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By Ajit Solanki, Aijaz Hussain, Krutika Pathi and Sheikh Saaliq | Associated Press

MORBI, India — Police in western India arrested nine people on Monday as they investigated the collapse of a newly repaired 143-year-old suspension bridge in one of the country’s worst accidents in years, officials said. The collapse Sunday evening in Gujarat state plunged hundreds of people into a river, killing at least 134.

As families mourned the dead, attention turned to why the pedestrian bridge, built during British colonialism in the late 1800s and touted by the state’s tourism website as an “artistic and technological marvel,” collapsed and who might be responsible. The bridge had reopened just four days earlier.

Inspector-General Ashok Yadav said police have formed a special investigative team, and that those arrested include managers of the bridge’s operator, Oreva Group, and its staff.

“We won’t let the guilty get away, we won’t spare anyone,” Yadav said.

Gujarat authorities opened a case against Oreva for suspected culpable homicide, attempted culpable homicide and other violations.

In March, the local Morbi town government awarded a 15-year contract to maintain and manage the bridge to Oreva, a group of companies known mainly for making clocks, mosquito zappers and electric bikes. The same month, Oreva closed the bridge, which spans a wide section of the Machchu river, for repairs.

The bridge has been repaired several times in the past and many of its original parts have been replaced over the years.

It was reopened nearly seven months later, on Oct. 26, the first day of the Gujarati New Year, which coincides with the Hindu festival season, and the attraction drew hundreds of sightseers.

Sandeepsinh Zala, a Morbi official, told the Indian Express newspaper the company reopened the bridge without first obtaining a “fitness certificate.” That could not be independently verified, but officials said they were investigating.

Authorities said the structure collapsed under the weight of hundreds of people. A security video of the disaster showed it shaking violently and people trying to hold on to its cables and metal fencing before the aluminum walkway gave way and crashed into the river.

The bridge split in the middle with its walkway hanging down, its cables snapped.

Police said at least 134 people were confirmed dead and many others were admitted to hospitals in critical condition. Emergency responders and rescuers worked overnight and throughout Monday to search for survivors. State minister Harsh Sanghvi said most of the victims were teenagers, women and older people.

At least 177 survivors were pulled from the river, said Jigar Khunt, an information department official in Gujarat. It was unclear how many people were on the bridge when it collapsed and how many remained missing, but survivors said it was so densely packed that people were unable to quickly escape when its cables began to snap.

“There were just too many people on the bridge. We could barely move,” Sidik Bai, 27, said while recovering from injuries in a hospital in Morbi.

Sidik said he jumped into the water when the bridge began to crack and saw his friend being crushed by its metal walkway. He survived by clinging to the bridge’s cables.

“Everyone was crying for help, but one by one they all began disappearing in the water,” Sidik said.

Local news channels ran pictures of the missing shared by concerned relatives, and family members raced to overcrowded hospitals searching for their loved ones.

Gujarat is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was visiting the state at the time of the accident. He said he was “deeply saddened by the tragedy” and his office announced compensation for families of the dead and called for speedy rescue efforts.

“Rarely in my life, would I have experienced such pain,” Modi said during a public event in the state on Monday.

Modi was the top elected official of Gujarat for 12 years before becoming India’s prime minister in 2014. A Gujarat state government election is expected in coming months and opposition parties have demanded a thorough investigation of the accident.

The bridge collapse was Asia’s third major disaster involving large crowds in a month.

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By Tierney Sneed | CNN

A federal judge on Monday night dismissed the challenge former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows brought to a House January 6 select committee subpoena.

US District Judge Carl Nichols wrote that the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause, which shields legislators from being targeted by certain legal actions in circumstances tied to their legislative duties, shielded the select committee from Meadows’ lawsuit.

“At the time it issued the subpoena to Meadows, the Select Committee had evidence that Meadows was in contact with President Trump on January 6th and participated in efforts to challenge the election results,” Nichols wrote.

“Meadows is therefore a proper subject of the Select Committee’s investigation, and the Court cannot say that the Committee’s demands for his testimony, documents, and cell phone records are irrelevant to its investigative task,” he added.

Meadows can appeal Nichols’ ruling.

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The Chicago Bears are trading linebacker Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens for second- and fifth-round draft picks, a source confirmed Monday.

The Bears also will receive linebacker A.J. Klein in return, according to NFL reporter Josina Anderson.

The trade is Bears general manager Ryan Poles’ second major deal in six days. He traded defensive end Robert Quinn to the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday.

Smith, 25, was the No. 8 pick in the 2018 draft by former Bears GM Ryan Pace. He has 607 tackles, 47 tackles for a loss, 16½ sacks, 20 quarterback hits, 20 passes defended and seven interceptions over 4½ seasons with the Bears.

