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Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Former NFL player Bob "The Beast" Sapp isn't exactly a household name back home in the United States. But he's big in Japan. Very big. And soon he hopes to be living large — for a week, anyway — in North Korea. Shades of Dennis Rodman, anyone?

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia and Indonesia have reached an agreement that will heal a bilateral rift sparked last November by accusations that Australia had tapped the cell phones of the Indonesian president, his wife and eight Indonesian ministers and officials in 2009, an official said on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that she will fly to Jakarta soon to sign the code of conduct that Indonesia had insisted upon before diplomatic relations are normalized.

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A larger-than-life Australian mining magnate turned lawmaker, Clive Palmer, was widely accused Tuesday of threatening Australia's relationship with its biggest trading partner through an extraordinary tirade against China. The 60-year-old multi-millionaire called the Chinese "bastards" and "mongrels" and accused Beijing of trying to take over Australia during a nationally televised forum on Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Monday night.

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis says he wants dialogue with China and the only thing he asks in return is for the Catholic Church to be able to operate freely. The pope told reporters the church "only asks to have freedom to do its work. No other conditions."

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Thousands of protesters demanding Pakistan's prime minister step down prepared Tuesday to march on parliament in the capital, as authorities beefed up security to prevent possible violence. The demonstrators, who have camped out in Islamabad in two rallies since last week, are demanding that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif step down over alleged vote rigging in the 2013 parliamentary elections.

GOTEMBA, Japan (AP) — Japan's military is showcasing its ability to defend remote islands, as its role expands at home and abroad under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The military began large-scale annual "Fire Power" exercises on Tuesday at the foot of Mount Fuji. Defense officials said the exercises, which last until Sunday, are aimed at repelling a hypothetical invasion of far-off Japanese islands.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The remains of at least 15 Malaysians killed when a jetliner was shot down over Ukraine will be returned to their home country this week, the first Malaysian victims of the disaster to be flown home, the country's defense minister said Tuesday. All 298 people on board died when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down on July 17. The plane was heading to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam and was shot out of the sky over an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists. The victims included 43 Malaysians and 195 Dutch nationals.

BANGKOK (AP) — When Thailand's military ruler appears in public, he usually is seen in full military regalia. On Monday, addressing the nation's junta-appointed legislature to propose the upcoming fiscal year's budget, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha showed up in markedly different attire — a business-like dark blue suit with a sky blue tie.

BEIJING (AP) — The actor son of Hong Kong action superstar Jackie Chan has been detained in Beijing on drug-related charges, the latest high-profile celebrity to be ensnared in one of China's biggest anti-drug crackdowns in two decades. Jaycee Chan, 31, was detained last Thursday together with the 23-year-old Taiwanese movie star Kai Ko, Beijing police said late Monday on their official microblog, identifying them only by their surnames, ages and nationalities. It was unclear why the detentions were announced several days later.

BEIJING (AP) — An explosion Tuesday in a coal mine in eastern China trapped 27 workers underground, state media reported. Twelve other miners were lifted out of the privately owned mine in Huainan city in Anhui province after the blast, one of whom suffered burns, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

PATNA, India (AP) — A passenger train struck a crowded rickshaw, killing 21 people at a railway crossing in the eastern Indian state of Bihar, a railway official said Tuesday. All the passengers and the driver of the motorized rickshaw died in the accident that occurred late Monday near Semra, a town in Bihar, said Vinod Kumar, a railway police superintendent.

BEIJING (AP) — An overseas Uighur rights organization is protesting the Chinese government's use of drones in a security crackdown in the ethnic group's home region of Xinjiang, saying it would intensify tensions that have left dozens of people dead this year. The Washington D.C.-based Uyghur American Association demanded in a statement Monday that Beijing fully disclose its deployment of drones in an area where Chinese media say a July 28 terror attack left 96 people dead, including 59 attackers who were shot by police.

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese man detained more than three months ago on charges of fabricating stories that disparaged the Chinese government was released on parole on Tuesday, authorities said, in a sign that he likely will not be charged. Police citied poor health and remorse for releasing Xiang Nanfu, a 62-year-old contributor to the U.S.-based Chinese-language news website Boxun.com.

BEIJING (AP) — Two people have died in a Tibetan region of southwestern China after they were injured by police gunfire while protesting the detention of a local leader, overseas Tibetan rights groups said. One protester committed suicide Sunday in police custody in the town of Louxu while another died that same day from untreated wounds, the British-based group Free Tibet and the U.S.-based International Campaign for Tibet said Monday.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese police have released a man detained more than three months ago on charges of fabricating stories that disparaged the Chinese government. Beijing police announced Tuesday that Xiang Nanfu, a contributor to the U.S.-based Chinese-language news website Boxun.com, was released on parole, in a sign that he will likely not be charged. They cited his poor health and remorse.

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