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Archive for Saturday, May 25, 2002

World Briefs

May 25, 2002

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Nepal: Italian climber becomes oldest on Everest

A 66-year-old Italian man scaled Mount Everest Friday, becoming the oldest person to climb the world's highest mountain, according to the China Tibet Mountaineering Assn.

Mario Curnis, whose hometown was not known, reached the 29,035-foot summit Friday morning with another Italian climber, Simone Morro, and Nepali Sherpa guide Ang Mingma. It was Mingma's third time on the summit.

They reached the peak from the northern side of the mountain in Tibet, and details reaching Katmandu were sketchy.

Curnis' feat breaks the record set by Japanese climber Tomiyasu Ishikawa, of Nagoya, who scaled the peak last week at the age of 65 years and five months.

Last week, another Japanese climber, Tamae Watanabe, became the oldest woman to scale the peak, at age 63.

India: Fire in shoe factory kills at least 40

A fire engulfed a shoe factory Friday in northern India, killing at least 40 people and injuring several others, news reports said.

The death toll could rise as many people were feared trapped inside the factory in Agra, 110 miles southeast of New Delhi, United News of India quoted Mahesh Kumar Gupta, the top government administrator, as saying.

The news agency said an electrical short-circuit had caused the fire.

Army and air force fire engines joined efforts to extinguish the fire and rescue those trapped inside the building.

Netherlands: Bosnian Serb pleads innocent to 46 counts

A Bosnian Serb accused of torturing, raping and murdering prisoners in Bosnian detention camps pleaded innocent Friday to 46 counts of war crimes.

Dusan, "Dusko," Knezevic, 34, is accused of atrocities in the Bosnian Serb-run Omarska and Keraterm camps, where thousands of detainees were beaten, starved, sexually abused and many were killed in 1992 during the Bosnian war.

Knezevic surrendered May 18 in Banja Luka, Bosnia, and was transferred to the U.N. war crimes tribunal's detention unit in The Hague.

Knezevic was one of the so-called camp visitors who came to kill, beat, or abuse the Bosnian Muslim and Croat prisoners, according to the indictment against him.

Toronto: Jews may be in danger, Canadian officials warn

A synagogue or other gathering place for Ottawa's Jewish community could be attacked in June, police and city officials warned Friday.

A security advisory issued by Ottawa police said unconfirmed information about a possible attack "raised a serious enough concern" to warn the public.

City police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were unable to either confirm or disprove the threat. No details were made public except that the threat involved a possible synagogue attack in June.

Police Chief Vince Bevan and Mayor Bob Chiarelli wrote a letter to the city's Jewish community saying police would be particularly vigilant and had formulated a response plan to any possible attack.

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