Donald Trump Meets Pope Francis, Smiley Face, Frowny Face (PHOTO)

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5/24/2017 6:24 AM PDT

Donald Trump was all grins Wednesday when he met Pope Francis at the Vatican, but the Pope seemed … well, pensive.

Pope Francis encouraged the Prez to be a peacemaker and Trump promised to heed the message.

Melania and Ivanka stoically looked on as they all posed for pics.

The meeting lasted 30 minutes and each had a translator.

The Pope gave Trump a sculptured olive tree, telling him it symbolized peace. The Pope followed up with this … “It is my desire that you become an olive tree to construct peace.”

For his part Trump gave Pope Francis a set of 5 first-edition books by Martin Luther King, Jr.

A look at how Bob Dylan’s Greenwich Village has evolved

The times, they have a’changed.

A 19-year-old Minnesotan named Robert Zimmerman first visited the New York City area, on a pilgrimage of sorts, in January of 1961. The relatively unknown folk singer/songwriter, who had dropped out of college a year prior, was heading to the Big Apple to meet his biggest influence, the legendary Woody Guthrie, who at the time was battling Huntington’s disease.

Months later, Zimmerman moved to Greenwich Village, legally changed his name to Bob Dylan and over the span of the next few years launched one of the most storied careers in New York City — and music — history.

While the transformation from Zimmerman began in Dinkytown, Minn., during his abbreviated stay in college, Dylan as he is truly known did not fully take form until that visit to New York.

Bob Dylan is Rolling Stone’s greatest songwriter

Since then, Dylan’s legend has reached far and wide.

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A group of young people singing and making music in Washington Square Park in the late 1960s.

(Peter Keegan/Getty Images)

As recently as March, the entire Bob Dylan Archive was purchased by the University of Tulsa and The George Kaiser Family Foundation for a price in the realm of $ 20 million.

It features more than 6,000 items connected to Dylan, including handwritten lyrics to his hits and live, never-before-released recordings from New York City shows early in his career, according to Brian Hosmer, H.G. Barnard Chair of Western American History at Oklahoma University.

Like New York, Dylan now has ties to Oklahoma — the home state of his idol, Guthrie, whom he’d trekked cross-country to see.

Our columnist says it’s time for Bob Dylan to retire

While Tulsa owns a piece of Dylan history, the imprint he left on his old stomping grounds isn’t as evident.

Now, as he turns 76, the neighborhood, and city, in which Dylan cut his teeth is a far cry from what it once was.

“It’s become prohibitively expensive for young aspiring artists,” Stephen Petrus, author of the “Folk City: New York and the American Folk Music Revival,” told the Daily News.

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A poster advertises a performance featuring Bob Dylan, among others, at Gerde’s Folk City in September of 1961.

(Blank Archives/Getty Images)

The expert of Greenwich Village folk culture pinpoints Gerde’s Folk City, The Bitter End, Village Gate and The Gaslight Cafe as the four venues that “stood out” in the scene.

Bob Dylan to play Forest Hills Stadium this summer

“They gave you the opportunity as a young aspiring folk singer, to develop your craft,” he said.

Only one of those venues still exists under the same name, while other are very different from the rooms Village legends like Dylan, Dave Van Ronk (the Mayor of MacDougal) and Peter, Paul & Mary would perform.

The Bitter End has stood at 147 Bleecker St. since 1961. Self-described as “the oldest rock and roll club in New York City” on its website, the charm of the venue, like that of the entire neighborhood, has evolved.

A young Dylan spent his days in the East Village.

(Frank Franklin II/AP)

It still celebrates its rich history with the many music scenes it has played a part in, listing hundreds of the biggest acts it has housed online, but current big names in music do not seek it out.

Petrus chalks it up to the lack of a focused art community in Greenwich Village.

“It’s still a place to perform, but it’s not associated with, say, a ‘movement,’” he said.

The fate of the other three clubs, five decades later, is similarly hollow.

Gerde’s Folk City’s original location, which Petrus described as “nurturing and very critical” to the folk scene, at 11 West 4th St., is now one of many New York University buildings in the neighborhood.

The second site of Folk City, at nearby 130 West 3rd St., is currently The Village Underground, which, like The Bitter End, is a venue, but not one that attracts popular musicians.

A stage that Dylan single-handedly put on the map, The Gaslight Cafe, was known for its “basket-passing nights,” when the only money performers would walk away with were the dollars and coins patrons in the crowd donated.

