World News: Undersea robots fit tighter cap to leaking oil pipeline

ROBOTS have attached a new, tighter-fitting cap on the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, offering hope of containing the spill for the first time since BP's deepwater rig exploded in April.

Placing the cap on the well was the climax of two days of delicate preparation work and a day of slowly lowering it into position a mile below the sea.

The previous looser cap had allowed crude to escape, but BP hopes the new one will allow all the oil to be captured and funnelled up to ships.

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The next unknown is whether the 18-foot high stack of metal pipes and valves will work. BP was starting tests today, gradually shutting the valves to see if the oil stops or if it starts leaking from another part of the well.

As part of the operation, BP is also currently drilling two relief wells so it can pump mud and cement into the leaking well for a permanent fix.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration has issued a new moratorium on deep-water offshore drilling that is no longer based on water depth and stresses new evidence of safety problems.

It hopes the revised ban will stand up in court after the initial one was rejected.

Three dead after town hit by landslide

CHINA: A landslide struck a mountain town in southwest China early today, killing at least three people.

A further 56 are missing after the rain-soaked mountainside collapsed and swept through Xiaohe town in Yunnan province.

NICARAGUA: Former president Arnoldo Aleman has been chosen to stand in next year's election, setting up a likely showdown with his longtime political rival, current President Daniel Ortega.

Winfrey is in line for a biopic

THE end of Oprah Winfrey's quarter-century run on US daytime TV may be accompanied by a TV drama about her life.

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The planned film would be based on Kitty Kelley's controversial biography of the star, and would air in September 2011 to coincide with the last of Winfrey's shows.

Castro fears a nuclear war

TENSIONS between the United States and both North Korea and Iran could ultimately trigger a global nuclear war, according to former Cuban president Fidel Castro.

He made the comment in his most prominent TV interview since he fell seriously ill four years ago.

Polanski blast for the Swiss

The lawyer prosecuting Roman Polanski in Los Angeles has blasted the Swiss government's refusal to extradite the director.

Polanski fled the United States on the eve of sentencing in 1978 after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

District Attorney Steve Cooley said he was "deeply disappointed" with the decision and claimed it was a "disservice to justice and other victims as a whole".

Forget about feeding elephants

TOURISTS risk being fined if they feed elephants in Thailand's capital Bangkok.

Authorities said anyone caught handing bunches of bananas or sugar cane to the beasts -proffered by their handlers to make money - faces a fine of just over 200..

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