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Clinton clinches Democratic presidential nomination

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LOS ANGELES — Hillary Clinton has achieved the number of delegates needed to secure the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination, as per tallies on Monday by two U.S. media outlets, the day before six states were set to vote in nominating contests.

A former senator and US secretary of state, Clinton would be the first woman to ever be the presidential candidate of a major political party in the country’s 239­year history.

But the campaign of her rival, Bernie Sanders, vowed to keep up the fight in what has been a protracted and increasingly antagonised primary race that has exposed deep rifts between the left­wing and the more centrist of the Democratic Party.

A Sanders campaign spokesman said it was wrong of the Associated Press and NBC News, which made the calls on Monday evening, to count the votes of superdelegates before they cast ballots at the Democratic National Convention in July.

“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump,” Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs said in a statement, castigating what he called the media’s “rush to judgement.”

While most delegates are awarded by popular votes in state­by­state elections, superdelegates largely consist of party leaders and elected senators, members of Congress and governors, and can change their mind at any time.

For that reason, the Democratic National Committee has echoed the Sanders campaign, saying the superdelegates should not be counted until they vote at the convention in Philadelphia.

But that has not deterred the news media. The AP and NBC reported that Clinton reached the 2,383 delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic nominee with a decisive weekend victory in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, and a burst of additional support from superdelegates.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont who calls himself a democratic socialist, has commanded huge crowds spilling out of parks and stadiums and has been particularly bolstered by younger voters angered by widening economic inequality with his promise of a “political revolution.”

But Clinton, who prefers smaller, round­table events, has continued to edge out Sanders, particularly among older voters with longer ties to the Democratic party. Her less lofty promises focus on improving the policies of her fellow Democrat and former boss, President Barack Obama.

“According to the news, we are on the brink of a historic, historic, unprecedented moment,” Clinton told a rally in Long Beach, California, shortly after the AP report. “But we still have work to do, don’t we? We have six elections tomorrow and we’re going to fight hard for every single vote, especially right here in California.”

Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses, and Sanders has 1,521. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates, according to an AP count, compared to 48 for Sanders.

Her campaign manager, Robby Mook, said the media call on Clinton was an “important milestone”.

“We look forward to Tuesday night, when Hillary Clinton will clinch not only a win in the popular vote, but also the majority of pledged delegates,” he said in a statement on Monday.

Sanders supporters have pointed to the uncertainty of whether or not Clinton or her aides will face criminal charges as a reason for him to remain in the race.

Clinton’s decision to use an unauthorised private email server kept in her home for her work as secretary of state remains the subject of a criminal inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Reuters

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NAC aims to bring more tourists

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KATHMANDU — Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) — the national flag carrier which bought two wide-body aircrafts — is exploring new destinations in Europe, North America and South East Asia to bring in more tourists to the country.

The NAC, with the new destinations, expects to increase its business and carry 400,000 tourists on board the NAC planes to Nepal every year.

The NAC’s move is expected to serve largely for the government’s announcement to mark 2020 as Nepal Visit Year.

The NAC is also planning to procure narrow-body planes that would make regional flights while the wide-body planes would fly to the new international destinations.

For the new destinations, the NAC has appointed issue manager.

With the agreement, the NAC planes would make flights to 14 destinations in a week. If things go as planned, the NAC planes would fly to Narita and Tokyo in Japan, easing the tourists visiting Nepal from there.

After getting approval from Japan and South Korea for flights, the inclusion in the significant safety concern list by the EU to Nepal would remove automatically while the flights to South Korea shall open up the golden door for Nepal Airlines.

South Korea is regarded as the safest country in the world in terms of civil aviation. Likewise, the ICAO has already removed Nepal from its blacklist.

Furthermore, the NAC is preparing to operate flights to bring in tourists from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Similarly, Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Rabindra Adhikari has directed the NAC for announcing new business plans by targeting the Indian and Chinese tourists, realizing the crucial role of the national flag carrier to make the Nepal Visit Year 2020 a success.

“Top priority has been given to the NAC as it is the major basis to bring in tourists,” Minister Adhikari shared.

Likewise, Minister Adhikari shared that expansion of services and facilities of the Tribhuvan International Airport has been prioritized.

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