- The Washington Times - Monday, May 22, 2000

Sherpa guide sets Everest record

KATMANDU, Nepal A Sherpa guide reached the summit of Mount Everest in less than 16 hours yesterday, shattering the record for the fastest climb of the world's highest peak, the Nepalese Tourism ministry said.
Babu Chhiri, 34, made the climb through icy winds and rarefied air to the 29,035-foot summit yesterday morning a year after he set a duration record by camping for 21 hours on the peak. His brother Dawa had scaled the mountain earlier and waited at the summit to welcome him.
Mr. Chhiri, a veteran climber, reached the peak in 15 hours and 56 minutes, breaking the previous record of 20 hours and 24 minutes.

Britain recovers stolen laptop

LONDON Britain said today it had recovered a stolen military laptop computer but denied a report that it contained top secret details about a warplane project with the United States.
The laptop, stolen from a naval intelligence officer at a London railway station two weeks ago, contained "incredibly sensitive information" on a 250 billion pound project for a warplane known as the Anglo-US Strike fighter, the mass circulation Mirror reported.
A Defense Ministry spokesman told Reuters news agency, "It does contain information regarding that aircraft, but the information is not classified."

Soldiers rescue two child hostages

JOLO, Philippines Philippine soldiers rescued two child hostages yesterday in a clash with Muslim rebels who had held the children and seven others since March.
One soldier and several rebels were injured in the one-hour battle on the southern Philippine island of Basilan, the military said. The remaining seven hostages five students and two female teachers still were believed to be held by the rebels, said Ernesto de Guzman, the Philippine military's Southern Command chief of staff.
The two grade-school children were among a group of about 50 people seized by the Abu Sayyaf rebels from two schools on March 20. Six have been killed and most of the rest either released or rescued in the intervening weeks.

Haider confirms meeting with Gadhafi

VIENNA, Austria Extreme right-wing Austrian leader Joerg Haider said yesterday he had had a private meeting in Libya with Moammar Gadhafi, but refused to reveal its details.
"I was on a private visit," Mr. Haider told Austrian radio. "I have no intention of making all my private meetings the subject of political discussion."

Barbara Cartland dies at age 98

LONDON Dame Barbara Cartland, self-styled queen of romantic fiction and considered the world's best-selling author, died in her sleep at her estate near Hatfield yesterday after a brief illness, her family said. She was 98.
Miss Cartland's novels, about feminine virtue and manly ideals, were dictated to a relay of secretaries as she reclined on a sofa, dressed usually in a glamorous Cartland-pink frock. Living on her 400-acre estate 15 miles north of London, she worked to a strict schedule, producing 6,000 to 7,000 words in an afternoon, and could finish a book in seven afternoons.
Sales of her 723 books exceeded 1 billion worldwide in 36 languages. The Guinness Book of Records lists her as the world's top-selling author.

Scores of mummies discovered in Egypt

CAIRO A team of Egyptian archaeologists working in the Valley of the Mummies has discovered 100 more gold-encased bodies, the state-owned MENA news agency said yesterday.
Team leader Zahi Hawass said the mummies had been found intact in seven newly uncovered tombs at the ancient necropolis where 200 mummies were found last year and which is expected to reveal some 10,000 more, MENA reported.
The vast cemetery, located in Bahariya oasis in Egypt's Western Desert, dates back to the Greco-Roman era (330 B.C. to 400 A.D.).
Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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