Madness in Manchester

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
The aftermath of an unfathomable attack in Great Britain leads off the things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

By Doug Criss.

1. Concert attack

At least 22 people — many of them children — were killed and dozens injured when a bomb exploded after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Police are treating this as a terrorist attack, carried out by a lone suspect carrying a bomb just outside the arena. Grande, who was not injured, had just finished her set, and fans were leaving when the arena was rocked by an explosion.

Chaos and confusion followed as people ran for safety. The hashtag #RoomForManchester started trending as locals offered shelter to those in need. This attack was especially despicable because Grande’s fan base is made up mostly of tween and adolescent girls. This may be the deadliest attack in Great Britain since the 2005 London bombing, which killed 52 people. Keep up all day with the latest updates here.

2. Russia investigation

The President may be out of town, but Washington is still tussling with the Russia probe. And — surprise, surprise — there are new allegations. Sources tell CNN that President Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers to publicly deny any evidence of collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russians. Yeah, they weren’t real comfortable with that and refused to comply. The White House, through an unidentified spokesperson, wouldn’t confirm or deny the story — because it came from “illegal leaks” by anonymous sources.

Meanwhile, Michael Flynn (can’t have a Russia story without him) is pleading the Fifth rather than complying with a subpoena from the Senate intelligence committee. The committee, which wants documents from the former national security adviser, is thinking about holding Flynn in contempt of Congress.

Finally, special counsel Robert Mueller has been briefed on fired-FBI Director James Comey’s memos on his conversations with President Trump.

3. President Trump

The second leg of President Trump’s first overseas trip as President has him grappling with one of the world’s thorniest issues — trying to find peace in the Middle East. The President doesn’t have super-lofty expectations (like leaving the region with a deal in hand), but he does hope to create some forward momentum. Trump went to Israel, met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, swung by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and made a historic visit to the Western Wall (he’s the first sitting president to do so). This morning, he traveled to Bethlehem and met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Tomorrow, the President heads to Rome for an audience with Pope Francis.

4. Texas

The Lone Star State is living up to its conservative reputation as state lawmakers passed a flurry of bills that hit on the hot-button issues of sexuality and religion. The state Senate over the weekend passed a House-approved bill that would let adoption agencies turn away willing parents on religious grounds. To become law, all it needs is Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature.

Meanwhile, the House OK’d Texas’ version of a “bathroom bill.” Unlike North Carolina’s version, which led to protests and boycotts, it would require only public high school students to use restrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates. This bill, which still must pass the Senate, is a priority for Abbott.

And that’s not all. Lawmakers have also proposed a bill allowing “religious liberty” exemption for lawyers, pharmacists and nurses. One opponent of all of this called this weekend’s legislative action “discrimination Sunday.”

5. Alcohol and breast cancer

A drink a day may increase your risk of breast cancer, a new study says. The report, from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research, says drinking an average of 10 grams of alcohol a day — that’s the equivalent of a glass of wine or a small can of beer — can raise the risk of breast cancer by 5% in premenopausal women and by 9% in postmenopausal women.

Breakfast Browse

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.
Hip hop Harvard
A written thesis is so boring, so this Ivy League student dropped the beat on his dissertation by submitting a rap album.
Kelly’s curse
If the Nashville Predators don’t win the Stanley Cup, blame Kelly Clarkson. The team’s streak of home playoff wins ended after she sang the national anthem.
Thank you
He’s suffered the worst loss imaginable, but the father of the victim killed in last week’s Times Square rampage found the time (and strength) to thank those who set up a memorial for his daughter.
Alternate political reality
America’s favorite fake president had a photo shoot with a real ex-White House photog for a “House of Cards” publicity stunt. 
Good get
Somebody bought a diamond ring at an outdoor market in London for $13. Turns out it’s worth $456,000. Now that’s what we call winning!
“Not one guy with a bad placard”
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, praising the absence of protesters during President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia. Um, Mr. Secretary, protests aren’t allowed in the kingdom.
$4.1 trillion
The bottom line of President Trump’s budget, which lands on lawmakers’ desks today and includes drastic cuts to many safety net and other domestic programs

And finally …

Can’t trust it
This cute little Shiba Inu neither trusts nor understands fidget spinners. Right there with you, buddy. (Click to view)
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