ASIA:

JAPAN-MERKEL-HISTORY

TOKYO — German Chancellor Angela Merkel says on a visit to Japan, where bitter disputes mark the country's attempts to define its wartime actions, that Germany was able to return to a respected place in international society because of its efforts to squarely face its World War II atrocities. By Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 270 words, photos.

JAPAN-WWII-FIREBOMBING

TOKYO — It was not Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but in many ways, including lives lost, it was just as horrific. On March 10, 1945, U.S. B-29 bombers flew over Tokyo in the dead of night, dumping massive payloads of cluster bombs equipped with a then-recent invention: napalm. A fifth of Tokyo was left a smoldering expanse of charred bodies and rubble. By Elaine Kurtenbach and Mari Yamaguchi. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

— JAPAN-WWII-MEMORIES-BURIED ALIVE — A woman who survived the firebombing of Tokyo thanks to others who piled on top of her. SENT: 200 words, photos.

— JAPAN-WWII-MEMORIES-CIVIL SERVANT — A woman who survived Tokyo's firebombing under a bridge. SENT: 200 words, photos.

SKOREA-AMBASSADOR HURT

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea's president visits injured U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert amid an outpouring of public sympathy and support for the envoy, who is recovering from an attack by a knife-wielding man. By Hyung-jin Kim. SENT: 400 words, photos.

JAPAN-STABBING SPREE

OSAKA, Japan — Five people are killed in their homes in a stabbing spree in rural Japan, police say, in a rare case of major violence in the country. By Yuki Urakawa. SENT: 200 words, photos.

INDONESIA-EXECUTIONS

CANBERRA, Australia — Relatives of two Australian death row prisoners make their first visit to the Indonesian prison island where the convicted drug traffickers are to be executed soon by firing squads. By Rod McGuirk. SENT: 400 words.

THAILAND-GRENADE ATTACK

BANGKOK — Thailand's national police chief says two suspects arrested after a weekend grenade attack at a Bangkok courthouse are connected to the people behind a bombing at an upscale shopping mall in the capital over a month ago. By Thanyarat Doksone. SENT: 340 words.

PHILIPPINES-MUSLIM REBELS

MANILA, Philippines — The military says it killed 73 hard-line Muslim rebels and a suspected foreign militant in a three-week offensive in the restive south, where 44 anti-terror police commandos were killed in January in a clash with insurgents. SENT: 130 words.

PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani court upholds the death sentence of a former police commando convicted of killing a provincial governor he had accused of blasphemy. SENT: 370 words.

CHINA-ACTIVISTS DETAINED

BEIJING — Five Chinese feminist activists remain in police custody after authorities detained at least 10 women's rights proponents across the country in the run-up to International Women's Day, according to a Chinese activist. SENT: 290 words.

HONG KONG-IATA-AIR SAFETY

HONG KONG — The number of deaths in jetliner disasters spiked last year despite there being fewer accidents in total, an international airline industry group says. By Kelvin Chan. SENT: 400 words.

THE WEEK THAT WAS IN ASIA-PHOTO GALLERY

With military bands and high security, China opens its annual National People's Congress in Beijing's Great Hall of the People, while across India many Hindus douse themselves in bright colors to celebrate the Holi, the festival of colors. SENT: 170 words, photos.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE:

JAPAN-ECONOMY

TOKYO — Japan's economy escaped recession last quarter but grew less than first estimated as demand and wages remained weak, the government says. By Elaine Kurtenbach. SENT, photos.

U.S. AND INTERNATIONAL:

ISLAMIC STATE

BEIRUT — Syrian activists and Kurdish officials say a German woman fighting alongside Kurdish militiament against the Islamic State group has been killed. SENT: 290 words.

BULL MARKET-SIXTH ANNIVERSARY-Q&A

NEW YORK — In 2009, the housing market had collapsed, Lehman Brothers had gone under, the U.S. was in a deep recession, and stocks had plunged 57 percent from their high in October 2007. Fast forward six years, and investors are enjoying one of the longest bull markets since the 1940s. By Steve Rothwell. SENT: 1,100 words, photos, interactive.

APPLE EVENT

SAN FRANCISCO — All eyes on Apple as tech giant releases its smartwatch. Is this the next Apple device you didn't know you needed but won't be able to live without? By Nick Jesdanun and Brandon Bailey. SENT: 820 words, photos.

SOLAR PLANE

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — With its wings stretched wide to catch the sun's energy, a Swiss-made solar-powered aircraft takes off from Abu Dhabi just after daybreak in a historic first attempt to fly around the world without a drop of fossil fuel. By Aya Batrawy. SENT: 860 words, photos, video.

BOKO HARAM

N'DJAMENA, Chad — Forces from Chad and Niger open a new front in the regional military fight against the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, as army vehicles full of soldiers cross the border into northeast Nigeria. By Krista Larson and Dalatou Mamane. SENT: 470 words, photo.

ISRAEL-FEMALE POLITICIANS

JERUSALEM — A minor revolution is underway in Israel, with the country's female candidates scoring top spots in party primaries across the board, setting them up to claim key ministries and positions of power in the next government. By Tia Goldenberg. SENT: 620 words, photos.

TRADE-CURRENCY MANIPULATION

WASHINGTON — Supporters of President Barack Obama's trade agenda are battling opponents' demands that China be barred from keeping its currency value artificially low, a way to subsidize exports. China isn't a party to the pending 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that Obama hopes to send Congress this year. By Charles Babington. SENT: 440 words, photos.

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YOUR QUERIES: The editor in charge at the AP Asia-Pacific Desk in Bangkok is David Thurber. Questions and story requests are welcome. The news desk can be reached at (66) 2632-6911 or by email at asia@ap.org.

The Asia Photo Desk can be reached at (81-3) 6215-8941 or by fax at (81-3) 3574-8850.

Between 1600 GMT and 0000 GMT, please refer queries to the North America Desk in New York at (1) 212-621-1650.