Another example of its storied aurora came from the lack of clapping during shows. Because The Gaslight Cafe’s performances took place stories above apartments, the venue would get noise complaints, so attentive audience members instead took to snapping their fingers.

The structure still stands, but the legendary location is now an apartment building, sandwiched between a tattoo parlor and an Insomnia Cookies storefront.

One venue that still occasionally has magical nights with bigger acts is the former site of The Village Gate.

The second site of Gerde

The second site of Gerde’s Folk City, 130 West 3rd St., is currently The Village Underground.

(Google Maps)

Now operating under the name (Le) Poisson Rouge, musicians like Sleigh Bells, Common, Of Montreal, Deerhunter and Beck have performed there in recent years.

A plethora of other clubs still host shows every night in Greenwich Village, but it’s just not the same as years and decades past.

“They’re not really catered as much to young artists as they once were,” Petrus said. “Often the audience are tourists and other New Yorkers. It doesn’t have that same experimental vibe to it that it once did.”

One of the biggest reasons for the identity change, outside of affordability, is NYU.

The former site of The Gaslight Cafe, 116 MacDougal St., is now an apartment building sandwiched between a tattoo parlor and an Insomnia Cookies.

The former site of The Gaslight Cafe, 116 MacDougal St., is now an apartment building sandwiched between a tattoo parlor and an Insomnia Cookies.

(Google Maps)

“They’ve expanded dramatically,” Petrus said of the university. “In some ways good for them. We all support educational institutions, but they’ve become quite dominant in the community.”

Along with NYU’s increased commercial real estate influence in Greenwich Village, is the influx of young people, something the neighborhood still has in common with the past folk era.

“They probably don’t know specifics,” Petrus said of students and younger people who now inhabit the area. “When they walk down Bleecker St., when they walk down MacDougal St., I doubt that they go ‘this is where The Gaslight was’ or ‘Gerde’s Folk City was here’ and ‘this is where Dylan made his breakthrough.’”

A NOV. 8, 1963, FILE PHOTO

Dave Van Ronk’s jug band performs at the the Gaslight Cafe in November of 1963.

(Jack Kanthal/AP)

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'Russia greater threat than ISIS' US host blasts ex-Obama aide for Manchester bombing snub

Tucker Carlson rounded on David Tafuri, a former state department official, as he insisted ’s Russia posed a larger overall threat to the west, compared to the imminent threat of terrorists. 

The Fox News host asked: “Which is the bigger threat to the US, ISIS or ?”

Mr Tafuri said: “I think ISIS is a more immediate threat absolutely, but Russia has a much stronger military. 

“Russia can hurt us and hurt US interests all over the world, so we have to worry about both.”

Tucker pointed out Russia had not taken a single American life, while terror organisations in the Middle East had claimed the lives of thousands. 

He said: “We have on the one side ISIS, Islamic terror, al-qaeda over the past 15 years, thousands of Americans have lost their lives, many thousands to those forces. 

“Russia has killed – let me just see – zero Americans. So it is not even in the same universe actually, the threat we face from Islamic terror and the threat we face from Russia. 

“One is theoretical, the other is real and present, so why are we not seeing that?”

Mr Tafuri however insisted the number of lives lost was not the best way of assessing which posed the greater threat.

He said: “First of all Tucker, you can’t evaluate the threat just based on how many Americans lives have been lost. 

“Russia is a threat to democracy, a threat to our way of life. Look at what Russia has done in Ukraine. It annexed Crimea, it is in eastern Ukraine, it’s killed a lot of people in Ukraine.

“Ukraine wanted to be a part of the west, it wanted to be a democracy, it wanted to join Europe, it wanted to be our ally. Russia has been threatening democracy for a long time.”

The fiery exchange came after Tucker criticised American networks for spending more times reporting on the alleged collusion between and Russia, rather than covering the Manchester bombing as it happened. 

He said: “If you were watching other news networks last night, you may have noticed it took them a while to start covering the terror attack in the UK once it happened.

“Instead they spent almost an hour continuing to chase after claims of collusion between Russia and President Trump. 

“Now what do these two topics have in common? They appear wholly unrelated, Manchester attack last night and Russia but they are actually connected. 

“If you thought about it… you’d realise the US may have something to gain by cooperating with Russia in checking radical Islam.”

Following the on Monday evening, officials named Salman Abedi as the bomber who claimed the lives of 22 people, including several children. 

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Michael Conforto continues red-hot hitting in Mets leadoff spot

Remember when Michael Conforto got demoted last year to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate?

