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Briefs

Bridge collapses near Seattle; cars in river

– An Interstate 5 bridge over a river north of Seattle collapsed Thursday evening, dumping vehicles and people into the water, the Washington State Patrol said.

The four-lane bridge over the Skagit River collapsed about 7 p.m., Trooper Mark Francis said. There was no immediate estimate of how many people were in the water or whether there were any injuries or deaths, he said.

It also was not known what caused the collapse of the bridge about 60 miles north of Seattle in Skagit County, which stretches from the North Cascades National Park to a cluster of islands off the Washington coast.

Helicopter footage aired by KOMO-TV in Seattle showed vehicles visible in the water, which appeared so shallow it barely reached the top of a car’s hood.

The bridge, built in 1955, is not considered structurally deficient but is listed as being “functionally obsolete” – a category meaning that the design is outdated, such as having narrow shoulders and low clearance underneath, according to a database compiled by the Federal Highway Administration.

Car bombs kill 26 at Niger camp, mine

Suicide bombers in Niger detonated two car bombs simultaneously, one inside a military camp in the city of Agadez and another in the remote town of Arlit at a French-operated uranium mine, killing 26 people and injuring 30, according to officials in Niger and France.

A surviving attacker took a group of soldiers hostage Thursday, and authorities were attempting to negotiate their release.

The timing of the attacks, which occurred at the same moment more than 100 miles apart, and the fact that the bombers were able to penetrate both a well-guarded military installation and a sensitive, foreign-operated uranium mine, highlight the growing reach and sophistication of the Islamic extremists based in neighboring Mali.

Obama wants look at policy on leaks

President Obama instructed Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday to review Justice Department guidelines for leak investigations, meet with media organizations and report back to him by mid-July.

In a speech to the National Defense University, Obama addressed the uproar over his administration’s numerous leak investigations, saying he is “troubled” that the inquiries might “chill” investigative journalism. But he also emphasized that certain information must remain secret to protect national security.

“As commander in chief, I believe we must keep information secret that protects our operations and our people in the field,” Obama said.

Cleveland neighbor to get free burgers

The man who famously put down his Big Mac to help rescue three women held captive for years in a Cleveland house will get free McDonald’s for the next year, a company spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.

Local franchisees in Charles Ramsey’s neighborhood have offered him free food at their restaurants, said Heidi Barker, a spokeswoman for Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s Corp.

Ramsey has also been promised free burgers for life at more than a dozen Cleveland-area restaurants.

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