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( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-03-21 07:28:04

France

Candidates face off in TV debate

France's presidential election moves into high gear on Monday when the top five contenders face off in a TV debate that could help sway legions of undecided voters, a month before they go to the polls. Centrist front-runner Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen are expected to come under attack in the first of three debates ahead of the April 23 opening round in France's most unpredictable election in decades. A total of 11 candidates are running for president. Six smaller candidates have been excluded from the debates.

Peru

Water problems thwart fire effort

A fire broke out on Sunday night in Peru's most populated prison and two inmates were reported dead as firefighters struggled with problems in Lima's water system caused by mudslides and flooding from recent heavy rains. Deputy Interior Minister Ruben Vargas told RPP radio that the bodies of two prisoners had been recovered. He blamed the fire on a short circuit caused by unusually heavy rainfall that has hit Lima and other parts of Peru.

Nepal

Climbers to get GPS devices

Some climbers attempting to scale Qomolangma, known in the West as Mount Everest, over the next two months will be strapped with a GPS device for their safety and to prevent false claims of reaching the summit. The chief of Nepal's tourism department, Durga Dutta Dhakal, said on Monday that climbers would be hooked with a GPS device during the spring climbing season to track their movement as they attempt to scale the 8,850-meter-high summit. Hundreds of climbers are expected to attempt to climb the world's highest peak in April and May.

Thailand

Coin calamity turtle in coma

A 25-year-old sea turtle in Thailand slipped into a coma on Sunday after an operation to remove 915 coins from her stomach earlier this month. The green sea turtle named Omsin, or "piggy bank" in Thai, had been finding it hard to swim normally after swallowing 5 kilograms of coins thrown into her pool for good luck. Omsin underwent a seven-hour operation this month, but concerns rose after she was rushed to an intensive care unit on Sunday night.

United States

SpaceX cargo ship back to Earth

A SpaceX reusable cargo ship splashed down in the Pacific Ocean safely on Sunday, ending a mission to supply astronauts on the International Space Station, the company said. The Dragon capsule - the only such vessel capable of returning research samples and other material to Earth - remained docked with the ISS for nearly a month after delivering more than 2 tons of food, water and scientific equipment.

(China Daily 03/21/2017 page12)

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