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71 killed in Russia passenger plane crash

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MOSCOW — A Russian passenger plane has crashed near Moscow soon after take-off, killing all 71 people on board. Saratov Airlines’ Antonov An-148 jet carrying 65 passengers and 6 crew crashed after take-off outside Moscow.

The Saratov Airlines regional jet disappeared from radar screens a few minutes after departing from Domodedovo Airport en route to the city of Orsk, about 1,500 kilometres south-east of Moscow.

Domodedovo air traffic control lost contact with Saratov Airlines flight 703, bound for Orsk, several minutes after take off, an official from Russia’s Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) told local media.

Emergency services immediately deployed rapid response teams to the reported crash site, but rescuers and medics had to reach it on foot, walking through the countryside buried under snow.

Fragments from the airliner were found in the Ramenskoye area, about 40 kilometres from the airport. Preliminary reports say the wreckage is spread across an area between adjacent villages.

The office of Russia’s transport prosecutor said all 71 people on board had been killed. The Emergencies Ministry said the search-and-rescue operation will work around the clock, with the crash site observed by drones.

Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov confirmed there were no survivors and said DNA tests would be needed to identify the dead.

President Vladimir Putin offered condolences to those who had lost relatives and ordered a special investigative commission to be set up. Putin also put off a planned trip to Sochi in order to closely monitor the investigation.

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Govt to present its policies and programmes Monday

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KATHMANDU — The government is preparing to present its policies and programs for the fiscal year 2018/19 at the Federal Parliament on Monday.

According to Joint Spokesperson at the Federal Parliament Secretariat Keshav Aryal, all preparations are over for the release of the government policies and programs to be made by the President Bidya Devi Bhandari from New Baneshwor-based Federal Parliament Building at 4:00 pm Monday.

President Bhandari would unveil the government policies and programs for the first time in the joint meeting of the Federal Parliament after the promulgation of the new constitution.

As per the constitution, the President can address any of the House meeting or the joint meeting of the Federal Parliaments and summon the lawmakers for their presence.

Vice President, top leaders of different political parties, high-ranking government officials, chiefs of the constitutional bodies, chiefs of the security bodies and chiefs of the diplomatic missions in Nepal are invited for the program.

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