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Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are the final two
Jeremy Hunt has promised Boris Johnson "the fight of his life" as the two compete to become the next Conservative leader and PM.
Mr Johnson said he was "honoured" to get the backing of 160 MPs in the final ballot of the party's MPs - more than half of the total.
Mr Hunt got 77 votes - two more votes than the next candidate Michael Gove.
Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt now face a vote involving up to 160,000 Tory members, with a result due by late July.
All 313 Conservative MPs took part in the final ballot in the House of Commons, with one paper spoilt.
Mr Johnson's victory in the latest round of the contest had been widely expected, but Environment Secretary Mr Gove and Foreign Secretary Mr Hunt had been engaged for several days in a fight for second place.
In the penultimate MPs' ballot, earlier on Thursday, Mr Gove overtook his rival, only to see his lead reversed in the final vote.
Before the final vote, a source close to Mr Hunt warned against reigniting the "personal psychodrama" between Mr Gove and Mr Johnson - who spearheaded the Vote Leave campaign together in 2016, but fell out after Mr Gove abandoned Mr Johnson's previous leadership bid to launch his own.
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Following the result of the final ballot, Mr Johnson tweeted that he was "deeply honoured" by his level of support.
Meanwhile, Mr Hunt, acknowledged Mr Johnson as frontrunner to become party leader and prime minister, tweeting that he was the "underdog" but in politics "surprises happen".
He went on to praise Mr Gove as one of the "brightest stars in the Conservative team" and pledged to "give Boris the fight of his life."
Mr Gove congratulated his rivals and said he was "naturally disappointed but so proud of the campaign we ran".
His campaign manager, Mel Stride, said he believed that Mr Gove's admission that he had taken cocaine during the 1990s had damaged his bid, adding: "It stalled us and meant momentum was lost at that time."
There's no doubt that Mr Johnson is, at this stage (and there's a long way to go), widely expected to end up in Number 10.
But this result is an enormous relief to his camp, for the simple reason that they think Mr Hunt is easier to beat.
Forget any differences in style between the two challengers and their comparative talents - Jeremy Hunt voted Remain in the EU referendum.
And for many Tory members it is a priority for the next leader to have been committed to that cause, rather than a recent convert, however zealous.
Read Laura's blog in full
Mr Johnson and Mr Hunt will now take part in hustings in front of Conservative Party members around the country, before the votes are counted, with the final result to be announced during the week of 22 July.
They will also take part in a head-to-head debate on ITV on 9 July, following previous leadership debates hosted by Channel 4 and the BBC.
Mr Hunt has been in the cabinet since 2010. Before he became Foreign Secretary, he was the UK's longest-serving Health Secretary. Former Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson, who quit the cabinet last year over Theresa May's Brexit strategy is one of the UK's most recognisable politicians and was Mayor of London from 2008 to 2016.
The Conservatives said there had been 20,000 applications for places at the 16 leadership hustings around the UK. Party chairman Brandon Lewis congratulated the final two contenders.
He said: "We are conscious that the Conservatives are not just selecting a new leader but also the next prime minister, and we take that responsibility extremely seriously at such an important time for our nation."
Labour's national campaigns co-ordinator Andrew Gwynne said: "What a choice: the man who broke the NHS or the man who wants to sell it to Donald Trump.
"A handful of unrepresentative Conservative members should not be choosing our next prime minister. People should decide through a general election."
The ballot of MPs earlier on Thursday saw Home Secretary Sajid Javid eliminated from the contest.
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American dies on Mount Everest after climbing all other mountains
American man realizes his dream of climbing Mount Everest, but dies on the descent
May 23 at 12:46 ET
A man from Utah, who had just completed his life-long dream of reaching the top of Mount Everest, died while descending on Wednesday.
The avid climber, 55-year-old Donald Lynn Cash, was following his dream of climbing the tallest mountain on each continent, NBC reported.
After reaching the top of Everest, the “Badass Grandpa,” as he was called on Twitter by a former Adobe coworker, collapsed on a portion of the trail called “Hillary Step.”
