US making plans for Iran nuke strategy

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is quietly laying the groundwork for long-range strategy that could be used to contain a nuclear-equipped Iran and deter its leaders from using atomic weapons.

U.S. officials insist they are not resigned to a nuclear Iran and are pressing negotiations to prevent it from joining the world's nuclear club. But at the same time, the administration has set in place the building blocks of policies to contend with an Iran armed with atomic weapons.

Those elements, former officials and analysts said, include the newly revised defense shield for Europe and deeper defense ties to Gulf states that feel threatened by Iran.

Japanese hope Obama will visit A-bomb cities

TOKYO - A speech and a Nobel prize have raised hopes in Japan that Barack Obama will become the first sitting American president to visit Hiroshima or Nagasaki, the two cities devastated by U.S. atomic bombs in World War II.

Past presidents have avoided a visit that could raise controversy at home, and U.S. officials say it is highly unlikely Obama will travel to either city during a two-day stop in Tokyo next month.

Search ongoing for couple in pirate zone

MOGADISHU, Somalia - International naval forces hunted on Tuesday for Paul and Rachel Chandler, a British couple feared taken by Somali pirates while sailing from the Seychelles islands, and as night fell units were trailing three suspicious vessels.

Cmdr. John Harbour of the European Union Naval Force said one of its helicopters spotted a yacht towing two skiffs about 200 miles from the pirate stronghold of Haradhere. He said it was too dark to read the vessel's name but its location suggested it could be the Chandlers' yacht.

8 troop deaths make month deadliest in Afghan war

KABUL - Eight American troops were killed in two separate bomb attacks Tuesday in southern Afghanistan, making October the deadliest month of the war for U.S. forces since the 2001 invasion to oust the Taliban.

In one of the insurgent assaults, seven Americans were killed while patrolling in armored vehicles, U.S. forces spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Vician said.