temporarily left their homes, but officials have not ordered an evacuation, instead advising those affected by the ash cloud to stay indoors and close doors and windows.”

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Scientists: Bullingdon Club Dolphins form elite societies and cliques

August 2, 2012

“The findings mean the traits of “inclusive inheritability” and culture are no longer considered exclusive to human beings.”

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19 Countries — including the U.S. but not Israel — hold the largest military exercises in the Middle East in the past 10 years

May 17, 2012

“Eager Lion 2012 “is the largest exercise held in the region in the past ten years,” Major General Ken Tovo, head of the US Special Operations Forces, told reporters in Amman.”

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Australia lowers interest rates to 3.75%

May 1, 2012

“It was the largest cut since the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced rates by 100 basis points in February 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis, and came as a surprise to analysts who tipped a 25 basis point fall.”

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Japanese and Australian stock futures fall

April 19, 2012

“Japanese and Australian stock futures fell after a surge in bad loans held by Spanish banks and disappointing earnings reports by Intel Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. dimmed the earnings outlook for Asia’s exporters.”

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Australia to withdraw most of its 1,550 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2013

April 17, 2012

“U.S. officials downplayed the significance of Australia’s actions. In recent months U.S. officials have sought ways of heading off a push by allies to go home.”

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