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Stranded hikers leave Everest

Hundreds of foreign trekkers stranded in the Mount Everest area for the past week are leaving on flights now that the weather has cleared at the airport, a Nepal police official said.

Area police chief Ramesh Khakda said 20 flights left the Lukla airport this morning, and that more were expected through the day.

Over the past week, all flights had been grounded because of poor weather. Planes were not able to land or take off from Lukla.

Two tried over soldier murder

The trial was due to begin today of two men charged with the murder of two British soldiers at a Co Antrim military base.

Sappers Patrick Azimkar (21) from London and Mark Quinsey (23) from Birmingham were ambushed by gunmen from the Real IRA outside Massereene barracks in Antrim town on March 7, 2009.

Colin Duffy (43), from Forest Glebe in Lurgan in Co Armagh, and Brian Shivers (45), from Sperrin Mews, Magherafelt in Co Derry, deny the murder charges and six further counts of attempted murder.

Roadside bomb kills police chief

A roadside bomb has killed a district police chief in southern Afghanistan and his two bodyguards, police said.

Helmand province police chief Mohammad Hakim Angar said today that Mohammad Saifullah, the police chief in the province's Garm Ser district, was killed when a roadside bomb detonated as he and two of his bodyguards were driving by last night.

Ortega facing landslide win

President and former Sandinista revolutionary Daniel Ortega is heading for a crushing victory in Nicaragua's presidential election, officials said.

Nicaragua's Supreme Electoral Council said Mr Ortega has nearly 64pc of the votes, compared to 29pc for his nearest challenger, Fabio Gadea, with almost 7pc of the votes counted.

Electoral council President Roberto Rivas said a parallel count representative of the entire vote gives Mr Ortega a big advantage as well.