How big is the concert bomber’s network?


Thursday, May 25, 2017
Manchester’s beloved soccer team, Manchester United, won a league title. It was an emotional, bittersweet victory. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

By Doug Criss.

1. Manchester concert bombing

Police are convinced that Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people in the Manchester Arena attack, didn’t act alone. So just how big is the network he may have been a part of? It might stretch all the way to Libya. Abedi was of Libyan descent, and police say he returned from a three-week visit just before the attack. A sixth person in the UK has been arrested in connection with the bombing, and Abedi’s brother in Libya is also in custody.

The Brits are ticked off about all the leaks to the media coming out of this investigation. The New York Times last night published photos that allegedly show remnants of the bomb. The Times says British officials gave the newspaper access to the pictures. The subject is sure to come up when Prime Minister Theresa May meets up with Donald Trump at today’s NATO summit.

2. Russia investigation

Another day, another revelation. This one’s about Jeff Sessions. The attorney general didn’t disclose meetings he had last year with Russian officials when he applied for his security clearance, CNN learned from the Justice Department. Remember, Sessions already had to recuse himself from the investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia because he didn’t disclose his contacts with Russians during his Senate confirmation hearings earlier this year. A Justice Department spokesman said Sessions was instructed not to list such meetings on the security clearance form.

3. President Trump

Oh, what a dinner this will be. Donald Trump will attend his first NATO summit today in Brussels. Yes, that’s the same NATO that Candidate Trump called “obsolete” while accusing its members of not paying their fair share in the alliance. But as we’ve seen over these past few months, President Trump is a little more flexible than Candidate Trump, so when the President sits down with the alliance’s other 27 members for dinner tonight, observers expect he’ll give them assurances that the US is still “all in” with NATO. Remember, he’s already taken back that “obsolete” quip.

4. Montana election

We know the press is under assault these days, but this is just plain crazy. Montana, a traditionally red state, holds a special election today to fill its lone congressional seat. And the GOP candidate was just charged with misdemeanor assault after he allegedly body slammed a reporter who asked him about health care. Greg Gianforte is accused of grabbing The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs by the neck and throwing him to the ground, breaking the reporter’s glasses. Gianforte’s campaign says Jacobs was too aggressive in asking questions. But witnesses — bolstered by Jacobs’ own recording of the incident — say that’s BS. Three local newspapers rescinded their support for Gianforte. CNN’s Chris Cillizza said Gianforte made a massive error in a race that some consider a referendum on President Trump.

5. Health care

The House-passed GOP health care bill would leave 23 million fewer Americans insured, says the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That’s actually a slight improvement on the original Republican bill to replace Obamacare. The bill also would reduce deficits by $119 billion, and it would lower premiums for some people. At any rate, the CBO report on the bill could become another headache for its supporters — and another reason for the Senate to pretty much ignore the House bill and write its own

Speaking of not having insurance, almost 19,000 residents in Missouri could be left without it after Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City pulled out of Obamacare. The company is leaving because of, you guessed it, big losses and uncertainty over health care policy. This kind of thing has happened across several states already. 

“If anybody is wondering how bad the opioid epidemic has become, this case is a frightening example.”
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, after two drug counselors overdosed on opioids at an addiction facility in Pennsylvania
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