U.K. Climbers

CHAMONIX, France (AP) - He is being remembered as one of a long line of brave British moun-taineers, an intrepid climber and professional mountain guide who traveled the world in search of fresh challenges and first ascents. The death of Roger Payne and eight other climbers in an avalanche as they approached Mont Blanc in the French Alps on Thursday has shaken the tight-knit guid¬ing community in Chamonix and beyond. The deaths in¬cluded the two British clients who were being led by Payne. A former president of the British Mountain Guides, Payne also had served as general secretary of the British Mountaineering Council, which promotes safety and training expeditions, and gave courses in how to survive avalanches.

Gordon Brown

NEW YORK (dpa) - Former British Prime Minister Gor¬don Brown was appointed the United Nations special envoy for global education Friday. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the appointment will build upon Brown's ''im¬pressive commitment to edu¬cation as a fundamental right for every children.'' Brown had demonstrated ''unquestion¬able passion'' in his efforts to provide quality education for all children, Ban said. The UN has set a goal of providing primary education for all children world¬wide by 2015.

Mary's 'Image'

WEST NEW YORK, New Jersey (AP) - People are flocking to a tree in New Jersey where some say they see the image of the Virgin Mary. People have been praying, crying and leaving flowers and candles as they look at the small opening where the bark was stripped away. A fence and other barricades also have been set up around the tree, which is in a sidewalk along a commercial strip in West New York. Newark Arch¬diocese spokesman Jim Good¬ness tells The Journal newspa¬per of Jersey City the image is likely ``some discoloration that resembles Our Lady of Guada¬lupe.''

9/11 Hearing

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Lawyers for five Guantanamo Bay prisoners charged in the Sept. 11 attacks are asking a military court to put their legal proceedings on hold dur¬ing the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The lawyers also ask that no court sessions be held on Fridays, when many devout Muslims seek not to work. Defense lawyers argue in court motions unsealed Friday that the court has an obliga¬tion to respect the men's faith and their need to fast and pray during Ramadan, which comes in late summer this year. Prosecutors say any blanket restriction would make it too difficult to schedule hearings. The five defendants include the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mo¬hammed. They face the death penalty if convicted. Their next hearings are scheduled to start Aug. 8, during Ramadan.

I.C.C. Warrants

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - The International Criminal Court on Friday issued arrest warrants for two militia leaders accused of widespread atroci¬ties in eastern Congo, stepping up pressure on Kinshasa to de¬tain the men. Judges issued a warrant for Sylvestre Mudacu¬mura and a second warrant for Bosco Ntaganda on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. In a written decision, judges said there are ``reason¬able grounds to believe'' Muda¬cumura is responsible for nine war crimes including murder, mutilation, rape and pillage, in the Kivus region of Congo in 2009-2010. The 58-year-old is allegedly a field commander in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda, which is also known by its French acro¬nym FDLR.