In brief: Veteran climber dies in Himalayas
Ljubljana, Slovenia – Veteran Slovenian climber Tomaz Humar was found dead in the Himalayas on Saturday, days after he was injured and stranded on a 23,710-foot mountain, a mountain rescue company and a close friend said.
Humar, 40, ascended hundreds of difficult alpine routes around the world, including some of the hardest climbs in the Himalayas. Viki Groselj, a fellow Slovenian mountaineer and a good friend, described Humar as a “mountaineering genius whose accomplishments have been admired by the whole world.”
Humar last contacted his base on Monday to say he had been injured while climbing Langtang Lirung. Groselj said Humar had broken his leg and became stranded. His body was located on Saturday.
Havel kicks off anniversary fest
Prague, Czech Republic – Former Czech President Vaclav Havel opened the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Velvet Revolution with a concert attended by celebrities.
Underground rocker Lou Reed, soprano Renee Fleming and folk singer Joan Baez performed to a crowd of about 500 gathered at 13th-century church in downtown Prague.
Havel, now 73, was co-author of the Charter 77 human rights manifesto and spent several years in Communist prisons before becoming Czechoslovakia’s first president after the peaceful 1989 revolution toppled the Communist regime. Czechoslovakia split in 1993 to form the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which today refers to the 1989 events as the Gentle Revolution.
Resort planned near U.S. border
Mexico City – Mexico is planning a big new tourism center near the U.S. border along the Gulf of Mexico.
The Fonatur agency that also created Cancun says its new Costa Lora development should eventually have 20,000 rooms for guests and create 115,000 jobs. It’s based in the municipality of Soto la Marina, roughly 100 miles south of Brownsville, Texas.
Officials who announced the project Thursday say it is aimed at tourists from Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana.
River water to be sold around world
San Juan, Puerto Rico – The lush but poor Caribbean island of Dominica will allow an export company to ship billions of gallons of its river water to parched countries around the globe, officials said Saturday.
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s Cabinet signed a deal Thursday with a Colorado company to collect drinking water from the volcanic island’s interior and ship it to countries as far away as the Middle East, said Lucien Blackmoore, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Public Utilities, Energy and Ports.
The 10-year license allows Sisserou Water Inc. to collect 3 billion gallons of fresh water annually from the Clyde River, Blackmoore said.