AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A bridge under construction in Salado, Texas collapsed onto several vehicles on Thursday after a truck hit at least one beam supporting it, local officials said. Local news media reported at least one person has been killed, but the local Bell County Sheriff's Office could not confirm the report. The incident took place on Interstate 35 about 50 miles north of Austin. "The impact caused a few beams of the bridge that was under construction to fall," said Veronica Beyer, a spokeswoman with the Texas Department of Transportation. ...
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence vigorously defended the state religious objections bill that he signed into law Thursday as businesses and organizations including the NCAA pressed concerns that it could open the door to legalizing discrimination against gay people.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — University of Maryland journalism students are raising money to launch a line of bracelets emblazoned with the names of journalists imprisoned around the world to raise money for the cause, and awareness of their plight.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A hunter who paid $350,000 last year at a Dallas auction for a license to hunt an endangered black rhino in Namibia will be able to bring home a trophy despite protests from animal rights groups that said the sale was immoral. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said on Thursday it had found that $550,000 in proceeds generated from two planned hunts in the southern African country will go to conservation and granted permits for them, including the one sold at the Texas auction. Animal protection groups said the decision sends the wrong message. Poachers, many from impoverished Mozambique, in 2014 killed more than 1,200 rhinos in South Africa, home to almost all of the animals in Africa, for their horns.
WASHINGTON (AP) — In uncommon bipartisan harmony, the House approved a $214 billion bill on Thursday permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts, moving Congress closer to resolving a problem that has plagued it for years.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has authorized a short-term needle-exchange program and other steps to help contain the spread of HIV among intravenous drug users in one county. Some answers to common questions about needles, drug abuse and the virus that causes AIDS:
SAND SPRINGS, Okla. (AP) — Oklahomans salvaged soggy belongings Thursday after the Plains' first tornado outbreak of 2015, expressing gratitude that casualties were low but understanding that nature's next punch could be far worse.
By Emily Stephenson and Julia Edwards WASHINGTON/ BIRMINGHAM (Reuters) - A U.S. consumer financial watchdog on Thursday outlined plans to crack down on payday lending practices that leave borrowers with debt they cannot repay, and President Barack Obama touted the move as a contrast with Republican polices. Obama told an audience at a community college in Birmingham, Alabama, that the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's plan would protect consumers while Republicans are seeking to unravel such financial safeguards. "If you lend out money, you have to first make sure that the borrower can afford to pay it back," Obama said. Payday loans are small extensions of credit that borrowers agree to repay in a short time, such as when they next receive a paycheck.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — An off-duty New Jersey police officer behind the wheel of a car that crashed last week while heading the wrong way on a New York highway, killing two passengers, has had two drunken-driving arrests in the last four years, including one for an accident in which he plowed through the wall of a convenience store, records show.