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Iran resumes search for missing plane with 66 on board.

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Search and rescue teams are continuing to search for an Iranian plane that crashed in bad weather on Sunday.

Officials told state media that the wreckage had been found, but an aviation spokesman said he could not confirm this.

The Aseman Airlines passenger plane came down in the Zagros mountains on Sunday, and all 66 people on board are feared to have been killed.

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Hundreds of mountaineers with dogs and drones are trying to reach the site.

The searchers face bad weather conditions. Due to fog and strong winds, helicopters that were deployed for the search at dawn on Monday have had to be grounded, a Red Crescent official told local media.

And on Sunday, teams had to stop work altogether due to winds and snow.

The ATR 72-500 twin-engine turboprop was travelling from Tehran to the south-western city of Yasuj.

Flight EP3704 left Tehran at 04:30 GMT on Sunday, and crashed about an hour later in the Mount Dena area, about 22km (14 miles) from its destination.

On Monday officials from the region told news channels rescuers had reached the site.

But both channels – IRINN and English-language Press TV – said they could not confirm the reports independently, and a civil aviation spokesman told Reuters news agency the reports could not be confirmed.

The crashed plane was 25 years old, Iran’s civil aviation organisation said.

Sixty passengers, two security guards, two flight attendants and the pilot and co-pilot were on board.

Following the crash, the airline initially said that all on board had died, but later on Sunday said that it could not confirm this as no-one had reached the site.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani expressed sympathy for all involved, saying in a statement that the incident brought “great grief and sorrow”.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the accident “saddened the hearts”.

Iran has suffered several aviation accidents in recent years and has an ageing aircraft fleet.

The country has struggled to obtain spare parts to maintain its planes in the face of international sanctions imposed to curb its nuclear programme.

Those sanctions have been mostly lifted under a 2015 deal between Iran and the US alongside several other powers.

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$550m bridge to connect two congos separated by River Congo.

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Two Congos separated by a river, the River Congo, have set in motion a plan to link their respective capital with a multi-purpose bridge.

The project estimated to cost $550m will include a toll bridge, a railway track, a road and a sidewalk, a statement cited by the Bloomberg portal reported.

The first Congo is officially sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest country in terms of land size, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Referred to as DR Congo, better still Congo-Kinshasa.



The other is the Republic of Congo whose national capital is Brazzaville with a commercial capital which borders the South Atlantic Ocean, Pointe Noire.

The announcement was made las week during the maiden Africa Development Bank investment forum in Johannesburg. When completed, it will provide alternative transportation means which are currently restricted to boats or planes.

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The bridge which will span a 1,575-meter route will give birth to special economic zones between the two neighbours, Republic of Congo Spatial Planning Minister Jean-Jacques Bouya said at the forum.

Officials from both sides of the river have signed an agreement to that effect, Bloomberg reported last week.

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The great Congo River is the second longest river in Africa, shorter only than the Nile, as well as the second largest river in the world by discharge volume, following only the Amazon.

It is also the world’s deepest recorded river, with measured depths in excess of 220 m. Its overall length is put at 4,700 km (2,922 miles). The Congo gets its name from the old Kingdom of Kongo which was at the mouth of the river.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo, both countries sitting along the river’s banks, are named after it. From 1971 to 1997, the Democratic Republic of the Congo was called Zaire and its government called the river the Zaire River.

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NBA: LeBron James Edges Wilt Chamberlain on all-time scoring list.

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LeBron James has become the fifth highest points scorer in NBA history, passing Wilt Chamberlain, as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Portland Trailblazers 126-117.



The 33-year-old beat Chamberlain’s record of 31,419 points with a free throw late in the fourth quarter.

James, who now has 31,425 career points, scored a season-high 44 points.

It was the highest score by a Lakers player since Kobe Bryant’s 60 in his final game in April 2016.

Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers legend Chamberlain, a four-time most valuable player, won two NBA championships, in 1967 and 1972, in his 14-year career.

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He is also the only player to have scored 100 points in an NBA game.

“Anytime my name is mentioned with some of the greats to play the game, I always think back to my hometown where I have come from and how far I’ve come,” said James, who joined the Lakers as a free agent in July on a four-year deal worth $154m (£116m).

In a 15-year career, the four-time MVP has won three NBA titles, two at Miami Heat and one at Cleveland Cavaliers.

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James added: “He [Chamberlain] is one of the most dominant forces we have ever had in our game along with Shaq [Shaquille O’Neal]. He is one of the greatest Lakers to ever play the game, one of greatest scorers and rebounders ever.

“People had never seen someone like that in that era. He was dominant in all walks of life, not just basketball.”

Lakers coach Luke Walton added: “It is important to recognise milestones in the game, to do what he did and get in the top five of that list and play way he plays, how unselfish he is, is something that should be praised and talked about.”

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