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Massive crowd sees off world’s largest cruise ship in France

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SAINT-NAZAIRE, FRANCE — Tens of thousands of people turned out on Sunday in France to see off the world’s biggest-ever cruise ship, the 120,000-tonne Harmony of the Seas, as it set sail for the first time.

At 66 meters (217 feet), it is the widest cruise ship ever built, while its 362-metre length makes it 50 meters longer than the height of the Eiffel Tower.

As the massive boat pulled away from a shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, where it was built on France’s Atlantic shore, some 70,000 people watched from along the coast, local authorities said.

The crowd waved, cheered and clapped as the boat — built for the US-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL) — eased away from France.

“It’s gone,” said Christine, who did not give her full name. “We watched it develop and grow over three years. It’s like a child leaving home.”

The floating town, which cost close to one billion euros (dollars), has 16 decks and will be able to carry 6,360 passengers and 2,100 crew members.

The ship is headed for Southampton in southern England and is to embark on its official maiden voyage on May 22 to its new home port of Barcelona.

Harmony of the Seas

AFP

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Nirmala Panta rape, murder case : Locals protest after wrong suspect paraded

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BHIMDUTTANAGAR — Locals who were protesting against the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta of Kanchanpur’s Bhimdatta Municipality, have enforced shutdown in Bhimduttanagar Bazaar on Tuesday, protesting police’s failure to reveal facts behind the murder of 13-year-old girl and parading wrong suspect on Monday.

The District Police Office, organising a press conference on Monday,had made public Dilip Singh Bista (41), of Baghphanta, Bhimdatta Municipality-19 as Nirmala’s murderer.

Locals have shut down the market area stating that police were not being able to make public the true murderer(s) as they are not convinced by the findings of police citing that Bista was mentally unsound, according to the District Police Office.

Transportation has also been halted.

Bista, a resident of Khanna Chauraha area in Bhimdutta Municipality-19, was apprehended near the scene of crime on Sunday, according to police.

Police making public the wrong suspect has infuriated the locals and fueled the protest.

The agitators including various civil society organisations and human rights defenders have been picketing the District Administration Office and staging rally on the street mounting pressure on the police to reveal the facts behind the heinous crime.

Meanwhile, it had been learnt that police have fired rounds of teargas shells to contain the agitated mob.

Nirmala was found murdered in a sugarcane field on July 27, a day after she had gone to her friend’s home to get a notebook.

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