MARSHALL ISLANDS

U.S., 8 others sued over nuclear arms

The tiny Pacific republic of the Marshall Islands, scene of U.S. nuclear tests in the 1950s, sued the United States and eight other nuclear-armed nations Thursday, accusing them of failing in their obligation to negotiate nuclear disarmament.

The Pacific country accused all nine nuclear-armed states of "flagrant violation of international law" for failing to pursue the negotiations required by the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

It filed one suit specifically directed against the United States, in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, while others against all nine countries were lodged at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

"This is one of the most fundamental moral and legal questions of our time," a statement with the suits said.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki declined to comment. - AP

NIGERIA

Plea for girls' safety

A Nigerian rights group is urging the United Nations to help secure the release of 230 schoolgirls abducted by extremists 10 days ago.

More than 40 girls and young women kidnapped from a remote school escaped by themselves, but officials say 230 still are missing. Nigeria's military says it has mounted a "hot pursuit" operation. - AP

NEPAL

Impasse at Everest

Scores of mountaineers were departing Mount Everest on Thursday after Nepalese officials failed to break an impasse with Sherpa guides who want to halt climbing after last week's devastating avalanche. A meeting at Everest base camp between Sherpas and Nepalese officials ended with no change in the Sherpas' position: Most don't want to scale the mountain this year out of respect for 16 guides buried under snow and ice last week. - L.A. Times