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Military And Defense

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The South Korean and U.S. defense chiefs met Thursday for their annual talks, as Washington pushes to reinforce alliances with its partners to curb mounting challenges from China and increasing North Korean nuclear threats.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of the omicron variant Wednesday — in a vaccinated traveler who returned to California after a trip to South Africa — as scientists around the world race to establish whether the new, mutant version of the coronavirus is more dangerous than previous ones.

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine troops killed eight suspected communist guerrillas in a jungle clash Wednesday near a central town, foiling a plan by the insurgents to attack a military outpost to mark the anniversary of their decades-long rebellion, military officials said.

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in South Korea on Wednesday for annual security talks expected to bolster the countries' decades-long military alliance in the face of North Korean nuclear threats and mounting challenges from China.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand will send up to 65 military and police personnel to the Solomon Islands in the coming days after rioting and looting broke out there last week over several issues, including concerns about the country’s increasing links with China.

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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski on Tuesday applied freshly adopted regulations and declared an area along the nation's border with Belarus off-limits to everyone except residents and people who live, work or study in the designated no-access zone.

WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of study, the Pentagon has decided no immediate major changes are needed in the global positioning of U.S. forces, although it will further analyze force needs in the Middle East and make refinements in Asia and the Pacific, officials said Monday.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday rejected a request by Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt that his state's National Guard be exempt from a Pentagon requirement that all military members be vaccinated against COVID-19.

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MOSCOW (AP) — Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Monday accused Lithuanian authorities of dumping the bodies of migrants on the border between the two countries — a claim rejected by Lithuania amid soaring border tensions between Belarus and its European Union neighbors.

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TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, at his first troop review Saturday, renewed his pledge to consider “all options,” including acquiring enemy base strike capability, and vowed to create a stronger Self-Defense Force to protect the country amid growing threats from China and North Korea.

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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The widow of South Korea’s last military dictator issued a brief apology over the “pains and scars” caused by her husband’s brutal rule as dozens of relatives and former aides gathered at a Seoul hospital on Saturday to pay their final respects to Chun Doo-hwan.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats wielded demands to fix the nation’s broken immigration system as a cudgel against Republicans in the 2020 campaign. Elect us, went the argument, and we’ll stop the cruel treatment of migrants at the border, and put in place lasting and humane policies that work.

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s Cabinet on Friday approved a 770 billion yen ($6.8 billion) request for an extra defense budget through March to expedite the purchase of missiles, anti-submarine rockets and other weapons amid rising concern over the escalation of military activities by China, Russia and North Korea.

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