NEWS OF THE DAY
From Around the World
1 Italy bridge:
Work is under way to remove what is left of the Morandi Bridge, the key highway span in the Italian city of Genoa that collapsed in August, killing 43 people. Engineers spent hours over the weekend lowering a 118-foot long segment of road, the start of demolition efforts to clear the way for a new bridge to be built. The delicate, timeconsuming operation was necessary given the unstable remains of the bridge that crosses a populated area. The cause of the Aug. 14 collapse still hasn’t been determined, but prosecutors are investigating poor maintenance or design flaws in the 51-year-old structure. Hometown architect Renzo Piano has designed a new span that resembles the bow of a ship, in homage to Genoa’s seafaring traditions.
2 Tunisia terrorism:
Seven suspects have been sentenced to life in prison in a trial for two attacks in Tunisia in 2015 that killed 60 people, mainly tourists. Samir Ben Amor, the lawyer for one of the 44 defendants, said the verdicts were handed down Saturday for the deadly attack against the country’s famous Bardo Museum and a massacre at a popular seaside resort. Other defendants received jail terms ranging from 16 years to six months, while the charges against 27 of the suspects were dismissed, according to Ben Amor. The suspected mastermind of both attacks, Chamseddine Sandi, hasn’t been caught and is thought to be hiding in Libya.
3 Civilians killed:
At least 10 civilians were killed and several others were wounded over the weekend during U.S. air strikes in southern Afghanistan, officials and residents in Helmand province said Sunday. Two residents of the Sangin district said eight members of a single family were killed by strikes in one house and two more in a nearby structure, among them women and children. Mohammad Hasim Alokozai, a member of parliament from Helmand, put the death toll higher, saying in an interview that 14 civilians were killed and six wounded in the two houses. A U.S. military spokeswoman in Kabul said that U.S. aircraft had conducted airstrikes in the province late Friday and early Saturday, but that she could not confirm that civilians had been killed. The spokeswoman said strikes were called in after a Taliban insurgent fired at Afghan and American forces.
4 France fire:
The Paris prosecutor’s office says the suspect in the fire that killed 10 people in the French capital last week has been handed preliminary arson charges. The suspect, a woman who prosecutors say has been hospitalized at least 13 times in the past decade for mental health issues, was placed in provisional detention in the investigation into the fire at the nine-story apartment building. Besides the deaths, 96 other people were injured in the blaze, including eight firefighters. Police say she indicated during the first part of her detention that she wasn’t behind the fire early Tuesday that was the deadliest in Paris since 24 people died in a 2005 hotel fire.
5 Algeria politics:
Ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced Sunday that he will seek a fifth five-year term in April’s election in the gas-rich North African nation. Bouteflika has faced questions over whether he is fit enough to remain in office after two decades in charge. The 82-year-old suffered a stroke in 2013 and has been seen in public only a few times a year throughout his fourth term. His top challengers are former Prime Minister Ali Benflis, the runner-up in the 2014 election; influential retired Gen. Ali Ghediri; and the leader of a moderate Islamist party, Abderazak Makri.