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Doug Scott, Part of First Team to Summit Everest by Southwest Face, Dies at 79


Mr. Bonington, who was with Mr. Scott and had smashed his ribs during the descent, said in an interview that he did not think anyone, except for Mr. Scott, would have had the physical and mental strength to get down with two broken legs.

“In that process, not only did he never complain, but more important, he was still an important, dynamic part, if you like, of our little team and the very difficult decisions we had to take on the way down,” Mr. Bonington said.

Well into his later years, and even as his cancer progressed, Mr. Scott kept climbing. Over the summer, even while weakened from rounds of chemotherapy, he climbed the staircase in his house 12 times, wearing the same blue suit he wore when he reached the summit of Everest as part of a challenge to raise funds for medicine, equipment and masks for Nepal’s coronavirus effort.

“He was making a difference even at the height of his illness,” said Jon Maguire, a Community Action Nepal trustee. Mr. Maguire said Mr. Scott founded the charity after seeing how many porters in Nepal lived in poverty.

The British Embassy in Nepal said on Twitter that Mr. Scott would be remembered “not only for his mountaineering feats but as a true friend of #Nepal whose support helped build health posts in rural villages.”

Mr. Scott founded Community Action Nepal to support schools, heath centers and other community projects in Nepal, one of Asia’s poorest nations and the site of most Everest climbs.

His survivors include his third wife, Trish, whom he married in 2007; three children, Michael, Martha and Rosie, from his first marriage; two sons, Arran and Euan, from his second marriage; and several grandchildren, nephews and nieces, who also took part in the staircase climbing challenge for Nepal during the coronavirus lockdown in Britain.





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Mount Everest Grew Two Feet, Say China and Nepal


Nepal also initially declined an offer from China but eventually agreed to make it a joint project. Earlier this year, with the mountaineering season canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, China sent a survey team up to Mount Everest’s summit with global satellite receivers to measure its northern side.

Nepal had measured the southern side the year before. Nepalese climbers had to work with Indian survey data when it came to precise sea level, since the country is landlocked. From there, they climbed Everest’s snowy ridges in May 2019 carrying the global navigation satellite receiver and an antenna. They stood on the world’s highest point for nearly two hours to capture satellite data.

According to Khim Lal Gautam, the survey officer who led Nepal’s measurement expedition team, it was the first time a surveyor had captured satellite data at that point. Previously, he said, Sherpas, or mountain guides, had done it.

“We made it possible,” Mr. Gautam said.

Though it looks immutable, even Mount Everest shifts with time and tectonics. In the aftermath of a devastating 2015 earthquake, it was widely speculated that several Himalayan peaks, including Mount Everest, had shrunk. The new dual measurements suggest the opposite.

Scientists say Everest is getting taller. As the Indian plate slips under the Eurasian plate, it lifts up the Himalayas. But earthquakes can reduce peaks’ heights.

Even without those variables, people have pegged Mount Everest at different heights. In the 19th century, when Nepal was under British rule, Sir George Everest, the former surveyor general of the British-India Survey Office, and his team measured the peak at 8,840.07 meters, or 29,002.85 feet. Since then India, China, the United States, Italy and Denmark have put forth their own measurements.

Nepal has rejected them all — and it has long eschewed the mountain’s colonial-era name, too. During the joint briefing on Tuesday, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, referred to the mountain as “Qomolangma,” its Tibetan name. Nepal’s foreign minister, Mr. Gyawali, called it “Sagarmatha,” its Nepali name.

Bhadra Sharma reported from Kathmandu, and Emily Schmall from New Delhi.



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Armed Mexicans Were Smuggled In to Guard Border Wall, Whistle-Blowers Say


Liz Rogers, a spokeswoman for S.L.S., said in a statement that the company did not comment on litigation. Jesse Guzman, the president of Ultimate Concrete, said in a phone interview on Monday that he was not aware of the complaint, but he dismissed the accusations.

“Everybody can allege whatever they want to, and that does not make it correct or make it the truth,” he said, adding that it was two security officers who were angry that “something didn’t go their way.”

A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Greg Davis, said the agency did not comment on litigation. “Lack of comment should not be construed as agreement or stipulation with any of the allegations,” he said.

One of the guards, who served as an on-site security manager for the contractors, told special agents with the F.B.I. that he had discovered through monthly audits of workers at the site in San Diego that many of the personnel working on construction and security were not vetted or approved by Customs and Border Protection.

S.L.S., a primary builder of Mr. Trump’s wall, has been awarded contracts worth more than $1.4 billion for work on multiple parts of the border. With those funds, the company is said to have allowed its subcontractor, Ultimate Concrete, to hire armed Mexicans and facilitate illegal border crossings that the president has worked to shut down.

Ultimate Concrete “constructed a dirt road that would allow access from the Mexican side of the border into the United States,” the whistle-blowers said in the complaint. “This U.C.-constructed road was apparently the route by which the armed Mexican nationals were unlawfully crossing into the United States.”

An S.L.S. project manager then pressured one of the whistle-blowers in July 2019 to not include information about the Mexican security guards in reports required to be submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers.



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