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Gates: U.S. Military Remains Committed to Asia

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday said the U.S. military will preserve its presence in the Pacific despite possible Pentagon budget cuts.

Gates, speaking during a stop in Hawaii, said he planned to tell a security conference in Singapore this week that budget pressures would not alter Washington's role in Asia.

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Pakistan Orders Probe into bin Laden Fiasco

Pakistan on Tuesday ordered an investigation to discover "the full facts" of how Osama bin Laden lived undetected, likely for years, on its soil until being killed in a U.S. commando raid on May 2.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced that an independent commission would probe the circumstances of the al-Qaida chief's presence in Abbottabad, a garrison town north of Islamabad, where he was gunned down by U.S. Navy SEALs.

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Pakistani Journalist Found Dead near Capital

A Pakistani journalist has been found dead near the capital Islamabad after writing about links between the Pakistani military and al-Qaida, officials said Tuesday.

Syed Saleem Shahzad, 40, worked for an Italian news agency and an online news site registered in Hong Kong. He went missing on Sunday after he left his home in the capital to take part in a television talk show, but never arrived.

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China Vows to Respond to ‘Reasonable Demands’ of Inner Mongolia protesters

Ethnic demonstrations in Inner Mongolia will be handled according to the law and the government will respond to "reasonable demands" from protesters, a Chinese government spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministry's Jiang Yu said the government would take necessary measures to protect the interests of all groups, but would also act against troublemakers.

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IKEA Fireworks Caused Blasts at Several Stores in Europe

Small explosions from booby-trapped products at three Ikea stores in Belgium, France and the Netherlands this week were caused by fireworks, the Swedish furniture giant said Tuesday.

The blasts Monday in stores in the western Belgian city of Ghent, Lille in northern France and Eindhoven in The Netherlands were caused by "small fireworks devices," Ikea spokeswoman Charlotte Lindgren told Agence France Presse.

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Berlin Summons Iran Envoy for Closing Airspace to Merkel Plane

Iran briefly closed its airspace to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's plane as she flew for a visit to India on Tuesday, delaying her arrival and sparking a diplomatic row.

Merkel was held up as she flew overnight on Monday-Tuesday for a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil in New Delhi.

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Karzai Says NATO Risks Becoming 'Occupying Force'

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Tuesday the U.S.-led NATO military in Afghanistan risks becoming an "occupying force" if aerial bombings which cause civilian casualties continue.

His outspoken remarks came days after he issued a "last warning" to foreign forces over civilian casualties following Saturday's killing of what he said was 14 civilians including women and children in an air strike.

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Obama Names General Martin Dempsey Top U.S. Military Official‎

U.S. President Barack Obama announced Army General Martin Dempsey as his choice to succeed Admiral Mike Mullen as chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff Monday, rounding out an overhaul of his national security team in his third year in office.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright had long been rumored to be Obama's favorite, and the president singled him out for praise at Monday's Rose Garden announcement. But he turned instead to Dempsey, an accomplished veteran of the Iraq war, to succeed Mullen.

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Germany to Shut All Nuclear Plants by 2022

Germany on Monday became the first major industrialized power to agree an end to nuclear power in the wake of the disaster in Japan, with a phase-out due to be completed by 2022.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said the decision, hammered out by her center-right coalition overnight, and marked the start of a "fundamental" rethink of energy policy in the world's number four economy.

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N. Korea Won't Deal with Seoul Government, Threatens to ‘Retaliate to Psychological Warfare’

North Korea said Monday it would no longer deal with South Korea and threatened to retaliate against any moves by Seoul to wage "psychological warfare".

The North's powerful National Defense Commission (NDC) said in a statement it would also cut a military communications line on the east coast and shut a liaison office at the jointly-run Mount Kumgang resort.

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