Nepal bans solo climbers from Mount Everest under new rules

Nepal has banned solo climbers from scaling its mountains, including Mount Everest, in a bid to reduce accidents.

The new safety regulations also prohibit double amputee and blind climbers from attempting to reach the summit of the world’s highest peak without a valid medical certificate.

A tourism official said the law had been revised to make mountaineering safer and to decrease deaths.

A record number of climbers have tried to climb Everest this year.

But among the record-breaking attempts, there has been the familiar tally of casualties.

The death toll so far this season stands at six, including 85-year-old Min Bahadur Sherchan, who died attempting to reclaim his title as the world’s oldest person to reach the top.

World-renowned Swiss climber Ueli Steck, who was known as the “Swiss Machine”, also died during a solo climb to a peak neighbouring Everest.

Under the new regulations, foreign climbers will have to be accompanied by a guide. The authorities hope this new rule will create more job opportunities for Nepali mountain guides.

The government’s decision to ban double amputees and visually impaired climbers was criticised by some, but was later clarified to prohibit only those without medical dispensation.

Papadopoulos was told by a contact with Russian links that Moscow had “dirt” on Mr Trump’s Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails” in April 2016 – something revealed earlier this year.

But the New York Times now reports that weeks later, in May, Mr Papadopoulos was speaking to Alexander Downer, Australia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, at an “upscale London bar” when he revealed the existence of the Russian information.

It is not clear why Mr Papadopoulos chose to share his knowledge with Mr Downer, but the Times reports that the Australian diplomat passed the information to his government.

Two months later, when copies of Mrs Clinton’s emails began appearing online, the Australian government passed the information to the FBI.

Once that happened, the newspaper said, “the bureau opened an investigation that became one of its most closely guarded secrets”.

“Senior agents did not discuss it at the daily morning briefing, a classified setting where officials normally speak freely about highly sensitive operations.”

The newspaper reports that corroborating intelligence from other friendly governments, including the British and the Dutch, helped drive the investigation.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb declined to comment on the New York Times report. (Courtesy BBC)

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