Vatican and Myanmar establish diplomatic ties
VATICAN CITY • The Vatican and Myanmar established full diplomatic relations yesterday in the latest step in the Asian state's rehabilitation by the international community.
The Vatican said it would appoint a papal nuncio to Yangon and that the country would open an embassy at the Vatican, formally wrapping up an accord approved by Myanmar in March.
Ex-warlord returns to Kabul after 20 years
KABUL • A former warlord branded the "Butcher of Kabul" returned to the Afghan capital yesterday, met by uneasy residents two decades after leaving the city where he stands accused of killing thousands of people. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a former prime minister, has returned to mainstream political life after his dormant Hezb-i-Islami militant group signed a peace deal with the government last September, which sparked revulsion from human rights groups and residents of the capital.
Legendary Swiss climber cremated near Everest
TENGBOCHE (Nepal) • The body of legendary Swiss climber Ueli Steck, who died on Mount Everest, was cremated yesterday at a Buddhist monastery that lies in the shadow of the world's highest peak. Mr Steck - one of the most feted mountaineers of his generation - became the first fatality of this year's spring climbing season on Everest when he fell from a ridge during an acclimatisation exercise on Sunday.