US envoy meets Afghan leader

KABUL - President Barack Obama's new envoy to Afghanistan met with President Hamid Karzai on Saturday amid a downturn in U.S.-Afghan relations and an upswing in militant violence.

Karzai says he still has not spoken with Obama almost a month after his inauguration, a sign the Afghan president no longer enjoys the favored status he had under former President George W. Bush.

Obama has said the U.S. will increase its attention on Afghanistan under his tenure as the U.S. transitions out of Iraq. But the administration is still debating how to stem the Taliban tide and tackle the endemic corruption in Karzai's government more than seven years after the 2001 invasion.

17 killed in suspected US missile strike

ISLAMABAD - Dozens of followers of Pakistan's top Taliban commander were in a compound when a suspected U.S. missile attack hit Saturday, killing 27 militants in an al-Qaida stronghold near the Afghan border, officials said.

The strike appeared to be the deadliest yet by the American drone aircraft that prowl the frontier, and defied Pakistani warnings that the tactic is fueling extremism in the nuclear-armed Islamic nation.

Delays plague London airport

LONDON - Flights resumed but delays plagued London City Airport on Saturday, a day after 71 people escaped serious injury when their plane's front wheel gear collapsed upon landing.

About 65 flights were scheduled to leave the airport Saturday but some were delayed as long as three hours because of the previous night's disruption, which forced 11 incoming flights to divert, airport officials said.

The partial collapse of the landing gear on a British Airways passenger jet arriving from Amsterdam sent the plane scraping along the tarmac. All 71 people aboard escaped by emergency slides.

Iraqis increase pilgrim safety

BAGHDAD - Iraqi officials deployed 5,000 plainclothes military personnel south of Baghdad on Saturday, beefing up security in an attempt to stop deadly bombings against Shiite pilgrims that have plagued the country over the past three days, police said.

The increased security came a day after a female suicide bomber struck a tent filled with women and children resting during a pilgrimage to the Shiite holy city of Karbala, killing 40 people and wounding about 80 in the deadliest attack in Iraq this year.