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In Brief

In Brief

Climber defends choice to leave man
WELLINGTON, New Zealand
A disabled New Zealand mountaineer criticized for failing to help a dying British climber on his way to the summit of Mount Everest said yesterday there was nothing he could have done to save the man.
Mark Inglis, who reportedly became the first double amputee to scale the world's highest mountain, was responding to criticism by Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary, who condemned the climber for leaving the man to die.
British climber David Sharp, 34, of Guisborough, died in a snow cave 300 meters from the mountain's peak, apparently from oxygen deprivation suffered during his solo descent from the summit.
More than 40 climbers are thought to have seen Sharp as he lay dying, and almost all continued to the summit without offering assistance.
Pursuing fugitives
BEIJING, China
China is pursuing some 500 fugitive officials abroad on corruption charges, a state newspaper reported yesterday, as the government pressed Canada to repatriate a top smuggling suspect.
A total of 320 officials accused of corruption have been repatriated, while about 500 are at large, the newspaper said, citing the ministry.
They are accused of stealing public money or property totaling nearly 70 billion yuan (US$8.7 billion), the report said. It didn't say where the officials were believed to be living.
Many countries are reluctant to repatriate Chinese suspects because of Beijing's frequent use of capital punishment. Courts regularly sentence convicts to death for such nonviolent offenses as smuggling or tax evasion.
Protecting vultures
NEW DELHI, India
India has banned the production and sale of an anti-inflammatory drug used in cattle that is poisoning the country's vultures one step up the food chain.
Vultures fulfil a vital role, stripping down animal carcasses that would otherwise slowly rot and attract disease-spreading feral dogs and vermin.
But the number of South Asia's Oriental white-backed, long-billed and slender-billed vultures has plummeted more than 97 percent over 15 years, which scientists say is largely due to the widespread use of the drug diclofenac in cattle, which causes fatal liver damage in vultures.
"This ban is exceptionally good news and the crucial step we have all been looking for," said Chris Bowden, head of the Asian Vulture program at Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, in a statement.
Annan visits Hanoi
HANOI, Vietnam
The U.N. secretary-general visited the mausoleum of Vietnam's revolutionary leader and the ornate presidential palace yesterday while visiting a nation that has overcome its war-torn past to build a fast-growing economy.
Annan met with government leaders on Vietnam's efforts to meet the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals, which governments worldwide pledged to achieve by 2015. The goals include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, providing primary education to children and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Annan arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam's capital, from China as part of an Asian tour. His next stop is Thailand.


Updated : 2021-10-21 19:12 GMT+08:00