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‘Net closing in’ on masterminds

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina

The commander of European Union’s peacekeepers in Bosnia said Sunday that “the net is closing in” on the two suspected masterminds of the Srebrenica onslaught, 10 years after the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.

British Maj. Gen. David Leakey said authorities are gathering intelligence on the location of Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic and military commander Ratko Mladic – though they remain elusive. “It’s a bit like getting Osama bin Laden,” he said.

Leakey spoke on the eve of today’s ceremonies marking the anniversary of the 1995 massacre in the U.N. designated safe area.

Bosnian Serb troops rounded up the town’s male residents, shot all who couldn’t flee and scattered their remains in mass graves that continue to be discovered a decade later. Some 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed.

S. Koreans protest U.S. base expansion

Pyongtaek, South Korea Thousands of people protesting at the site of the planned new headquarters for the U.S. military in South Korea clashed Sunday with police.

About 7,000 demonstrators threw steel pipes and stones at about 10,000 police guarding Camp Humphreys in Pyongtaek, about 50 miles south of Seoul. Some demonstrators were seen bleeding but the number of injured wasn’t known.

The U.S. military in South Korea is now headquartered at Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, but is set to move its entire command to Pyongtaek by 2008 as part of plans to consolidate bases and reduce the number of U.S. troops.

About 32,500 American troops are now deployed in South Korea, but that number will eventually drop to 24,500.

Hillary sees warming as threat to Everest

Johannesburg, South Africa Edmund Hillary, the first climber to conquer Mount Everest with his Sherpa guide, on Monday urged that the world’s highest mountain be placed on the United Nations’ list of endangered heritage sites because of the risks of climate change.

“The warming of the environment of the Himalayas has increased noticeably over the last 50 years. This has caused several and severe floods from glacial lakes and much disruption to the environment and local people,” Hillary said today. “Draining the lakes before they get to a dangerous condition is the only way to stop disasters.”

The New Zealander, who with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first scaled the world’s highest peak on May 29, 1953, is one of a collection of climbers and others who have joined environmental groups in calling for the inclusion of Nepal’s Everest National Park on UNESCO’s World Heritage in Danger List.

The 29th session of the U.N. Environmental, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s World Heritage Committee got under way Sunday in Durban.

Inclusion would commit UNESCO to assessing the risk to the park and developing corrective measures.

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