The move to trade Smith comes after he staged a hold-in during training camp amid stalled contract negotiations. Smith made a public request for a trade, saying in a statement the team didn’t value him and refused to negotiate in good faith.

In an impromptu news conference on Aug. 9, Poles responded by saying he thought the Bears made Smith a fair offer and they still intended to sign the linebacker.

“We can’t lose sight that this isn’t about one player,” Poles said then. “My job is to build a roster that’s going to sustain success for a long period of time. We’ve got to do what’s best for the Chicago Bears.”

Poles and Smith eventually came to an understanding that he would play this season for the Bears without a new contract. He leads the league with 83 tackles and also has four tackles for a loss, three quarterback hits, 2½ sacks and two interceptions in eight games in the final year of his rookie contract.

Poles had the option of using the franchise tag on Smith next season, but he obviously felt the draft capital made more sense as he builds for the future. The Bears have added three 2023 draft picks after Poles got a fourth-rounder for Quinn.

“On the business side, it just made too much sense for what we’re trying to do,” Poles said last week after trading Quinn. “It’s going to allow us to continue to build a highly competitive roster.”

ESPN reported the Bears will pay $4.833 million of Smith’s remaining salary this season, while the Ravens will pay $575,000.

The Bears did not make Poles available for comment Monday, and coach Matt Eberflus finished speaking to reporters shortly before news of the trade leaked out.

The NFL trade deadline is 3 p.m. Tuesday, and the next question is if Poles and assistant GM Ian Cunningham have more deals in the works.

“Ryan and Ian are in there working their tails off on whatever they’re doing, and they’ll say, ‘Hey, Coach, this is what we’ve got,’ just like they do anytime, even with the draft,” Eberflus said of the communication as the deadline approaches. “‘Hey, we’re talking about this,’ and, ‘We’re talking about that.’ And they’ll just inform me of what’s going on at that point.”

Smith and Quinn were two of four team captains this season along with quarterback Justin Fields and left guard Cody Whitehair. Smith frequently gave the pregame speeches in the huddle after warmups, and Quinn, a 12-year NFL veteran, was quietly one of the most respected players in the locker room.

Smith became emotional when he heard of the Quinn trade while speaking with reporters last week.

“Sucks,” Smith said. “I have a great deal of respect for that guy. Man. Crazy.”

Eberflus said Monday that safety Eddie Jackson was named a replacement captain for Quinn.

During his weekly appearance on “The Parkins & Spiegel Show” on WSCR-AM 670, Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson said Smith’s “energy was contagious.”

“I know his value. I’ve felt his value throughout the organization, not just on the field,” Johnson said. “Roquan was Roquan. He was a character, a great personality.

“It’s really just trying to find a way that I can add that leadership value back into the organization, add that ‘it’ factor back into the organization. Because he’s definitely not somebody you can just replace. He’s not somebody who can be duplicated.”

But Johnson said he trusts Bears leadership to do what it believes is best for the future of the team.

“There’s more to it than just giving guys away,” Johnson said. “I don’t think it’s ever as simple as that. I feel like there are decisions to be made, and they’re not easy decisions. I feel like the front office is doing what they feel is best for the future of the Bears organization.”

The Smith trade comes after the Bears gave up 442 yards — including 200 on the ground — in a 49-29 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Afterward, Smith was strong in his assessment of the defense.

“They had a good game plan and that’s that, but the defense, we never can allow someone to score that many points on us,” Smith said. “That’s embarrassing. So we have to look our own selves in the mirror.”

Now Smith joins a Ravens team that leads the AFC North with a 5-3 record.

Klein, 31, is a 10-year NFL veteran who has started 81 of his 136 career games with the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Buffalo Bills and Ravens. He had a career-best season in 2020 with the Bills, recording 75 tackles, five sacks, nine quarterback hits, five tackles for a loss and four passes defended.

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By Kate Brumback | Associated Press

ATLANTA — A federal judge on Monday declined to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed against former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani by two women who served as election workers in Georgia in November 2020.

In the lawsuit filed last December, Ruby Freeman and Wandrea “Shaye” Moss accused Giuliani of defaming them by falsely stating that the pair had engaged in election fraud while counting ballots at State Farm Arena in Atlanta. The lawsuit says Giuliani repeatedly pushed debunked claims that the mother-and-daughter pair pulled out suitcases of illegal ballots and committed other acts of fraud to try to alter the outcome of the presidential election in Georgia.

In an opinion accompanying Monday’s order, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Beryl Howell in Washington described the situation that followed the November 2020 election, when the vote totals in several key states were so close that the results were not immediately clear.

“As election workers across the state worked long hours carefully ensuring the accuracy of the election, the Trump Campaign and its allies, including Giuliani, engaged in a media offensive that at best questioned, and at worse condemned, their work,” Howell wrote.

