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  • Originally published 07/09/2013

    Michael Fullilove: Obama Needs an FDR-Like Foreign Policy Pivot

    Michael Fullilove is executive director of the Lowy Institute in Sydney, Australia, and author of "Rendezvous With Destiny: How Franklin D. Roosevelt and Five Extraordinary Men Took America Into the War and Into the World."President Obama's most important foreign policy initiative is his attempt to "pivot" away from the Middle East and toward Asia.Yet in Asia, some are starting to wonder whether the pivot was last year's story. The new secretary of State, John F. Kerry, is rarely sighted in the region. The military elements of the rebalance are underwhelming. Some of the main proponents of the pivot have left government. And U.S. policymakers are still drawn to the Middle East like iron filings to a magnet.One reason for the sluggishness of the shift is that it is remarkably difficult to pivot a country as large and diverse as the United States. Arguably, the last successful pivot took place from 1939 to 1941, between the outbreak of the European fighting and the U.S. entry into the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. During this period, America transformed itself from a nervous, isolationist, middle power into an outward-looking global leader.

  • Originally published 07/09/2013

    Australian National University history professor wins prize for promoting peace in Asia

    MELBOURNE, July 9 (Bernama) -- An Australian National University history professor has become the first Australian woman to win a major international prize for the promotion of peace in Asia.Prof. Tessa Morris-Suzuki was presented with the prestigious Fukuoka Prize worth A$33,000 (US$30,286.89) on Tuesday, the Canberra Times reported.The annual award, sponsored by the Japanese city of Fukuoka, celebrates connections between Asian countries and aims to further peaceful relations between them....

  • Originally published 05/09/2013

    History changes course in Pacific

    PRE-EUROPEAN history could be taught at some Pacific universities for the first time ever if plans devised by local history academics come to pass.The collaboration between academics led by Max Quanchi and Morgan Tuimaleali’ifano aims to produce a Pacific-wide undergraduate history course to be taught at universities from Papua New Guinea to New Caledonia, Samoa and French Polynesia....

  • Originally published 05/06/2013

    European and Asian languages traced back to single mother tongue

    Languages spoken by billions of people across Europe and Asia are descended from an ancient tongue uttered in southern Europe at the end of the last ice age, according to research.The claim, by scientists in Britain, points to a common origin for vocabularies as varied as English and Urdu, Japanese and Itelmen, a language spoken along the north-eastern edge of Russia.The ancestral language, spoken at least 15,000 years ago, gave rise to seven more that formed an ancient Eurasiatic "superfamily", the researchers say. These in turn split into languages now spoken all over Eurasia, from Portugal to Siberia."Everybody in Eurasia can trace their linguistic ancestry back to a group, or groups, of people living around 15,000 years ago, probably in southern Europe, as the ice sheets were retreating," said Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at Reading University....

  • Originally published 02/13/2013

    Ancient languages reconstructed by computer

    Researchers have created software that can rebuild protolanguages - the ancient tongues from which our modern languages evolved.To test the system, the team took 637 languages currently spoken in Asia and the Pacific and recreated the early language from which they descended.The work is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science....