Social media is flooded with appeals from parents and friends looking for missing concertgoers after a suicide attacker detonated an explosive moments after Grande’s concert ended at Manchester Arena last night. Police have confirmed that children are among the 22 dead and 59 injured. Manchester’s chief constable described it as the “most horrific incident” in the city’s history, and leaders of the U.K.’s major political parties have suspended campaigning for the June 8 election. Authorities have identified the suspect as Salman Abedi and have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack.
The Presidential Daily Brief
What can you do in 36 hours? That’s how long President Donald Trump will have in Israel and the West Bank, where he’s expressed hope that Israelis and Palestinians will broker peace directly in what he calls “the ultimate deal.” Yesterday in Riyadh, Trump spoke against “Islamic extremism” and urged Middle Eastern leaders to isolate Iran and fight ISIS. During his visit, the president may be asked to address his reported disclosure of Israeli-provided classified intelligence to Russian officials and his promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
It’s the beginning of a new era. Yesterday 500 armed Brazilian police cracked down on Cracolandia, an area in São Paulo where drugs have been bought and sold freely for years. About 40 people were arrested on suspicion of trafficking, while angry addicts and community members vandalized and looted the area. Mayor João Doria promised that Crackland “won’t come back,” pointing to plans to deploy police and install CCTV cameras, but he acknowledged that the area’s historical drug problems may require more than simple brute force to cure.
Austerity breeds strange bedfellows. European finance ministers are meeting in Brussels today to try to reach an agreement on debt relief for Greece, something the IMF’s been demanding but Germany’s ruling party opposes. German Foreign Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel, however, has made an impassioned plea for mercy toward Greece as the country struggles under its seventh year of austerity and looming repayments that will come due in July. Meanwhile, members of the country’s large anarchist contingent have stepped up to help provide public services to struggling, impoverished Greeks.
This goes straight to the top. Since Mark Fields took the wheel three years ago, shares have dropped 40 percent, leading investors and analysts to criticize his leadership. Ford’s first quarter results saw a $1.5 billion profit drop and lost market share, and last week Fields announced that 1,400 jobs will be cut. His job will reportedly be another casualty. Fields will be replaced by Jim Hackett, who currently leads the autonomous technology division. Investors hope Hackett can help Ford stop lagging behind competitors when it comes to driverless cars.
Know This: A hospital bombing in Thailand has wounded 24 people. Indonesia has arrested 141 men at what the government says was a gay sex party in a Jakarta sauna, another sign of the country’s crackdown on its LGBT community. And Cloud Computing won the Preakness Stakes this weekend, dashing Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming’s hopes for a Triple Crown.
Watch This: Around a hundred Notre Dame graduates walked out of their own graduation ceremony yesterday to protest the choice of Vice President Mike Pence as commencement speaker.
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But is the manual in control? Leaked rulebooks for Facebook’s content managers, who must wade through posts from the site’s nearly 2 billion users, reveal a complicated soup of dos and don’ts. The social network has to balance its identity as a tech company with that of a media company, keeping censorship from overwhelming free expression while dealing with an increasing number of disturbing incidents, like murders and other crimes streamed live. Meanwhile, Facebook points to overwhelmed moderators for high-profile errors when it comes to deleting or censoring content unnecessarily.
All hail the orb. A photo of President Trump and his Egyptian and Saudi counterparts grasping an illuminated globe at the launch of Riyadh’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology went viral, with Twitter users comparing them to villains from Superman and Lord of the Rings. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and UAE have pledged $100 million to Ivanka Trump’s Women Entrepreneurs Fund, despite concerns that her White House post could influence policy toward the donor countries. Critics also observed how the president lambasted the Clinton Foundation last year for accepting Saudi contributions.
“The Hillary Step is no more.” So wrote British mountaineer Tim Mosedale after summiting the world’s tallest peak, confirming the destruction of one of Everest’s most famous features. The Hillary Step, a 40-foot rocky outcrop near the 29,029-foot summit, was thought destroyed after Nepal’s 2015 earthquake, but heavy snow since had made confirmation impossible. According to Mosedale, the loss of the outcrop — named for Edmund Hillary, who with Tenzing Norgay was the first to reach Everest’s peak in 1953 — may have left unstable rubble, making the climb even trickier.
The elephants won’t forget. Declining interest and untenable costs forced Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to close — after a final “celebration” show at Nassau Coliseum in New York yesterday, complete with acrobats, tiger-tamers, jugglers and clowns. Over 19,000 people tuned in to a live broadcast online. Animal rights groups have targeted the circus for decades over its use of performing animals, and they say the issue has finally become mainstream. PETA tweeted triumphantly to “herald the end of the saddest show on earth.”
They’re warming up to the idea. Aspiring athletes from tropical countries are training hard in curling, skiing and snowboarding, hoping to break the ice on their Winter Olympics dreams and take home the first winter sports medals for their balmy nations. Thanks in part to globalization, athletes from tropical countries like Vietnam and Togo are improvising to overcome a lack of practice facilities. Some head to intensive cold-weather training programs to build up their tolerance, while others practice their snowboarding skills on sand dunes.