Search ends for Japanese climbers on Mount McKinley

Posted June 17, 2012, at 7:49 p.m.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A shallow avalanche on Alaska’s Mount McKinley may not have killed four Japanese climbers, but the slide pushed them into a crevasse more than 100 feet deep, the National Park Service said Sunday.

Spokeswoman Kris Fister said Sunday that the search for the climbers was permanently suspended after a mountaineering ranger found the climbing rope in debris at the bottom of the crevasse.

“We believe this is their final resting place,” Fister said.

Yoshiaki Kato, 64, Masako Suda, 50, Michiko Suzuki 56, and Tamao Suzuki, 63, are missing and presumed dead.

The avalanche early Wednesday morning also pushed Hitoshi Ogi, 69, into the crevasse. Ogi climbed 60 feet out of the crevasse and reached a base camp Thursday.

Ogi had been attached to the other members of the team by climbing rope as they descended in an avalanche-prone section of the West Buttress Route. The rope broke in the avalanche and fall.

The group was on a section known as Motorcycle Hill at about 11,800 feet, which has a 35-degee slope. Climbers who take a required briefing on the mountain are warned of the avalanche danger there.

Pro-bailout conservatives win Greek election

ATHENS, Greece — Fears of an imminent Greek exit from Europe’s joint currency receded Sunday after the conservative New Democracy party came first in a critical election and pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a joint government.

As central banks stood ready to intervene in case of financial turmoil, Greece held its second national election in six weeks after an inconclusive ballot on May 6.

With one party advocating ripping up Greece’s multibillion-euro bailout deal, the election was seen as a vote on whether Greece should stay in the 17-nation joint euro currency. A Greek exit would have had potentially catastrophic consequences for other ailing European nations, the United States and the entire global economy.

With 82.5 percent of the vote counted, official results showed New Democracy winning 30 percent and 130 of the 300 seats in Parliament. The radical anti-bailout Syriza party had 26.6 percent and 71 seats and the pro-bailout Socialist PASOK party came in third with 12.5 percent of the vote and 33 seats.

The anti-immigrant nationalist Golden Dawn party had 6.9 percent and 18 seats, while the Democratic left won 6.1 percent and 18 seats.

The parties have starkly different views about what to do about the euro 240 billion in bailout loans that Greece has been given by international lenders, and the harsh austerity measures that previous Greek governments had to accept to get the funds.

Reports: Swedish zoo worker killed in wolf attack

STOCKHOLM — Media reports say a zookeeper has died after being attacked by wolves in their enclosure in Sweden’s largest zoo.

The TT news agency quoted Kolmarden Wildlife Park animal director Mats Hoggren as saying the experienced 30-year-old woman was by herself in the pen when the attack occurred Sunday morning, and that zoo workers often enter the area alone.

The enclosure reportedly contains eight wolves. Park workers first realized that something had gone wrong when their colleague failed to maintain radio contact.

The Aftonbladet daily quoted Hoggren as saying zoo workers and paramedics entered the pen after forming a human chain and arming one person, but it was too late.

Hoggren said there were no witnesses to the attack at the park, which is 90 miles (140 kilometers) south of Stockholm.

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