Don’t worry, most, if not all of the Flushing faithful have probably long forgotten that 33-game, minor-league stint since Conforto is one of the hottest hitters not named Aaron Judge in the early part of the 2017 season.

“Yeah, he’s pretty special. He’s gonna be a special player. I’m glad he’s on the Mets,” Lucas Duda said late Tuesday after the Mets rolled to a 9-3 victory against the Padres behind Conforto’s fireworks.

The 24-year-old Conforto led off Tuesday’s game with a home run to right at the expense of Padres starter Jhoulys Chacin. After the Mets sent all nine batters to the plate, Conforto greeted Chacin with a two-run single to left field. Conforto was 2-for-2 with three RBI in the first frame, and he wasn’t done with his bat.

Bats spot Matt Harvey large lead early as Mets cruise to 9-3 win

“He’s in one of those grooves that great hitters get into that you just don’t want to mess with them,” Terry Collins said of Conforto after the win.

Michael Conforto blasts two home runs in a 3-for-4 day at the plate on Tuesday.

Michael Conforto blasts two home runs in a 3-for-4 day at the plate on Tuesday.

(Frank Franklin II/AP)

Collins said that Conforto’s swing has changed from last year, and that the left-handed Conforto is not trying to wallop the baseball out of the park each at-bat.

“This guy, last year, he was red-hot the first five weeks, and started to cool down. You watch the base hit he got up the middle (Tuesday) on a breaking ball. He just stayed back, let it come to him, didn’t try to do too much with it,” said Collins. “Those are the things he’s doing now that he didn’t do last year.”

After Tuesday’s 3-for-4 performance – which included two solo homers and the two-run single – Conforto raised his average to .333, and is thriving in the leadoff spot. Conforto said he dedicated his offseason to proving that his debut in 2015 – including his stellar World Series turn − was no fluke.

Mets’ Jay Bruce exits early with back tightness

“You look at this offseason, I put a lot of work in, took a step back and looked at what happened the year before,” said Conforto. “Knowing that I put the work in makes it easier to come out here and play. Being confident at the plate, I just go out there and have fun.


Conforto’s bat helps the Mets pick up a win.

(Noah K. Murray/USA Today Sports)

“I think I had some expectations last year, maybe I was pressing a little bit. It wasn’t a conscious thought of I want to hit the ball out of the ballpark. Obviously I wanted to produce. Sometimes you get in your own way,” added Conforto.

He’s doing anything but getting in his own way in 2017, and when Yoenis Cespedes comes back, Conforto would likely be moved to center field since Curtis Granderson has been struggling mightily at the plate. The “sophomore jinx” that Collins alluded to when discussing Conforto’s 2016 season is long gone.

“The scouting reports got around, and again, last year because of the swing changes we saw, I thought (Conforto) was trying to hit home runs last year,” said Collins. “He kind of got a little bit of an arc in his swing and created a couple holes. Right now, he’s back. Back to the kid we saw when he first came to the major leagues.” 

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Lawsuit claims Tyra Banks traumatized 'AGT' contestant's daughter

A woman who auditioned for “America’s Got Talent” in New York claims Tyra Banks tried to “physically manipulate” her daughter.

The woman, identified as Jane Doe in a complaint filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, has sued Marathon Productions after she says daughter Mary faced emotional distress.

Doe, who called herself a singer-songwriter and identified husband John Doe as a guitarist, producer and recording engineer, said the couple performed several songs as an audition, including an original song she wrote about her daughter, which she said Mary asked them to perform.

The family then flew out to Los Angeles in March to film the show, at which point Doe claims Marathon tried to enter into a contract with Mary, a minor, without her parents’ consent or supervision, according to the court filings.

Doe then claimed that show host Tyra Banks insisted Mary look “embarrassed and annoyed” by the performance and went as far as to shake the girl’s shoulder, pull her hair back and “physically manipulate her.”

“Banks also insinuated that Mary was accidentally conceived, made fun of the performance and ridiculed (the) song in front of Mary,” according to the lawsuit.

Mary was allegedly left “traumatized and became deeply depressed.”

The lawsuit claims intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, as well as civil battery and civil assault.

Reps for Banks and “America’s Got Talent” did not immediately return requests for comment.

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North Korea 'has HUNDREDS of biochemical attack drones' as fears of global war soar

Tensions are already high on the Korean peninsula after Kim Jong-Un launched more than 70 ballistic missile tests, the latest of which took place on Sunday. 

And now North Korean defector Jinmyeong Han has revealed the potential scale of the warmongering tyrant’s arsenal. 

The defector said: “My guess is that North Korea has 300 to 400 drones.”

