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iPhone 6 propels Apple profit to record

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple’s biggest cash cow, the iPhone, is gaining weight.

Sales of iPhones, including the new, big-screen iPhone 6 models released last month, helped carry Apple to a record-breaking quarter, with $8.5 billion in profit, the company said Monday.

The company’s profit for its fiscal fourth quarter was 13.3 percent higher than the same quarter a year ago. Revenue over the quarter was $42.1 billion, up from $37.4 billion in the same period last year.

Overall, Apple sold 39 million iPhones over the quarter, a significant bump from the 33.8 million it sold in the same period last year.

“Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus,” Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive, said in a statement.

The revenue was above the expectations of Wall Street analysts. They had expected revenue of $39.9 billion, according to a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Apple’s $1.42 per share profit also exceed analyst expectations for $1.31 a share.

Year after year, iPhone sales have steadily grown, even though overall sales of smartphones are slowing in developed markets like the United States and parts of Europe. To achieve growth, Apple recently made a series of aggressive moves with the iPhone. Last year, Apple for the first time released two new iPhone models instead of just one. Last month, Apple again released two new iPhones, this time with bigger screens.

The larger iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones got a strong reaction early. In the first weekend that the new iPhones went on sale in September, Apple sold 10 million of the devices, up from the 9 million new iPhones sold last year on their opening weekend.

The story hasn’t been the same for the iPad. The company on Monday said it sold 12.3 million iPads over the quarter, down from 14 million in the same quarter last year. The company’s iPad sales were down in the previous quarter, too.

—Brian X. Chen, The New York Times

Pakistani government suspends license of broadcast network

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The Pakistani government on Monday suspended the license of ARY News, a broadcast network that has been sharply critical of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a move that was widely criticized by rights groups and journalists.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority said the 15-day suspension was effective immediately. It also imposed a fine of 10 million rupees, or about $97,000.

The regulatory body said in a statement that ARY had maligned the country’s judiciary in an episode of the talk show “Khara Sach,” which was critical of the court system and senior judges.

However, analysts said that the suspension seemed aimed at curtailing coverage by ARY that has been increasingly critical of Sharif and his government and party, particularly by the host of “Khara Sach,” Mubashar Lucman, and other hosts on the network. Lucman has been on a self-professed campaign against Sharif’s government, and in one TV appearance distributed candy after a politician allied with the government lost a by-election in central Pakistan.

“ARY TV must be immediately allowed back on air. There is simply no justification for the Pakistani authorities to silence sections of the media solely because of their political leanings,” said Mustafa Qadri, a Pakistan researcher at Amnesty International.

“The ban on ARY is a sobering reminder of the threat of criminal prosecution on the basis of overly broad contempt of court or anti-state provisions,” Qadri said. “Journalists in Pakistan are under attack from all sides, facing harassment, even abduction and killings for carrying out their work.”

Monday’s suspension was the second time this year that a major television news network has been silenced by a government order.

—Salman Masood, The New York Times

Nepal tragedy reverberates across borders

KATHMANDU, Nepal — In an incense-filled prayer room inside a Buddhist monastery here, more than a dozen lamas chanted and prayed beside the body of Ang Dorje Sherpa, a 36-year-old porter who died last Tuesday alongside two Slovakian clients when an avalanche engulfed their group at the base of the towering Dhaulagiri mountain.

Six days after a catastrophic storm bore down on a several trekking routes in Nepal’s central Himalayan region, trapping scores of hikers, a spokesman for Nepal’s home minister said Monday that there was “no one left to rescue” from the area and that workers had turned to recovering the bodies of the dead. He said that eight were still missing, trapped under at least 35 feet of snow.

Officials in three districts where bodies had been recovered in and around the popular Annapurna Circuit raised the death toll to 40 people, half of whom were Nepali.

As rescue efforts ended and travelers began slowly to return to Katmandu, the international dimension of the disaster and the toll it took on Nepali porters and guides came into focus. People from at least seven countries — Canada, India, Israel, Japan, Nepal, Poland and Slovakia — lost their lives. Travelers from many other nations were injured.

Because of the pull of the Himalayas, and the relative accessibility of the treks in and around the Annapurna Circuit, the tragedy reverberated across continents and contexts.

October is meant to offer the best and clearest trekking weather, but the climate has become less predictable recently.

“Seven people died — and we’re only one story,” said Paul Cech, 54, a computer animator from Vancouver who trekked in a group of four that included Tomlinson and Rooks and who escaped from the village of Phu.

—Nida Najar, The New York Times