Moss had worked for the Fulton County elections department since 2012 and supervised the absentee ballot operation during the 2020 election. Freeman, her mother, was a temporary election worker, verifying signatures on absentee ballots and preparing them to be counted and processed.

As the false allegations about them circulated online, the two women said, they suffered intense harassment, both in person and online. Moss detailed her experiences in emotional testimony before the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. The committee also played video testimony from Freeman during the hearing in June.

Moss, who is Black, said she received messages “wishing death upon me. Telling me that I’ll be in jail with my mother. And saying things like, ‘Be glad it’s 2020 and not 1920.’”

“A lot of them were racist,” Moss said. “A lot of them were just hateful.”

In a court filing in June, Giuliani argued the lawsuit should be dismissed because the claims against him are inadequately pleaded and are barred by First Amendment protections for free speech. Howell rejected those arguments, allowing the lawsuit to move forward.

“Despite the repeated debunking of the Trump Campaign’s claims of voter fraud in the election in Georgia by state officials and private organizations, Giuliani persisted in pushing those very claims — and began taking direct aim at plaintiffs in the process,” Howell wrote.

A lawyer representing Giuliani in the defamation lawsuit did not immediately respond Monday to an email seeking comment on the ruling.

“Shaye Moss and Ruby Freeman served their community and their country. In return, Rudy Giuliani and his allies — and others — told vicious lies that turned their lives upside down,” one of their lawyers, Von Dubose, said in a news release.

Giuliani’s spreading of debunked claims about Freeman and Moss has also caught the attention of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who’s investigating whether Trump and others illegally tried to influence Georgia’s 2020 election. Willis has told Giuliani’s lawyers he could face criminal charges in that investigation.

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By RONALD BLUM

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred thinks the Oakland Athletics made a good decision to explore a possible new ballpark in Las Vegas, expressing frustration their stadium situation remains unsolved in an industry just shy of $11 billion in revenue this year.

The A’s have played at the Coliseum since 1968 and their lease expires after the 2024 season. After proposing and withdrawing plans for ballparks in Fremont and San Jose, the team announced in November 2018 it had found a waterfront location for a new ballpark at Howard Terminal, close to the Jack London Square neighborhood.

Major League Baseball instructed the team in May 2021 to explore relocation options if no ballpark agreement could be reached. Team president Dave Kaval has said the club was working on plans along “parallel paths” in Oakland and Las Vegas.

“The pace in Oakland has not been rapid, number one,” Manfred said Monday after announcing Game 3 of the World Series between Houston and Philadelphia had been postponed by rain. “We’re in a stadium situation that’s really not tenable. I mean, we need to do something to alter the situation. So I’m concerned about the lack of pace.

“Given the fact that they have not made a deal in Oakland — and I’ve been talking to this since the day I started, that’s eight years ago, I think it’s prudent that they are exploring another alternative because something needs to happen in Oakland.”

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission voted 23-2 in June to reclassify a 56-acre terminal at the Port of Oakland as a mixed-use area where a new ballpark could be built. The vote is the first in a series of legal hurdles the team would have to overcome before it gets permission to break ground for the project.

Oakland’s City Council approved preliminary terms for the project last yea r, but Kaval said the financial terms didn’t work for the team.

Manfred said any timetable for a possible relocation decision would be “partially dependent on decisions that Oakland — the team — may make.”

Oakland traded veterans and cut payroll to $48.8 million this season, more than $11 million less than any other big league team as of Aug. 31. The A’s finished 60-102, 29th among the 30 teams and ahead of only Washington at 55-107. The A’s finished with a big league-low 787,902 in home attendance, an average of 9,849 per game.

Manfred said MLB revenue this year will be just shy of $11 billion, up from $10 billion before the pandemic.

The 30 teams combined to draw 64.6 million fans, up from 45.3 million in the pandemic-restricted 2021 season and down from 68.5 million in 2019. The 26,843 average was down 5.3% from the 2019 average of 28,339.

Manfred said the expansion of the playoffs from 10 teams to 12 was key.

“We’ve had a phenomenal year,” he said. “In September we saw the benefits of the new playoff format. We had, in particular, weekend draws that we hadn’t seen since 2014. That’s what it was about: more interest in September baseball. I think that the three-game wild-card round performed really well on a weekend against football.”

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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By DAN GELSTON (AP Sports Writer)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — In the City of Brotherly Love and the undefeated Eagles, Justin Verlander showed the reverse of the first and playfully gave Phillies fans another kind of bird Monday — with his middle finger as he stepped off Houston’s team bus.

One more finger, of course, than you’d need to count the Astros ace’s World Series wins, 0-6 with a 6.07 ERA in eight starts.

Also the number of days Game 3 of the World Series was delayed — postponed by rain with the matchup tied 1-1, pushing the entire Fall Classic schedule back one day.