Mr Han, who defected from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2015, said that the drones are kept underground and moved between site to avoid detection by foreign reconnaissance satellites. 

Mr Han revealed the secretive regime had been developing its drone delivery system since the 1990s. 

He said: “I was surprised to see that people from the Korean Workers’ Party came and mounted something that appeared to be biological and chemical weapons on the drones.

“They conducted an experiment to spray chemical or biological agents over the mountains and fields nearby. I went to the mountain afterward to check and found all animals dead, although plants survived.”

The drones are able to support the weight of a 1,200 litre drum filled with either biological or chemical substances. 

Mr Han said that the newer drones are capable to fly at low altitudes in order to avoid radar detection. 

Speaking to a newspaper in Japan, the defector said he was once involved in managing the North Korean regime’s drone activities. 

South Korea’s military fired warning shots at a suspected drone from North Korea on Tuesday.

In 2014, three drones were found destroyed in South Korea, which were thought to be surveillance devices that monitored military installations. 

Mr Trump has been trying to persuade China to do more to tell North Korea to stop blasting missiles.

At the United Nations, French diplomats on Monday called for the Security Council to level more sanctions against Pyongyang.

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Senators beat Penguins, 2-1, to force Game 7

Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators bounced back nicely two days after a blowout loss put them on the brink of elimination.

Anderson stopped 45 shots, Mike Hoffman scored the tiebreaking goal early in the third period and the Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 Tuesday night to force a decisive Game 7 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The 36-year-old Anderson was coming off a pair of rough outings, including Sunday when he was pulled after yielding four goals in Ottawa’s 7-0 loss in Game 5 at Pittsburgh.

“You can’t change what happens in the past,” said Anderson, who has credited work with a sports psychologist early in his career for helping him manage the mental side of the game. “From that moment on you have to look forward and get ready for the next one.”

Hoffman fired a slap shot through traffic off a pass from Fredrik Claesson to put the Senators ahead at 1:34 of the third. Bobby Ryan also scored a rare power-play goal for Ottawa.

It was quite a response after the drubbing in the previous game.

“I think the biggest message for us was if somebody told us back in training camp in September that we’d have an opportunity to win Game 6 in the Eastern Conference final at home in front of our fans we would’ve taken it,” Ryan said. “So let’s not dwell, let’s not kick ourselves and put our heads down. Let’s embrace this opportunity to extend this for two more days together and go from there.”

Evgeni Malkin gave Pittsburgh, vying for its second straight trip to the Stanley Cup Final, the lead early in the second period and Matt Murray finished with 28 saves.


Senators’ Dion Phaneuf (2), Craig Anderson (41) and defenseman Marc Methot (3) celebrate after defeating the Penguins.

“I thought we played a real good game,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “I thought we dominated zone time. We had lots of chances. We didn’t score tonight. The puck didn’t go in the net, but if we continue to play the game that way, then I believe we’ll get the result.”

Game 7 is Thursday night in Pittsburgh, with the winner advancing to face the Nashville Predators for the championship.

Ottawa was primarily looking for a return to structure in Game 6, beginning with a smoother start — which they got. Notable in a scoreless opening period were two effective penalty kills, one of which saw Viktor Stalberg get the best opportunity short-handed.

Pittsburgh had four shots with the man advantage, but Anderson stopped them all. It was evident early that he had his game back in this one. He stopped Nick Bonino off a rebound in transition, Scott Wilson off a deflected shot by Phil Kessel, and Bonino again when Kyle Turris gave the puck away.

Anderson then stopped 22 of 23 shots in the second period.

“I think Anderson was the reason that they got this one, he played big for them,” Murray said. “But in our room we just focus on what we need to do. We played really well, we just didn’t get the bounces and weren’t able to put one home.”

Anderson’s performance was a reminder for Senators coach Guy Boucher of why he took the job with Ottawa in the first place last May.

Marc Methot takes down Penguins center Sidney Crosby.

Marc Methot takes down Penguins center Sidney Crosby.

“I’ll be honest with you, if I didn’t have a No. 1 goalie, I didn’t want the job,” Boucher said. “I’ve lived it for quite a few years, and it’s hell when you don’t have it because everything you do turns to darkness, and there’s nothing that really matters when you don’t have a real No. 1 goaltender.

“It’s like a quarterback in football and a pitcher in baseball, and we have it,” Boucher added.

Murray was also sharp. The 22-year-old, who replaced Marc-Andre Fleury after Game 3, made maybe his finest save of the first on Derick Brassard, who found an open lane down the middle of the ice following a pass from Ryan.