Cash was a part of the 15-member expedition led by Chinese climber Yuan Li Donald, who fell at the top of the summit early morning, according to the Hymalayan Times.
The exact cause of his death is not know, but his family suspects that he could’ve had a heart attack. Guides performed CPR, and tried to revive him by giving him oxygen, his family said. But he didn’t resist and died as he was being transported back to camp.
According to NBC News, his children said that Cash was aware of the dangers he would face, and he even signed a waiver stating that he wanted his body to remain in the Everest, in the event of his death.
He had previously lost fingers to frostbite in another climb, but he was determined to follow his dream.
Cash was the 12th climber to die on mountains above above 25,000 feet during spring climbing season. The descent turned out to be more deadly for climbers this season, the Hymalayan Times noted.
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Iranian threats ‘put on hold’ says US defense chief
The potential of attacks by Iran has been "put on hold" by US counter-measures, acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan has said.
The US has warned of a threat from Iran in recent weeks and Mr Shanahan briefed lawmakers at a closed-doors meeting.
Tension has risen sharply, with the US deploying military assets to the Gulf to tackle the unspecified threats.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted: "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran."
He has maintained a strong anti-Iran policy since taking office and last year unilaterally withdrew the US from a nuclear deal with Iran and five world powers.
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President Trump's National Security Adviser, John Bolton, is a long-standing advocate for regime change in Iran and has previously called for the US to bomb the nation.
What did Mr Shanahan say?
Speaking to reporters, he said the US "posture is for deterrence" rather than war.
Mr Shanahan, who addressed lawmakers alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen Joseph Dunford, said: "I think our steps were very prudent and we've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans and that's what's extremely important.
"I'd say we're in a period where the threat remains high and our job is to make sure that there is no miscalculation by the Iranians."
He did not publicly share details of the "credible information" related to the issue, but added: "I just hope Iran is listening. We're in the region to address many things, but it's not to go to war with Iran."
Reports suggested the briefing was heated at times and, after the meeting, some Democrats accused government officials of twisting intelligence information.
"In my opinion, there wasn't any information there that pointed to any reason why we should be engaging in talk of war with Iran," said Representative Ruben Gallego.
Iran agreed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in 2015 to limit the scope of its nuclear programme in return for sanctions relief, and has called on other parties to uphold the deal despite the US withdrawal.
But the JCPOA looks to be increasingly under threat. Iranian officials said on Monday that they had increased by fourfold the production of low-enriched uranium - although the increase remains for the moment within the restrictions of the deal.
What is behind the escalation?
Tensions began rising this month when the US ended exemptions from sanctions for countries still buying from Iran. The decision was intended to bring Iran's oil exports to zero, denying the government its main source of revenue.
Mr Trump reinstated the sanctions last year after abandoning the nuclear deal.
Days after the US withdrawal, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said his country would suspend several commitments under the deal.
The White House then announced the US was sending an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and a Patriot missile defence battery to the region because of "troubling and escalatory indications" related to Iran.
Last week, four oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman were damaged in what the United Arab Emirates said were sabotage attacks while drone attacks on two oil pumping stations in Saudi Arabia by Yemen's Houthi rebels - who are supported by Iran - forced the temporary closure of a pipeline.
Iran has denied that it was behind the incidents.
But Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said lawmakers at the briefing were told that both cases had been "co-ordinated and directed by the Iranian government, the ayatollah".
There were also unconfirmed reports, citing US and regional security officials, that Iran had loaded missiles on to boats in Iranian ports and that Iran-backed Iraqi paramilitary fighters had positioned rockets near facilities in Iraq used by US troops.
What are other countries saying?
"I would say to the Iranians: do not underestimate the resolve on the US side," UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told reporters in Geneva on Monday. "They don't want a war with Iran. But if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate."
"We want the situation to de-escalate, because this is a part of the world where things can get triggered accidentally," he added.
Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, said the kingdom "does not want a war, is not looking for it and will do everything to prevent it".
