A 950-ton pedestrian bridge installed less than a week ago collapsed yesterday in Miami, crushing at least eight vehicles and causing six fatalities. At least eight more were hospitalized, and officials say they may find more bodies. The 174-foot Florida International University walkway, which was built to withstand hurricanes, was installed to reduce the danger of attempting to cross the busy eight-lane road beneath, where a student was killed last summer. Gov. Rick Scott promised an investigation into the bridge’s construction and inspection, saying, “If anybody has done anything wrong, we will hold them accountable.”
The Presidential Daily Brief
Amid the international scandal over the poisoning of a former Russian spy on British soil, police say they’ve opened a murder inquiry into the death of Russian businessman Nikolai Glushkov, who was found dead in his London home Tuesday. Citing a pathologist’s report, they say 68-year-old Glushkov — a former deputy director of Russian state airline Aeroflot — died from “compression to the neck.” There’s no evidence linking him to the apparent March 4 assassination attempt on ex-spy Sergei Skripal, which the British government has blamed on the Kremlin.
National security doesn’t mean job security. Multiple sources say President Donald Trump is preparing to set Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster loose, though he’s expected to find a replacement before announcing the departure. Several senior staff members have recently left the White House, and remaining staffers are anticipating a possibly chaotic shake-up. While there’s long been speculation that Trump wants to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Sen. Chuck Grassley — whose vote is necessary to confirm a replacement — said yesterday he “would not be comfortable” with that.
The world’s fifth-largest nation has been racked by protests since the Wednesday shooting of Marielle Franco, a Rio city councilor seen as a voice for women’s rights and a champion of the disadvantaged. Franco, 38, was shot four times in the head when a car pulled up beside hers. Her driver was also killed. Black and openly gay, Franco was known for criticizing police violence and for her work in the city’s favelas. Tens of thousands have rallied to demand answers, and officials have promised a full federal investigation.
Show him the money. The probe into Russian election meddling — and potential links to the Trump campaign — is delving further into the president’s finances, subpoenaing documents related to Russia from the Trump Organization for the first time. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s already issued multiple indictments of Russians for election interference, which were cited in new sanctions the U.S. aimed at Moscow yesterday. But the president has warned Mueller that inspecting his family finances would be crossing a line, which could increase tensions as the investigation’s expected to continue for months.
Know This: The former chairman of Qualcomm is expected to make a bid for the company, which narrowly avoided a hostile takeover this week when President Trump himself blocked the $117 billion deal. Donald Trump Jr.’s wife Vanessa has filed for divorce after 12 years of marriage. And a Libertarian Senate candidate in Michigan has proposed arming homeless people with shotguns to protect them from violent crime, saying pistols wouldn’t be possible due to licensing requirements.
Try This: Feeling presidential after a week of briefings? Prove it with the PDB Quiz.
Listen Up: Meet your next great listen for your commute. OZY’s podcast, The Thread, is back. This season, we’ll travel through nearly a century of history leading up to the #MeToo movement by profiling the original silence-breakers and the men who exploited them. Listen or subscribe for free here.
At least one street is paved with gold. Temperatures were well below zero at Siberia’s Yakutsk Airport yesterday when the hatch door on a Russian cargo plane snapped during takeoff, spilling 3.4 tons of gold alloy bars from the remote Kupol gold mine onto the runway. The airport says technicians may have made a mistake in loading the $368 million cargo, which some reports suggest fell over a 10-square-mile radius. The mining company that owns the gold says all 172 bars have now been recovered.
Identical twin brothers Mark and Scott Kelly recently underwent a landmark study: Mark stayed on Earth while Scott lived aboard the International Space Station for a year. Though worldwide media breathlessly reported that Scott’s DNA had changed in space, meaning the two were no longer identical, NASA has now clarified the line in a report that caused the stir: What changed long-term was the way some genes were expressed, not Scott’s genetic sequence itself. Some have also noted that due to random genome mutations, adult identical twins aren’t exactly identical anyway.
Since 2008, imports and domestic production of firearms have ballooned, while the number of gun-owning households has stayed steady. Three percent of the population owns half the guns in the U.S., and studies show those stockpilers are predominantly white and male. New research on concealed carry applicants suggests they’re also anxious about supporting their families, insecure about employment and driven in part by racial resentment. But white men aren’t just more likely to own guns: They’re also three times more likely than Black men to shoot themselves.
Are they only sorry they got caught? On Monday, Snapchat apologized over an ad for mobile game Would You Rather that asked users if they’d rather slap Rihanna or punch her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, who violently assaulted her in 2009. The singer responded via Instagram, telling Snapchat, “I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!” The company’s stock subsequently dropped 5 percent, and Snapchat responded by assuring investors the ad was a ”terrible mistake” that made it through their review process in error.
For once, the Wildcats didn’t land on their feet. Even Buffalo’s coach expressed surprise when his 13-seed team defeated 4-seed Arizona 89-68 in a stunning March Madness rout, ending the Wildcats’ season. The Bulls led for more than 34 minutes in the game — and led by double digits for eight minutes — while Arizona’s Pac-12 Player of the Year Deandre Ayton seemed to have trouble getting his hands on the ball. Ayton still appears NBA-bound, and Buffalo will continue in the tournament to play Kentucky.