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Kerry Appears at Senate Confirmation Hearing

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Kerry, the wealthiest U.S. senator, has promised to divest his expansive holdings in companies that could prove a conflict of interest to the nation's top diplomat. Those holdings include companies that do business with the U.S. government and others that could be affected by diplomatic decisions.

Kerry was seen as a possibility for Secretary of State when President Barack Obama first took office, but he was passed over for Hillary Clinton, who has served four years and is expected to step down soon.

Senator Robert Menendez is to succeed Kerry as Foreign Relations Committee chairman.

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FILE - President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland en route to Southeast Asia, November 17, 2012.

Video Obama to Reassure Asian Allies

China is not on the itinerary, but with its efforts to control parts of the East and South China Sea, Beijing is on the minds of Obama and the allies he is visiting More