- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Deeper cuts sought at climate talks

AMSTERDAM | Negotiators at U.N. climate talks, buoyed by U.S. promises to lead the fight against global warming, are demanding that industrial countries pledge deeper cuts in greenhouse gases over the next decade.

Environmental activists said Monday the talks in Bonn have made little progress on two key issues: the carbon-dioxide emissions targets to be adopted by the rich countries and how to raise an estimated $100 billion a year needed to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

The two-week round of talks conclude Wednesday and are to reconvene in June. Delegates from 175 countries are likely to decide to add more sessions before a decisive meeting in December in Copenhagen.


Guide to break own Everest record

KATMANDU | A Sherpa guide who holds the record for most climbs of Mount Everest set off Monday on a new expedition to scale the world's highest mountain for a 19th time.

Appa, who like most Sherpas goes by one name, flew with his team out of the capital, Katmandu, for the small airstrip at Lukla, from where they will trek to Everest's base camp and spend a few days acclimating and preparing for their summit bid in May.

He first climbed the 29,085-foot summit in 1989 and has done so almost every year since. His closest rival is fellow Sherpa guide Chhewang Nima, who has made 15 trips.

Mr. Appa, 48, and his fellow climbers plan to carry down loads of trash that have accumulated on the snowy slopes and educate other climbers about the negative impact that human waste has on the mountain.


Nuclear offer interests Iran

ALMATY | Kazakhstan offered Monday to host an international nuclear fuel bank, and Iran's leader said he supported the idea.

The United States initiated the project and allocated $50 million toward it in 2007.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said Monday that his Central Asian country would be an appropriate place for such a depository, as it was giving up its own Soviet-era nuclear arsenal.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying Monday that he supported the idea, the Russian agency RIA-Novosti reported from the Kazakh capital of Astana. Mr. Ahmadinejad is on a two-day visit to the capital.


Holbrooke seeks help fighting militants

ISLAMABAD | The U.S. launched its latest effort Monday to get Pakistan to step up its fight against Islamic militants, sending special envoy Richard C. Holbrooke for talks with top officials, despite Taliban threats to boost terrorist attacks unless both nations back down.

A senior Pakistani Taliban commander said Sunday the group will carry out two suicide attacks per week in the country unless Pakistani troops withdraw from the Afghan border region where militants are based and the U.S. stops drone missile strikes.

The threats highlight the danger to Pakistan in cooperating with Washington and the difficulty for Mr. Holbrooke in getting them to do so as he makes his first visit since President Obama unveiled his new strategy for Pakistan and Afghanistan late last month.


Parents visit reporter in jail

TEHRAN | The parents of an American-Iranian journalist jailed for two months in Iran visited their daughter in prison Monday, their lawyer said.

The couple from North Dakota met with their daughter, Roxana Saberi, for a half-hour at Evin prison for the first time since finding out about her arrest in a Feb. 10 phone call from her, said the lawyer, Abdolsamad Khorramshai.

Iranian prosecutors have issued a formal indictment against Ms. Saberi, though the lawyer said he will not be permitted to see the charges before next week at the earliest.

Iranian officials have said Ms. Saberi was arrested for working in the country after her press credentials had expired.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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