China has given money for Pacific projects, such as roadworks in Papua New Guinea Australia will create a multi-billion dollar fund for Pacific island nations to build infrastructure, in an apparent attempt to counter China's influence. Delivering a major policy speech, PM Scott Morrison said he aimed to restore the Pacific to the "front and centre" of Australia's foreign outlook. Australia will offer up to A$2bn (£1.11bn; $1.45bn) in grants and loans to strengthen ties, he said. In Beijing, China's top diplomat said the two countries were "not rivals". After meeting Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne in Beijing, top Chinese…
The search and investigation into missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is already the most expensive in aviation history, figures released to Fairfax Media suggest. The snippets of costings provide only a small snapshot but the $US50 million ($54 million) spent on the two-year probe into Air France Flight 447 - the previous record - appears to have been easily surpassed after just four weeks. Meanwhile, Malaysia's opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, has claimed the government is deliberately concealing information that would help to explain what happened to the missing flight. MH370: The cost of the search is about $53 million and…
  It was only the second time in 14 appearances that Williams had lost in the first round at the Australian Open. Andrew Brownbill/Associated Press MELBOURNE, Australia — For Venus Williams, a win in reach instead became another frustratingly early loss at a major tournament. Williams held a 3-0 lead in the third set, before dropping the next five games in a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 defeat against Ekaterina Makarova on Margaret Court Arena, the tournament’s third-largest venue, Monday afternoon, the tournament’s opening day. It was only the second time Williams had lost in the first round of the Australian Open…
MELBOURNE, Australia — James McGee did not last two hours at the 2014 Australian Open, but his brief stay Wednesday morning failed to dampen his mood. On Court 12 at Melbourne Park, McGee, a 26-year-old from Dublin, lost to Jimmy Wang of Taiwan, 7-6 (2), 7-5, in the first round of the qualifying draw in 1 hour 44 minutes. “There were sparks of greatness that during the match I felt like, ‘Wow, I’m playing great,’ ” McGee said in the players’ lounge, his mood already brightened an hour after defeat. “But I couldn’t maintain it consistently. Obviously really disappointed to have…
Launch media viewer Andy Murray practiced prior to the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia. Franck Robichon/European Pressphoto Agency MELBOURNE, Australia — For years, Andy Murray’s right hand shot so frequently to his back after arduous or even routine points that it sometimes seemed permanently attached. Murray looked, at times, like an old man, or at least a man far older than 26. His 2013 season was divided into the portion of the year in which he managed the back pain, triumphing at Wimbledon, and the portion of the year in which he shut down his schedule and opted for back…
Chinese magnate wants to buy New York Times Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao, pictured here with his canned fresh air, wants to buy the New York Times. Photo: Yuan Jianmin A spotlight-loving Chinese business mogul wants to expand his empire into media by purchasing The New York Times. Chen Guangbiao, who made his fortune recycling material from torn-down buildings, said on Tuesday that he plans to discuss the issue in January with "a leading shareholder" in New York, according to Reuters. "There's nothing that can't be bought for the right price," Chen told Reuters. Known for his showman flair, the multimillionaire…
据新闻有限公司网站报道,联邦教育部长佩恩(Christopher Pyne)认为,从学生能力国际评估考试(Programme for International Student Assessment,PISA)的结果可看出,金钱并非提升教育质量的答案。 艾伯特政府(Abbott government)计划废除一项“政治正确的”课程。该课程规定学生在学习数学的同时,也学习土著文化。课程也引导学生给出“合理的”答案而非准确的答案。 澳洲教育标准协会(Education Standards Institute)主管唐纳利( Kevin Donnelly)批评现在的教学课程是“只有宽度,没有深度”,认为需要加强“学术严谨性”。 “老师教授知识的范围过于广泛,这种状况在小学尤其突出。这导致了学生学习缺乏专注点,只能学到皮毛。”唐纳利说。 根据前工党政府(Labor government)制定的全国课程标准,在每一个科目的课堂上(不论科学课还是物理课),学生也必须顺带学习土著文化、环境可持续性及澳洲与亚洲关系等相关内容。 佩恩表示,应否保留这些“政治正确的”学习内容尚有待商榷。但数学科目的教育方式“必定存在问题”。 “教师用‘合理的’来评价学生的数学作业,这种做法需要接受检讨。澳洲需要严谨的科学及数学课程来提升学生的成绩,从而保持澳洲在未来的经济竞争力。”佩恩说。

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