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News Wrap: Federal investigators join Florida bridge collapse probe

In our news wrap Friday, the death toll from a pedestrian bridge collapse in South Florida rose to six, and could go higher still. Federal investigators from the national transportation safety board have joined the investigation. Also, the White House played down talk of another impending shakeup after reports that President Trump plans to fire National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The death toll rose to six today in that pedestrian bridge collapse in South Florida, and it could go higher still. The newly-installed span fell onto a highway yesterday at Florida International University.

    Today, the head of the Miami-Dade police said crews expect to find more bodies as they remove the crushed wreckage. They are also looking for clues.

  • Juan Perez:

    Right now, we just want to find out what occurred, what caused this collapse to occur and people to die. We want to get to the bottom of this — the bottom line of what occurred, so that we can bring closure to the families, bring closure to the investigation, and so that it doesn't happen again.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Federal investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board have also joined the investigation.

    The White House played down talk today of another impending shakeup, namely, that President Trump plans to fire National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. It was widely reported that the president has complained of McMaster lecturing him and that the two clashed over Iran and North Korea.

    But, at today's briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said it's much ado about nothing.

  • Sarah Sanders:

    The president's said that it wasn't accurate, and that he has no intention of changing, that they had a great working relationship and he looked forward to working with him.

    The chief of staff actually spoke to a number of staff this morning, reassuring them that there were personnel changes — no immediate personnel changes at this time, and that people shouldn't be concerned.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that Mr. Trump and his chief of staff, John Kelly, have reached a truce of their own months of tensions.

    The lawyer for porn film star Stephanie Clifford says that she has been threatened with bodily harm if she did not remain silent about an alleged sexual affair with President Trump. He gave no details and wouldn't if someone tied to Mr. Trump made the threat against Clifford, who is known as Stormy Daniels.

    The White House said the president condemns anyone who threatens any individual.

    The diplomatic divide between London and Moscow deepened today, with British police saying that a Russian businessman may have been murdered. Nikolai Glushkov was found dead Monday in London, where he had won political asylum in 2010. Investigators say they think he was strangled.

    His death followed a nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in Salisbury, England.

    Emma Murphy of Independent Television News reports from Moscow.

  • Emma Murphy:

    The imagery couldn't have been lost on the president. In the middle of an international crisis about where a lethal chemical agent was produced, he appeared in a white coat in a Russia laboratory.

    It seems imagery wasn't lost on the foreign secretary either, Boris Johnson appearing in a military bunker to point the finger of blame directly at the Russian leader.

  • Boris Johnson:

    Our quarrel is with Putin's Kremlin and with his decision, and we think it overwhelmingly likely that it was his decision to direct the use of a nerve agent on the streets of the U.K., on the streets of Europe for the first time since the Second World War.

  • Emma Murphy:

    The response from the Kremlin was immediate. Though what action will be taken against British interests hasn't yet been announced, the foreign secretary's accusations were described as shocking and unforgivable.

    The Russian foreign minister was in no mood for discussion.

    "I don't want to comment on what's happening anymore," Sergei Lavrov, said. "Let it stay on the consciousness of those who started this shameless, unjustified, Russophobic game."

    Yevgeny Primakov is a foreign policy adviser to the Russian Parliament. He's also a close associate of the president and part of his reelection team.

  • Yevgeny Primakov:

    I would describe it as something very close to the very darkest days of the Cold War.

  • Emma Murphy:

    What do you think happened in Salisbury?

  • Yevgeny Primakov:

    I am pretty sure it was a very, very dirty game of some special security services, and those services were not Russian.

  • Emma Murphy:

    And perhaps that is the only bit of common ground between the U.K. and Moscow. There is indeed a very dirty game being played.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    That report from Emma Murphy of Independent Television News.

    On the cusp of Russia's presidential election, Vladimir Putin is urging his people to get out and vote. He is expected easily to win another six-year term in Sunday's balloting, but as opposition candidates held their final rallies today and some urged a boycott, Putin put out a recorded message to boost turnout.

  • Vladimir Putin:

    We, in Russia, have always decided our fate ourselves. I'm sure that each and every one of us is worried about the fate of our country, so I am addressing you to ask you to come to the polling stations. Use your right to choose the future for the great and beloved Russia.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Putin's public approval ratings top 80 percent.

    Russian and Syrian airstrikes rained more death today outside Damascus, as civilians ran for their lives. Thousands were fleeing the rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta in Syria toward government lines. But war monitors say that air attacks killed at least 70 people.

    In Northwestern Syria, Turkish air assaults left 27 dead in Kurdish-held Afrin. The Turks say the Kurds are linked to rebels inside Turkey.

    In Western Iraq, the U.S. military says seven American service members were killed when their helicopter crashed. It happened Thursday in Anbar province near the Syrian border. Officials say there was no indication of enemy fire. As of last fall, about 9,000 U.S. troops were stationed in Iraq.

    Former South African President Jacob Zuma will face corruption charges over an arms deal from the 1990s. The chief prosecutor announced it today. The 75-year-old Zuma served as president for nearly nine years, but his tenure was marred by scandal. He resigned under pressure last month.

    Back in this country, the oldest sitting member of Congress, Louise Slaughter, died today at a Washington hospital a week after falling at her home. The New York Democrat represented the Rochester area for more than 30 years. She championed women's rights, and was the first woman to chair the House Rules Committee. Louise Slaughter was 88 years old.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained nearly 73 points to close at 24946. The Nasdaq rose just a fraction, and the S&P 500 added four. For the week, all three indexes lost more than 1 percent.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour," new reports beg the question, could Russia shut down the U.S. power grid?; Mark Shields and David Brooks on the White House's revolving door; impressions of the Southern border from Arizona's first poet laureate; and much more.

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