“We waited long enough that we can see on the radar what’s coming,” baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “We had three, actually four different weather people looking at it. Everyone was consistent about this second wave of rain.”

The rainout moved Game 3 to Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park, when the weather was supposed to be all clear and first lady Jill Biden had planned to attend Game 4. There was a smattering of boos at the ballpark when the washout was announced an hour before the scheduled first pitch on Halloween night.

Game 4 will now be played Wednesday and Game 5 is set for the scheduled travel day on Thursday night — Game 5 will compete with the NFL game that has, of all teams, the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles in Houston against the Texans.

There will be a travel day on Friday if necessary. That had been the original date of Game 6.

Game 6 has been rescheduled for Saturday and Game 7 would be Sunday. All games will start at 8:03 p.m. ET.

There has not been a World Series day game since 1987, and it appeared there was little discussion about turning Game 5 on Thursday into a late-afternoon start and keep it away from the NFL as it reigns as a ratings juggernaut. The Eagles-Texans game will stream exclusively on Amazon Prime Video. The World Series airs on Fox.

“For the World Series, an important consideration for us is having the biggest audience we can possibly get, and that’s a prime-time audience. That’s the reality,” Manfred said. “We think we have a great product that fans want to see. And we’re going to put the games on when it makes sense to play the games and hope to get a good audience.”

Houston right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. is set to pitch against Phillies lefty Ranger Suárez in Game 3. Noah Syndergaard had been scheduled to start for Philadelphia before the rainout.

“It affects both teams. You just have to turn it off, get a good night’s rest and be ready to play tomorrow,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “It’s part of the game. You can’t control the weather, so you just deal with it.”

Phillies manager Rob Thomson was fine with the decision by Major League Baseball to postpone the game.

“Everybody would rather play in dry conditions. It’s going to be fair for everybody,” he said.

For fans, tickets that were good for Monday night now become valid for Tuesday’s game, when the calendar rolls over to November.

Game 1 starter Aaron Nola will start for the Phillies in Game 4 against Cristian Javier. Either Syndergaard or Kyle Gibson will start Game 5 for the Phils. Game 2 starter Zack Wheeler takes the mound for Game 6 on extra rest, setting up Suarez to start a possible Game 7 in Houston.

Thomson felt confident turning to Suárez in Game 7 even though he was roughed up by the Astros for six runs in three innings on Oct. 4 in his final start of the season.

“Some guys get sped up, get a little excited,” Thomson said. “Some guys, their heartbeat stays the same, and Ranger is one of those guys.”

Phillies righty Kyle Gibson could start Game 5 if the Phillies turn to Syndergaard in the bullpen in either of the next two games. Syndergaard went to the outfield after the postponement for some light long tossing in the rain.

Gibson would be a stretch after he went 10-8 in 31 starts but none since Oct. 1. His only postseason appearance was 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in Game 2 of the NLCS on Oct. 19 against the Padres. Gibson went 1-3 with a 9.79 ERA over his last six regular-season starts. Thomson said he could get 60-65 pitches out of Gibson.

The Astros and Phillies both worked out on the field Monday before the tarp was put down around 5 p.m. It started to rain about an hour later.

“I’m glad we took some batting practice and played some balls off the wall. That’s their real home-field advantage,” Baker said.

And once again, rain intruded on the World Series in Philly.

In 2008, the clinching Game 5 actually took three days to play. The Phillies and Tampa Bay were tied when the game was suspended and, after steady rain the next day, Philadelphia won the World Series a day after that.

The start of World Series games in Philadelphia in 1993, at Veterans Stadium, and 2009, at Citizens Bank Park, were delayed by rain. This year, the Phillies clinched the NL Championship Series with a win against San Diego on a rainy, gusty Sunday.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports



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Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Taylor Swift scored a 10 out of 10 as she became the first artist in history to claim the top 10 slots of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with tracks from her new record “Midnights.”

Billboard reported Monday that Swift surpassed Drake, who had held the previous record with nine of the top 10 songs for a week in September 2021.

“10 out of 10 of the Hot 100??? On my 10th album??? I AM IN SHAMBLES,” the pop star tweeted Monday.

The new album came out Oct. 21 with both a 13-track standard release and a deluxe version with another seven bonus tracks. It has had one of the biggest album launches in nearly seven years. Billboard also reported that Swift now ties with Barbra Streisand for the female artist with the most No. 1 albums.

The No. 1 spot belongs to “Anti-Hero,” whose lyrics “It’s me/hi/I’m the problem/It’s me” have quickly become a TikTok trend. The other top 10 songs include “Lavender Haze,” “Maroon,” “Snow on the Beach,” “Midnight Rain,” “Bejeweled” and “Question…?”

The numbers are for the week Oct. 21-Oct. 27.

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