Attacks escalate in oil-rich Nigeria

LAGOS, Nigeria - Attackers dynamited the country home of Nigeria's vice president-elect Goodluck Jonathan yesterday, authorities said, as violence escalated in the country's oil-rich south before a government handover this month.

Groups making an array of demands, including a greater share of government oil revenue, have carried out bombings, kidnappings and protests since 2005 that have already shut down a third of production in Africa's oil giant and helped to send world oil prices to record levels.

Analysts believe armed groups are stepping up attacks to demonstrate their relevance ahead of the May 29 installation of a new central government after disputed elections.- AP

Sherpa's record 17th Everest climb

KATHMANDU, Nepal - A veteran Sherpa guide scaled Mount Everest for a record 17th time yesterday, beating his own previous record, mountaineering officials said.

Appa, who goes by one name, reached the 29,035-foot summit with seven other Sherpas and a Western climber, said Ang Tshering, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.

Appa, 46, is one of the most respected climbers in the climbing community. His closest competitor - fellow Sherpa guide Chewang Nima, 41 - scaled the peak a 14th time last year.

Appa was leading a team on a charity climb to raise education funds for children of the Nepalese mountain guides. - AP

Germany bans summit protests

BERLIN - German authorities issued a ban on demonstrations around the seaside town that will host next month's summit of the Group of Eight industrialized nations, saying protesters' aims to disrupt the meeting pose a threat.

A broad area outside the already-secure cordon around Heiligendamm and the local airport at Rostock, in northeast Germany, will be closed off to protesters between May 30 and June 8, local police said yesterday. The summit takes place June 6-8.

Authorities have made a 12-kilometer-long (7.5 mile) barbed-wire fence to protect leaders including President Bush and Russian President Vladimir V. Putin at the summit. - Bloomberg News


A roadside bomb yesterday struck a convoy carrying African Union peacekeepers in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing four in one of the deadliest attacks on the troops since they arrived in March, authorities said.

Environmental activists are building a replica of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey - where the biblical vessel is said to have landed after the great flood - to appeal for action on global warming, Greenpeace said.