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Euro 2016: France edges heroic Ireland, Germany cruises to last 8

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PARIS — Host country France has come from behind to beat 10-man Ireland 2-1 and reached the Euro 2016 quarter-finals after forward Antoine Griezmann struck twice in the second half to offset Robbie Brady’s second-minute penalty.

A disjointed France came to life in the second half as the introduction of winger Kingsley Coman injected pace and bite up front, with Griezmann heading home the equaliser in the 58th minute after a superb cross by Bacary Sagna.

The French, who celebrated their first knockout-stage win in the competition since winning Euro 2000, were stunned when Paul Pogba gave away a clumsy spot-kick and Brady converted it to score the tournament’s fastest goal at Parc OL.

The 25-year-old turned the match on its head three minutes later after Olivier Giroud headed a long ball into his stride for a clinical finish. Ireland had centre back Shane Duffy sent off midway through the second half after he hauled down Griezmann who was through on goal.

France will play either England or Iceland for a semi-final place.

Earlier, Germany pounded Slovakia 3-0 with goals from Jerome Boateng, Mario Gomez and Julian Draxler to cruise into the quarter-finals.

Central defender Boateng, who had recovered from an injury, connected perfectly with a clearance in the eighth minute to volley in from 25 metres for his first international goal as the world champions took control from the start.

The Germans, who next face either holders Spain or Italy, saw Mesut Ozil’s weak 13th minute penalty saved but Gomez made no mistake two minutes from half-time when he tapped home a perfect cut back from the marauding Julian Draxler.

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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