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The first man to conquer Mount Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary, has spoken out to condemn a $24M scheme to link the US base at McMurdo Sound with the AmundsenScott research station at the South Pole. He described the 1,600km South Pole Traverse Project as 'terrible'. The route across the Antarctic ice is intended to reduce the number of flights needed to get to the remote bases. All 30 Antarctic Treaty signatories have approved the project as environmentally acceptable.

Hyder Consulting's half year pre-tax profits jumped by 234% from the corresponding period last year. The company posted profits of $3.5M in the six months to 30 September.

Turnover grew by 6% to $110M, while the company's order book also grew by 6% to $330M.

Chief executive Tim Wade highlighted contract awards from South West Water, Thames Water and Welsh Water as contributory factors, along with highways project wins in the UK, central Europe and Australia.

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