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Collapsed Baltimore bridge blasted into pieces to clear wreckage: US news in brief, 5/14

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Collapsed Baltimore bridge blasted into pieces to clear wreckage

(Reuters) — U.S. crews in Baltimore set off controlled explosions on Monday to allow them to remove a portion of the collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge from the bow of the massive container ship that toppled the span in March. The detonations were meant to break the bridge’s truss into small sections, enabling salvage crews to use cranes and barges to haul away the twisted metal wreckage, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said. The work, originally planned for Sunday, was delayed because of weather conditions. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and state officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on how successful the detonations were.

RFK Jr and super PAC sue Meta, claiming election interference

NEW YORK (Reuters) — Independent U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr and a super PAC supporting him filed a lawsuit on Monday against Facebook parent Meta Platforms, alleging the tech giant interfered in the election after it blocked a political advertisement. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco by Kennedy and the American Values 2024 super PAC, which paid for the advertisement, a 30-minute video about Kennedy’s life, says Meta censored the video by removing it and blocking users on its platforms from watching, sharing or posting a link to it. The lawsuit said Meta began censoring the May 3 video “within minutes” and cited a statement from Meta on May 5 that said the video was no longer being censored.

Abuses in FDIC sexual misconduct report unacceptable, Yellen says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday said abuses documented in a report on workplace problems at the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation were totally unacceptable and not in line with the Biden administration’s core values. Yellen did not reply when asked after an event in Fredericksburg, Virginia if FDIC Chair Martin Gruenberg should resign after an independent report by law firm Cleary Gottlieb cited accounts that he had engaged in bullying and verbal abuse. But she rejected the reported behavior at the FDIC, which is an independent agency not under the supervision of Treasury. “The kind of abuses that were documented in the report are a totally unacceptable way to treat employees at the FDIC and not in line with the core values of the Biden administration,” Yellen told reporters.

US auto workers union seeks
tough victory at Mercedes plant

DETROIT (Reuters) — Workers at a Mercedes-Benz plant in Alabama began voting Monday on whether to join the United Auto Workers union, a significant test of whether the labor group can maintain momentum in the historically anti-union American South. A union victory at the plant, weeks after a resounding win at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee, would be a watershed moment for the UAW as it seeks to organize more than a dozen automakers across the nation and add to its dwindling ranks. The campaign at Mercedes has been much more contentious.

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