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Plane crashes claim 60 lives

At least 50 people were killed and 20 injured when a Bangladeshi passenger plane crashed in Kathmandu on Monday, an official said. There were 67 passengers and four crew on board the US-Bangla Airlines plane from Dhaka. The cause of the crash was not yet known. In another incident, 11 people were killed when a private plane crashed in Iran while flying the daughter of a prominent Turkish businessman and her friends back from a hen party, officials said on Monday. Aviation authorities said the pilot had asked to descend owing to a “technical problem”. - AFP, Telegraph

Mars trips coming soon, says Musk

Elon Musk said a rocket ship his company is building for trips to Mars could make short flights by as early as next year. SpaceX is “making good progress on the ship and the booster” he said at the South by Southwest event in Austin, Texas. Musk, 46, who dreams of creating a human colony on Mars, said in 2017 he was building the new “BFR” rocket ship that would be capable of travelling anywhere on Earth in under an hour. It would ultimately be able to make missions to the moon or Mars. - The Telegraph

Gay-conversion shrink abused male patients

A Toronto psychiatrist who believes homosexuality is a sexual disorder that can be overcome, has been found guilty by Ontario’s medical regulator of sexually abusing two of his male patients, reports The Toronto Star. Dr Melvyn Iscove, 72, engaged in mutual masturbation and oral sex with two male patients on different occasions during therapy sessions, and once had anal intercourse with one of them in his office, the committee found. Both complainants said they thought the activity was part of the therapy and an attempt to cure them of homosexuality. - Staff reporter

Putin’s granddad cooked for Stalin

Vladimir Putin’s paternal grandfather worked as a cook for both Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin, the president said in a film posted on the internet on Sunday. In the two-hour documentary, Putin said Spiridon Putin was a valued member of Stalin’s staff. The wartime Soviet leader, who died in 1953, conducted extensive purges during his around three decades in power. “(He) was a cook at Lenin’s and later at Stalin’s, at one of the dachas in the Moscow area,” Putin said. - Reuters

Teenager’s acid moped madness

A British teenager who sprayed acid into the faces of six motorcyclists during a two-hour robbery spree in London was jailed for 10 and a half years on Monday. Derryck John, 17, threw the liquid through the visors of motorcyclists in an attempt to blind them and steal their scooters, escaping twice with vehicles. The use of acid in street attacks in Britain has risen sharply over the past two years, prompting the government to limit the sale of sulphuric acid and ban children from buying it. - Reuters

'Little black dress' designer dies

Hubert de Givenchy, the aristocratic French fashion designer famous for the “little black dress” and styling Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, has died at 91, his partner said on Monday. Givenchy dressed everyone from Princess Grace of Monaco to Jane Fonda. Longtime partner Philippe Venet said he died in his sleep. With his perfect manners and old-school charm, the tall and handsome designer was the acme of French elegance and refinement. His 40-year friendship with his muse Hepburn, who he met on the set of the comedy Sabrina in 1953, helped make him a fashion legend. - AFP

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