US says pirate attacks continue

MOGADISHU, Somalia - There have been four failed pirate attacks in the last 24 hours off the lawless Somali coast despite the presence of six American warships guarding a hijacked ship full of weapons, a U.S. navy spokeswoman said.

Navy Commander Jane Campbell, from the 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said three attacks were averted because crew members escaped at high speed.

Another attack was foiled because the pirates were badly prepared: The ladder they had brought to climb onto the ship was too short.

US helicopters collide in Iraq

BAGHDAD - Two U.S. helicopters collided while landing at a base in Baghdad on Saturday, killing one Iraqi soldier and wounding four people, including two Americans, the military said. It was the second helicopter crash in two weeks.

The U.S. military said hostile fire did not appear to be the cause.

Nuclear deal lauded by officials

NEW DELHI, India - The top American and Indian diplomats lauded a new agreement that opens up U.S. nuclear trade with India, but they stopped short of signing the deal Saturday. Some private U.S. arms control experts said the pact probably will speed up nuclear arms competition in Asia.

Some U.S. officials had said as recently as Friday that they expected Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Indian counterpart, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, to sign the agreement Saturday. The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation authorizing President Bush to make the deal.

Kim makes public appearance

SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea's official news agency said Saturday that leader Kim Jong Il attended a soccer game in Pyongyang - his first public appearance in more than a month.

The 66-year-old leader had not been seen in public since mid-August. U.S. and South Korean officials say he suffered a stroke. Officials in North Korea have denied Kim's illness.

Politics scuttle diplomatic plan

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has shelved plans to set up a diplomatic outpost in Iran, in part over fears it could affect the U.S. presidential race or be interpreted as political meddling, The Associated Press learned Saturday.