News brief: Big stories of the day

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Aug 15, 2018, 09:08 AM(IST)

The collapsed Morandi Bridge in the Italian port city of Genoa Photograph:( Reuters )

Government to reform Indian Army in 'planned manner'

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday addressed the armed forces on the eve of 72nd Independence Day and highlighted the various initiatives taken by the central government to reform the Indian Army.

She said that the ministry has decided to reform the Indian Army in "planned manner."

"In a first-ever exercise after Independence, the Ministry of Defence in consultation with the Indian Army has decided to reform the Indian Army in a planned manner. The first phase of the reforms involves redeployment and restructuring of approximately 57,000 posts of officers, JCOs, ORs and civilians," Sitharaman said.

Search for survivors after Italy bridge collapse kills at least 26

Firefighters searched into the night on Tuesday for survivors and bodies amid the rubble of a motorway bridge that collapsed in the northern Italian port city of Genoa, killing at least 26.

While that remained the official death toll, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said from Genoa that the number would rise. The ANSA news agency reported that it could reach around 35, citing fire brigade sources.

US says North Korea talks moving 'in right direction'

US talks with North Korea on denuclearization are making progress "in the right direction," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Tuesday.

Nauert said behind-the-scenes discussions with Pyongyang have normalized in the wake of President Donald Trump's June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and subsequent meetings between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top Pyongyang officials.

Kerala rains: Kochi Airport suspends operations till 2 pm

Cochin International Airport today suspended all flight operations till 2 pm as water level has increased in the airport area following continuous rains and the opening of dam shutters in Periyar river.

The decision to suspend the operations was taken after shutters of the Idamalayar and Cheruthoni dams, part of Idukki reservoir, were opened last evening to release excess water.

The airport is located near the Periyar river bank.

Is Messi retiring? 

Captain Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's next four friendly matches, according to local press reports on Tuesday.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner previously retired from the national side after their 2016 Copa America final defeat by Chile before returning to help them qualify for this year's World Cup.

The two-time world champions will face Guatemala in Los Angeles on September 7 and Colombia in New York four days later, before two friendlies later in the year against as-yet unnamed opponents.

"Messi will not return this year and there are doubts about his future," proclaimed Argentinian daily Clarin.

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