"But at the same time, if the other side chooses war, the kingdom will respond with strength and determination to defend itself and its interests."
The foreign minister of Oman, which has brokered secret talks between the US and Iran in the past, visited Tehran to discuss regional issues with Mr Zarif on Monday.
Pakistani children worst affected in Hiv outbreak
The first sign that something was wrong in the small southern Pakistani town of Ratto Dero appeared in February.
A handful of worried parents had taken their children to the doctor, complaining that their little ones could not shake off a fever.
Within weeks, more children came forward suffering from a similar illness.
Bemused, Dr Imran Aarbani sent the children's blood away for testing. What came back confirmed his worst fears. The children were infected with HIV - and no-one knows why.
"By 24 April, 15 children had tested positive, though none of their parents were found to be carrying the virus," the hospital doctor told the BBC.
It was only the tip of the iceberg.
In the past month, more than 607 people - 75% of them children - have been diagnosed with the virus after rumours of an outbreak sent families rushing to a special camp set up at the town's government hospital by the health department of Sindh province.
Perhaps more surprising, however, is the fact that this is not the first outbreak to hit the region in recent years.
Rumours of a possible outbreak in Sindh province's Larkana, of which Ratto Dero is a sub-division, prompted thousands of people to get tested back in 2016.
On that occasion, 1,521 people were found to be HIV positive, according to figures available with Sindh Aids Control Programme (SACP).
The vast majority of those infected were men and, at the time, the cause was linked to the area's sex workers, who were mainly transgender and 32 of whom were found to be carrying the Aids virus.
The discovery of the outbreak led to a crackdown on Larkana's travellers' inns, where sex workers had been able to ply their trade relatively freely, despite a ban on prostitution in Pakistan.
But could that outbreak be linked to health officials' recent discovery?
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Dr Asad Memon, who heads the SACP operations in Larkana, believes so - although not directly.
"I think the (Aids) virus was being carried by members of the high-risk group (transgender and female sex workers) and then lax practices by local quacks caused it to infect other patients," he told the BBC.
By "quack" he is referring to under-qualified people practising medicine, ranging from paramedics running a private clinic posing as doctors, to medical graduates who have been unable to find work in hospitals and have no exposure to standard medical practices.
In Pakistan, especially in rural areas, people often go to "quacks" instead of qualified doctors because they are cheaper, easily available, and have more time to give to their patients.
Dr Fatima Mir, who works for the Aga Khan University Hospital and specialises in Aids among children, is currently doing volunteer work in Ratto Dero. She agrees that negligent medical practices are the most likely link between the children and the 2016 outbreak.
"There are three ways a child may be infected," she explained. "It's either through a lactating mother who carries the virus, through blood transfusion, or through an infected surgical instrument or a syringe."
In most cases she has handled, the mothers tested negative for HIV and few children had undergone blood transfusions. So the only remaining explanation was the practice of using one syringe for several patients at local clinics.
Officials also appear to agree. About 500 unregulated clinics have been ordered closed across the province, the health authorities reported.
What's more, a local child specialist, Dr Muzaffar Ghangro, has been arrested on charges of spreading Aids through syringes.
He has denied the charge, saying all the infected people were not his patients.
Meanwhile, officials in Sindh - which has one of the highest HIV infection rates in Pakistan - have set up an inquiry to identify causes of the outbreak.
But that will not help those who have already found themselves with a diagnosis that will impact on their whole lives.
Doctors at the hospital camp in Ratto Dero have now tested more than 18,418 people since 25 April.
At least 607 of them have tested positive so far, three-quarters of them children between the ages of one month and 15 years.
That means there are hundreds of parents left counting the cost - both to their children's health, and their everyday existence.
"Medicines for grown-ups are usually available [with health authorities] in Larkana, but for the child's medicines we have to go to Karachi, which means we spend several thousand rupees on each trip," one mother, whose three-year-old daughter had been diagnosed as HIV-positive, told the BBC.
"My husband is only a day-labourer, so we won't be able to afford this for long."