One-legged man climbs peak
A Hungarian climber who lost his right leg in a climbing accident last year has scaled the world’s fourth-highest mountain with a prosthetic leg, his expedition said. Romanian-born Zsolt Eross, 43, who in 2002 became the first Hungarian to reach the top of Mount Everest, the world’s tallest mountain, reached the 8,516m peak of Lhotse on Saturday. New Zealander Mark Inglis set the gold standard among amputee climbers in 2006, when he became the first double amputee to summit Everest.
Widow wins rights to sperm
A woman yesterday won a court battle to use her dead husband’s sperm to have a baby in a landmark case in New South Wales, where in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment is banned without consent of the donor. Jocelyn Edwards, 40, and husband Mark had discussed fertility treatment after she failed to fall pregnant and they were due to sign IVF consent forms on Aug. 6 last year. However, the husband died in a workplace accident the day before. His sperm was collected after his death and his widow has been fighting since then to win control over it. New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Robert Hulme found in her favour as the administrator of her late husband’s estate. However, she cannot have the sperm inseminated in New South Wales. “It’s the right decision. Mark would be so happy, we’re going to have our baby. That’s what I plan to do,” Edwards told reporters outside the court. “I just want to get past today, enjoy the moment. It’s been a long, long, long, difficult time,” she added.
UN probing nuclear crisis
A team of specialists from the UN atomic watchdog arrived yesterday to join other international experts investigating Japan’s nuclear crisis. A six-strong delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) flew to Tokyo’s Narita airport from Vienna in preparation for a fact-finding mission from May 24 to June 2. In all, a 20-member mission will compile a report on the emergency to be presented to IAEA member states next month at a ministerial-level conference in Vienna.
Bomb kills one, wounds four
An officer was killed and four soldiers were wounded in a roadside bombing in the Logar region of Afghanistan on Sunday, the army said. An army spokesman said an army humanitarian convoy was hit, naming the dead officer as Majed Omar Abu Kudairi. The lives of the four soldiers wounded were not in danger. The country says it has troops in Afghanistan on a no-combat humanitarian mission, and it has since last year undertaken the training of Afghan police at the request of NATO. However, it admits having fought the Taliban in Afghanistan after a suicide bombing carried out by a Jordanian militant in January last year that killed six CIA members and an officer in the country’s intelligence service.
Mining accidents kill 13
Thirteen people were killed in two coal mine accidents on the weekend, state media said yesterday, the latest fatal incidents to strike the nation’s notoriously dangerous collieries. In Hunan Province, seven people were killed and one injured late on Sunday in a gas accident at a mine in Lengshuijiang, Xinhua reported. Earlier on Sunday, six people were killed and 27 hurt in a similar incident in Sichuan Province. Nearly 200 people were working at the mine in Rongxian county at the time, but most escaped.
Feminists pan sexist talk
About 500 people turned out in Paris on Sunday for a protest by feminist groups against a wave of sexist commentary generated by IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s arrest. Strauss-Kahn, who had been favorite to win next year’s French presidential election, was charged with sexual assault, kidnapping and attempted rape in New York last week after an alleged assault on a hotel maid. While he was pilloried abroad, many of his French supporters took to the airwaves, blogs and newspaper columns to defend him, attack US justice and, in some cases, to question the integrity of the alleged victim. The feminists anger was turned on male commentators in the media — one magazine editor dismissed the attack as “touching up the help.”
EU condemns Sudan action
The EU on Sunday condemned the fighting in Sudan’s flashpoint Abyei district, where government troops earlier overran fighters of the south’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said it violated the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the two sides to end the civil war. EU foreign ministers would be considering the crisis at their scheduled meeting in Brussels, she added. Ashton’s statement followed an appeal earlier on Sunday by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who condemned the fighting in Abyei district, calling for an immediate ceasefire and pullout from the district. Abyei was granted special status under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended 22 years of devastating civil war between north and south, and it requires both sides to keep their troops out until a vote on its future.
Al-Qaeda talks about Libya
Al-Qaeda’s likely next leader says NATO’s operations in Libya are meant to topple Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi so the West can install a puppet government and control the country’s oil wealth. In a 49-minute audio recording, Ayman al-Zawahiri, the No. 2 man in al-Qaeda, called on Libyans to acquire weapons to use in a guerrilla war against the Western coalition. The audio was posted on militant Internet forums late on Saturday. The sites said it was recorded before US commandos killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on May 2 in his hide-out in Pakistan. Al-Zawahiri is widely believed to be a leading candidate to replace bin Laden as head of the group. He is believed to be operating from somewhere near the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier.
Father left baby to die in car
A distraught Italian father who left his baby in a hot car for five hours after forgetting to drop her off at daycare may face manslaughter charges after the 22-month-old died early on Sunday. Elena was barely breathing when her father, Lucio Petrizzi, rushed her to hospital on Wednesday. The professor of veterinary medicine said he was convinced he had dropped her off at daycare on his way to work. An initial charge of abandoning a minor may be changed to manslaughter, ANSA news agency reported, quoting Italian prosecutor Bruno Auriemma. The toddler’s grieving mother, Chiara Sciarrini, who is eight months pregnant, publicly stood by her husband, telling reporters that what happened to him “could have happened to anyone.”