Suicide Bombing Kills 22 in Manchester, Trump Halfway Through First International Trip: Recaps of Saudi Arabia and Israel/West Bank Trip, Updates with Trump Team/Russia Investigation, and Father Turns in 17-Year Old Son After Finding Weapons and Explosives in Basement.
Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Tuesday, May 23. I’m back from my trip to West Virginia and my break yesterday. Ready for news?
There was a suicide bombing last night in Manchester, England at an Ariana Grande concert that killed 22 people and injured at least 59 others.
The bombing was at the exit/entrance area, outside of the main venue. When people walked out at the end of the concert, the explosion went off with a loud bang, a burning smell, causing people to panic and push one another as they ran away.
The explosion had shrapnel in it — sending nails and other metal objects flying into the crowds.
There were many children, teenagers, and young adults at the concert — the majority of them female.
The youngest was a 8-year old girl named Saffie Rose Roussos. The next youngest who died was a 18-year old, Georgina Callander. Terrible.
At least 12 children under the age of 16 were injured.
Officials in the U.K. have named the bomber as 22-year old Salman Abedi, but did not give more details about who he was. British media said he was born in Manchester in 1994
There was a 23-year old man arrested and police did a controlled explosion of a device that was apparently found.
ISIS has claimed responsibility, but it is unconfirmed. There is now an investigation on if the bomber did it by himself or if he was a part of a terrorist group.
U.K. Prime Minister May said the bombing targeted innocent, defenseless children and young people — that it was appalling and cowardly.
Queen Elizabeth II said she expressed her sympathy to all who were affected by the dreadful event. She thanked the emergency responders.
U.S. President Trump was in Israel at the time of the bombing and said the bombers were evil losers in life.
The singer Ariana Grande tweeted that she was broken, that she was so so sorry. See the tweet.
[Tweet: broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.]
Ariana has announced that she is suspending her world tour. She was planning to do a concert in London this Thursday and at other European cities.
It is the second terror attack in the U.K. this year — we remember the vehicle attack and the stabbing in London near the Parliament in March 22 — 5 people died and more than 50 were injured. That attacker acted alone, but was inspired by other extremists.
We will see from the investigation on what motives the concert bomber had.
CLARIFICATION: When making his remarks, President Trump was in Bethlehem, West Bank, which is in Israeli-held Palestinian territory.
President Trump is halfway through his first international trip — he was in Saudi Arabia on Friday and Saturday, then flew to Israel, and today he is headed towards Italy to meet with Pope Francis. He is traveling with his wife, Melania and daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner (who are White House staff).
It was a trip that “touched” on the three major world religions — Islam in Saudi Arabia, Judaism in Israel, and Christianity in Italy.
In Saudi Arabia, Trump met with their King Salman and was honored with their “Collar of Abdulaziz Al Said Medal,” the highest civilian honor in the country.
Trump then signed a $110 billion deal to sell American-made weapons to Saudi Arabia. This is an addition to a $115 billion deal that Obama offered when he was president.
Trump then gave a speech to 55 Muslim majority countries. He said the U.S. offers partnership with them to pursue a better future, and said the most important goal is to stop extremism and terrorism.
Trump said the U.S. had experienced terror attacks, as well as Europe, Asia, and Africa — then said more than 95% of the victims of terrorism are themselves Muslim.
Trump spoke very positively of the history, beauty, and successes of the Middle East, but that it was held back by terrorism. Trump then the countries would have to drive out the terrorist sand extremists, to drive them out of their communities, holy lands, and out of this Earth.
Trump blasted Iran in the speech, saying they trains and gives weapons to terrorists and has caused chaos in the area. Trump also said Syria used banned chemical weapons and that the U.S. has launched tomahawk missiles against them, and called on the countries to end the crisis there and to eradicate ISIS.
Trump then left Saudi Arabia on Monday to fly to Israel. Interesting fact: this might be the first direct flight from Saudi Arabia to Israel, as the two countries do not have a relationship with each other — Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel as a country.
In Israel, Trump met with their Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre — which is believed to be the place where Jesus was buried and resurrected —
and then went to the ancient Western Wall, which is a very holy site in Judaism as it is believed to be the closest spot to ancient Jewish King Solomon’s temple.
Trump used a kippa as it is the custom there, touched the wall, ddi a silent prayer, and put a note inside — following Jewish tradition. He is the first sitting (acting) U.S. president to visit the wall.
He had a dinner with Prime Minister Netanyahu and on the following day, met with the President of the Palestinian Authority — Mahmoud Abbas.
Trump later in a speech said he felt that Israelis and Palestinians are ready for peace, which is a frequent and elusive goal for U.S. presidents, and we’ll see if Trump can be the factor to get a peace deal done.
He blasted Iran again, saying they have called for the destruction of Israel, but said “not with Donald J. Trump.” He said his administration would always stand with Israel
That concluded Trump’s visit to Israel and West Bank, and he flew off to go to Rome, Italy to meet with the Pope. He just arrived in Italy.
Later this week he will be in Brussels, Belgium to meet with European leaders, NATO, and back to Italy for the G7 summit.
Updates with the Trump team/Russia investigation:
Former CIA Director John Brennan testified today before Congress — he said the CIA had intelligence that showed there were contacts and interactions between Russian officials and Trump’s team.
He emphasized that he did not know if those contacts were “collusion” (making secret illegal deals). Brennan said there was enough to require further investigation by the CIA to determine if U.S. persons were colluding with the Russians.
Brennan said the Russians did a very aggressive effort to brazenly interfere in the 2016 presidential election. He said he called the head of the Russian FSB intelligence service to not interfere in the U.S. election last August, but that the FSB denied any involvement and said the U.S. falsely blamed them.
The current Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats also testified and he was asked by Congressmen if Trump ever told him to publicly state that there was no collusion between the Trump team and Russia.
Coats would not comment, saying he discusses various topics with Trump on a regular basis and that he did not feel it appropriate to describe his discussions and conversations with the President.
Congress asked him if he knew about any attempt by the White House to manipulate any current investigations. Coats said he was not aware of that.
Michael Flynn has refused to hand over documents related to his interactions with Russians — on Monday he informed the Senate through his lawyers that he would “taking the Fifth” — which means he is using his right to not say anything or do anything that could be used against him in a criminal proceeding.
The Senate intelligence committee said they would announce what steps they will take next.
The ex-FBI director Comey will talk with the current special counsel of the Russian investigation, former FBI director Mueller, before he testifies before the House. It was previously thought Comey would testify tomorrow, but this has been postponed and will testify after Memorial Day (next Monday).
In Missouri — a father of a 17-year old teenager turned him in to police after the father found knives, firearms, ammunition, and materials to create homemade explosives in the basement of the home. The father saw that the guns and the ammo did not belong to him or to the family and alerted the police.
The son, Tristan Blasius, admitted that he stole the guns from other people’s homes and did research on ammonium nitrate explosives, but did not succeed in creating an explosive. There were peanut butter jars filled with fertilizer.
Tristan has been charged with unlawful possession of an illegal weapon and stealing firearms/explosive weapons. He will be charged as an adult because Missouri law charges 17-year old people as adults.
There is no information about what he wanted to do with the explosives.
People on the internet are praising the parents for doing the right thing.
That is all for today.
I want to thank the great people of West Virginia for donating a little over $280 to Daily Moth after I gave a presentation to them at an alumni gathering at the WV Schools for the Deaf and the Blind. I appreciate your support!
See you tomorrow and stay with the light!