TOKYO - U.S. President Barack Obama assured ally Japan on Thursday that Washington was committed to its defense, including of tiny isles at the heart of a row with China, but denied he had drawn any new "red line" and urged peaceful dialogue over the islands.
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PERTH/MELBOURNE - Authorities ruled out any link between debris picked up on an Australian beach and a missing Malaysian jetliner on Thursday as a tropical cyclone again threatened to hamper a 26-nation air, surface and underwater search of the Indian Ocean.
KABUL - At least three foreigners were killed when a security guard opened fire at an international hospital in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Thursday, Afghan security sources said.
BANGKOK - Alarmed by the prospect of bloodshed in Thailand as a six-month political crisis nears a critical juncture, former Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has called for talks between the government and its foes, urging compromise to restore stability.
SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc's mobile advertising business accelerated in the first three months of the year, helping the Internet social networking company top Wall Street's financial targets.
DONETSK/SLAVIANSK, Ukraine - One is a dapper former croupier and promoter of Ponzi scams run by "Russia's Bernie Madoff"; the other is a burly Soviet Navy veteran turned soap factory boss, with a shifting gaze and a glint of gold teeth.
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Justice has named Marshall Miller as the new No. 2 official in its criminal division, after a spate of departures thinned its top ranks, according to an internal memo obtained on Wednesday.
WASHINGTON - The United States would have to reconsider its assistance to the Palestinians if Islamist group Hamas and the Palestinian Liberation Organization form a government together, a senior U.S. administration official said on Thursday.