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Oli, Dahal agree to begin internal homeworks for party unification

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KATHMANDU — CPN-UML Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal have agreed to begin fresh internal homeworks to resolve disputed issues of party unification.

The two parties, which had already inked a seven-point agreement for merger, but have not been able to finalize the political and ideological draft due to differences over some key issues.

This has raised doubts on the possibility of unification on April 22, the birth anniversary of Lenin.

During the meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Residence at Baluwatar on Monday, Oli and Dahal agreed to put all efforts to sort out the differences through high-level discussions within the next few days.

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Leaders from the two parties will hold a decisive negotiation on the remaining issues during a high-level meeting of the two parties planned for Tuesday, Dahal said addressing a program in the capital on Monday.

UML has summoned party’s Standing Committee meeting on Monday evening in this regard while Dahal will also hold intra-party discussions for the same.

The two parties have differences over election symbol, use of People’s War in unified party’s statute and proportion of central committee members to be inducted from both the parties.

Despite resolving above 80 percent of disputes relating to merger, the two parties have not been able to give a written shape to the merger due to differences on some key organizational and ideological issues.

Maoist has also demanded equal proportion in the central committee. But UML has not agreed to using People’s War or removing sun as election symbol and said proportion of central committee members should depend on the size of the two parties after the federal and provincial elections.

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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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