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Obama reassures Japan, other allies on China as Asia trip begins

TOKYO - U.S. President Barack Obama has said Washington welcomes China's rise but that engagement with Beijing would not come at the expense of its Asian allies - as Chinese state media greeted his arrival in the region with a broadside accusing the United States of wanting to "cage" the emerging superpower. | Video

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'Bridgegate' scandal threatens next World Trade Center tower

NEW YORK - The "Bridgegate" scandal that rocked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration earlier this year is threatening a deal that would allow developer Larry Silverstein to finish building the next World Trade Center skyscraper.

Politics, U.S. 6:44am EDT

Hole in Afghan budget stirs unease as West starts packing bags

KABUL - A $375 million hole in the Afghan budget is threatening public projects and civil servants' salaries, officials say, putting the aid-dependent economy under stress just as Afghanistan awaits a new leader and foreign troops prepare to go home.

Afghanistan, World 6:45am EDT

Chinese factories stalling as euro zone business picks up

LONDON/BEIJING - Chinese factory activity shrank for the fourth straight month in April but private businesses across the euro zone enjoyed their best month in nearly three years, surveys showed on Wednesday.

6:45am EDT

Australia, Malaysia vow to keep searching to solve plane mystery

PERTH, Australia - Australia and Malaysia vowed on Wednesday to keep searching for a missing Malaysian plane despite no sign of wreckage after almost seven weeks, and as bad weather again grounded aircraft and an undersea drone neared the end of its first full mission.

Paying for giant Nile dam itself, Ethiopia thwarts Egypt but takes risks

ADDIS ABABA - Ethiopia's bold decision to pay for a huge dam itself has overturned generations of Egyptian control over the Nile's waters, and may help transform one of the world's poorest countries into a regional hydropower hub.

3:09am EDT
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U.S. top court upholds Michigan ban on college affirmative action

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday further undermined the use of racial preferences in higher education by upholding a voter-approved Michigan law that banned the practice in decisions on which students to admit to state universities.

Two policemen, militant killed in Egypt

CAIRO/ALEXANDRIA - An Egyptian police officer and a militant were killed during a security operation near Alexandria on Wednesday, and another senior officer died after a bomb blew up his car near Cairo, the Interior Ministry said.