7 S. Korean climbers killed, 2 are missing
KATHMANDU — Seven people, including South Korean climbers, were killed and two more are missing on Gurja Himal mountain after a strong storm swept through their base camp, Nepalese police said Saturday.
A storm Friday night destroyed their camp and two rescue helicopters sent early Saturday were unable to land because of bad weather conditions on the mountain, said police official Bir Bahadur Budamagar.
Villagers who reached base camp Saturday afternoon found the bodies of four South Korean climbers, two Nepalese guides and another person yet to be identified, while the search was continuing for two more, Budamagar said.
There were five South Korean climbers and four Nepalese guides in the camp when the strong storm hit.
It was unlikely the weather would clear on Saturday and helicopter flights were likely to be possible only on Sunday.
Police use tear gas
to protect rights march
WARSAW — Polish police used tear gas and a water cannon Saturday against right-wing extremists who were trying to block the first equality parade in the city of Lublin in eastern Poland.
More than 1,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights activists with rainbow-colored flags and banners gathered Saturday in Lublin for the parade, while around 300 right-wing opponents stood in the march’s way.
Police used tear gas, concussion grenades and high-pressured water to disperse them.
The right-wing protesters pelted police with stones and dispersed, but some small groups tried to get through the police cordon that was protecting the march.
The colorful parade then proceeded undisturbed.
The march took place after Lublin’s Court of Appeals on Friday overruled a ban by Mayor Krzysztof Zuk, who had cited security concerns as his reason for banning the parade.
Gay rights parades have been taking place for years in Warsaw, the capital, and many other cities in predominantly Catholic Poland, but the ruling conservative party is not supportive of gay rights groups.
Volcano spews ash months after eruption
MEXICO CITY — Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire is spewing ash just months after an eruption killed at least 110 people.
The country’s seismology and volcanology institute said Saturday that hot lava is spilling from the crater and flowing toward a ravine.
Constant rumblings from the volcano sounded like an engine, and columns of gray ash were shooting 15,091 feet into the air.
Authorities asked nearby residents to evacuate and be alert for possible lahars — flows of mud, debris, water and pyroclastic material — that could be fed by afternoon rains.
The Volcano of Fire is one of the most active in Central America.
Dozens of people were buried alive or burned beyond recognition in June when the volcano expelled smoldering gas, ash and rock, catching residents off guard.
PM agrees to resume searches for US MIAs
PHNOM PENH — Cambodia’s prime minister says he has agreed to the resumption of U.S. military-led missions to search for the remains of Americans missing in action during the Vietnam War, following an appeal from two U.S. state lawmakers.
The long-running program was suspended a year ago after the U.S. government stopped issuing visas to senior Cambodian Foreign Ministry officials and their families.
The tit-for-tat move came amid sharply deteriorating relations between the two countries.
In a letter released on Saturday addressed to Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen and Washington state Rep. Vincent Buys, both Republicans, Prime Minister Hun Sen said he appreciated their understanding of “Cambodia’s ongoing socio-economic and democratic progress,” and was agreeing to remove the block “in the same compassionate spirit.”
Hun Sen and his inner circle have come under concerted pressure from Western countries for a crackdown on all opposition in the run-up to this past July’s general election, a poll that was widely derided as a sham.
Earlier this month, the European Union said it was starting to remove trade preferences from Cambodia, which could badly hit the country’s key garment industry.
The Associated Press