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Islamic State purportedly sets new deadline for hostage swap

AMMAN/TOKYO - An audio message purportedly from a Japanese journalist being held by Islamic State militants said a Jordanian air force pilot also captured by the group would be killed unless an Iraqi female prisoner in Jordan was released by sunset on Thursday. | Video

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China to widen anti-graft inspections of armed forces

BEIJING - China's powerful Central Military Commission will widen anti-graft inspections of the country's armed forces, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, as part of Beijing's sweeping campaign to weed out corruption.

China 4:23am EST

Sudan rebels to free Bulgarian aid workers this week: air carrier

SOFIA - Six Bulgarian aid workers detained by Sudanese rebels after their helicopter made an emergency landing in a war-torn part of Sudan are expected to be freed on Thursday or Friday at the latest, the aircraft's operator said.

4:51am EST

U.S. would welcome Japan air patrols in South China Sea

TOKYO - The United States would welcome a move by Japan to extend air patrols into the South China Sea as a counterweight to a growing fleet of Chinese vessels pushing Beijing's territorial claims in the region, a senior U.S. Navy officer told Reuters.

China, Japan 2:17am EST

French co-pilot flying AirAsia jet before crash: investigators

JAKARTA - The French first officer of an AirAsia passenger jet that crashed into the sea last month was at the controls just before the accident, Indonesia's lead investigator said on Thursday.

Indonesia 5:14am EST

Ambulance attacks open wound of Roma relations in Bulgaria

VRACHESH, Bulgaria - When Bulgarian doctor Irena Marinova arrived in an ambulance at the home of a pregnant Roma woman in November, she says she was beaten up by two men who accused her of being late.

1:04am EST

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