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Obama uses Japan visit to reassure wary Asian allies

TOKYO - U.S. President Barack Obama used a state visit to Japan on Thursday to try to reassure Asian allies of his commitment to ramping up U.S. engagement in the region, despite Chinese complaints that his real aim is to contain Beijing's rise.

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Australia rules out link between debris and Malaysian plane

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.

Australia 12:06am EDT

Russia says it will respond if Ukraine interests attacked

KIEV - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused the United States of being behind the political upheaval in Ukraine and said Moscow would respond if its interests came under attack. | Video

Russia 1:15am EDT

Japan's Abe: Continue to gain understanding of his Yasukuni visit

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that he will continue to explain his visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine for war dead to gain understanding from neighboring Asian countries.

Japan 12:51am EDT

Pakistan fighter jets target militant hideouts near Afghan border

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani fighter jets pounded suspected militant hideouts near the Afghan border on Thursday in response to a spate of attacks around the country, the army said, in the first aerial operation against Taliban insurgents in two months.

Afghanistan 1:04am EDT

Japan's Mitsui pays China to release seized ship-court

BEIJING/TOKYO - Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd paid about $29 million for the release of a ship seized by China over a dispute that dates back to the 1930s war between the countries, China's Supreme Court said on Thursday.

12:53am EDT

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