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Dahal, Oli seek middle path for merger

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KATHMANDU — CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that his party and CPN-UML will be merged soon making both the parties acceptable.

Addressing the party’s parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday, Chairman Dahal underscored that the unification would be completed, leaving no space for reservation and doubt for both sides.

There is a dispute over proportion of representatives from the two parties in the central committee of the united party. The CPN (Maoist Centre) has proposed sharing the party central committee on the basis of 50:50 ratio.

Stating the joint taskforce on unification has already come up with report, Dahal said the merger between the two parties will be announced soon after the left alliance unification committee finalises the report.

“Political and statute draft taskforces submitted the report yesterday. The political report is uni-vocal” he said. The Chairman argued that he had felt machination both from within and out of the country to frustrate the unification.

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He added that though the parties have agreed to have two chairmen at the centre, the issue of leadership at lower committees remain to be settled.

Chairman Dahal also underlined the need to be vigilant about possible attempts to foil the unification bid, though the unification process has reached the final stage.

Likewise, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has also said that the planned unification between UML and CPN (Maoist Center) would be finalized soon after he returns from India visit.

Briefing party leaders about progress in unification talks with Maoist Center, the UML Chair said that the two parties have agreed upon most of the issues. He said that few other pending issues would be addressed on the basis of compromise and understanding.

“Only some issues remain to be settled and they would be settled soon. The merger will be given final shape within the next few days,” Oli briefed leaders during a meeting held at party headquarters in Kathmandu.

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At least 5 killed in California wildfires

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LOS ANGELES — At least five people have been found dead in their burned-out vehicles when an explosive wildfire swept through the Northern California town of Paradise, sheriff’s officials said Friday.

The Butte County Sheriff’s Office said officials located five bodies inside a vehicle overcome by the Camp Fire.

The fire also injured three firefighters but the total casualty was not yet clear.

Evacuation orders included the entire city of Malibu, which is home to 13,000, among them some of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

The fire, which sparked Thursday, burnt 70,000 acres with 5 percent containment as of 10:30 am Friday local time, according to media reports.

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Only a day after it began, the fire near the town of Paradise had almost quadrupled in size to nearly 285 square kilometres.

Celebrity website TMZ reported the Malibu Ridge home of Caitlyn Jenner, America’s best-known transgender person, was destroyed by the flames on Friday.

Kim Kardashian, Alyssa Milano and Melissa Etheridge were among thousands fleeing from their homes in and around Malibu from a separate fire burning north of Los Angeles.

TMZ also reported the blaze had reached the grounds of the mansion in nearby Calabasas owned by Kardashian and husband rapper Kanye West.

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