Aid groups and governments worldwide intensified efforts Sunday to help earthquake-hit Nepal, but blocked roads, downed power lines and overcrowded hospitals posed formidable challenges in an already poor country. As the death toll in the Himalayan nation surpassed 2,300, the US together with European and Asian nations sent emergency crews to reinforce those scrambling to find survivors in the devastated capital Kathmandu and in cut-off rural areas. "Tragically, more bodies are being pulled from collapsed buildings every hour," the Australian Red Cross said in a statement. Widespread destruction, rubble and landslides are preventing access to provide aid in many villages." Mike Bruce, regional communications manager for the Plan International aid organisation, said many areas -- both rural and in some of the larger towns -- had suffered landslides and roads were blocked.
Powerful aftershocks rocked Nepal on Sunday, panicking survivors of a quake that killed more than 2,400 and triggering fresh avalanches at Everest base camp, as rescuers dug through rubble in the devastated capital Kathmandu. Officials in India said the toll there now stood at 67, while Chinese state media said 18 people had been killed in the Tibet region.
By Dan Williams JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel will take part as an observer in a major nuclear non-proliferation conference that opens at the United Nations on Monday, ending a 20-year absence in hope of fostering dialogue with Arab states, a senior Israeli official said. Assumed to have the Middle East's sole nuclear arsenal, and having never joined the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Israel has stayed away from gatherings of NPT signatories since 1995 in protest at resolutions it regarded as biased against it. Citing the example of disarmament talks in other regions, Israel says it would consider submitting to international nuclear inspections and controls only once at peace with the Arabs and Iran. Those countries want Israel curbed first.