The Penguins appeared to have opened the scoring just over three minutes into the second, but Trevor Daley was deemed to have interfered with Anderson following an Ottawa challenge.

Less than two minutes later though, Pittsburgh took the 1-0 lead anyway off a few moments of brilliance from Malkin. The playoff scoring leading (24 points) bounced off a check from Zack Smith behind the goal and after being stopped on his drive to the net, followed up with a nifty backhand rebound to beat Anderson.

It was the 153rd career playoff point in 142 games for Malkin — three back of Sidney Crosby for second among active players behind Jaromir Jagr — who had been jarring with Hoffman a few minutes earlier.

The Senators had little going until a lengthy 5-on-3 advantage for 1:24 just past the midway point of the period. The Ottawa power play, which had gone 0 for 29 in the previous 10 games, came through with Ryan ultimately wiring a one-timer short-side to tie the score.

It was the sixth goal and 15th point of the playoffs for Ryan, who is second on the Senators behind captain Erik Karlsson (16 points).

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Trump budget has ‘unimaginable level of cruelty': Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday denounced President Trump’s proposed federal budget as a plan with “an unimaginable level of cruelty” toward millions of poor and needy Americans.

“This administration and Republicans in Congress are mounting an onslaught against the needs of children and people with disabilities, women and seniors,” Clinton said while being honored by the Children’s Health Fund nonprofit in New York City.

She said the budget blueprint runs on a “lack of imagination and disdain for the struggles of millions of Americans, including millions of children.”

Clinton urged for a public and political push back on the plan, telling the audience, “None of us can remain silent in the face of these attacks.”

The biggest broken promises of President Trump’s proposed budget

“It hurts the well-being of children,” she said.

“It’s time to send a resounding message that we will not stand for this attack on the most vulnerable among us.”

Trump earlier that day unveiled his proposed budget, which calls for drastic cuts across nearly every sector of the federal government while inflating military spending.

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President Trump’s budget contradicts many of his major campaign promises.

(Evan Vucci/AP)

The budget would especially take a toll on social safety net programs for disadvantaged Americans — contradicting some of Trump’s biggest campaign promises to protect his working class and rural voting base.

Trump budget plan would let Meals on Wheels recipients starve

The budget, for example, lists cuts of $ 72 billion for the Social Security disability program, $ 191 billion for the food stamps program and a $ 610 billion reduction in funding for Medicaid, which is already set to lose $ 880 billion under the GOP’s health care bill.

Meanwhile, the budget also sticks American taxpayers with a $ 1.6 billion bill for Trump’s long-promised Mexico border wall.

The budget is expected to meet steep resistance from Congress, with politicians on both sides of the aisle sharing in the outrage. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said it is “basically dead on arrival.”

Clinton, who unexpectedly lost the 2016 White House race to Trump, has lately become a more outspoken critic of his performance in office, and recently identified herself as a member of “the resistance.”

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Polish couple among dead in Manchester bombing

A Polish couple picking up their daughter were among the 22 killed outside a Manchester concert, officials said Wednesday.

Angelika and Marcin Klis, who lived more than an hour away in York, were waiting for their daughter Monday night as the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena wrapped up.

They were killed when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a homemade explosive filled with nuts and bolts at the entrance to the massive concert hall.

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski confirmed the couple was among the dead, adding that another Polish citizen was injured and underwent surgery.

Manchester police arrest three more men connected to bombing

The couple took a selfie in Manchester before heading to the concert hall to grab their daughter, Alex, the Manchester Evening News reported.

Alex Klis, 20, later posted the photo on Facebook after the attack — asking for help finding her parents.

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement that forensic experts have identified all 22 victims in the attack.

“We have made contact with all of the families and our specially trained officers are supporting them,” the department said.

First Manchester victims ID’d as 8-year-old, college student

Because of the high casualty number, it will take several days for all the victims’ identities to be announced, the department added.

Jane Tweddle-Taylor, 50, was also killed in the blast, BBC reported. She lived in Blackpool — a city northwest of Manchester — and had gone to the arena with a friend to pick up the friend’s daughter.

Martyn Hett, 29, was also killed in the attack. His brother, Dan, confirmed his death on social media.

“They found my brother last night. We are heartbroken,” he tweeted Wednesday morning.

The Stockport resident was at the concert with a friend and they became separated during the blast, BBC reported.

One friend tweeted a memorial statement.

“We got the news last night that our wonderful, iconic and beautiful Martyn didn’t survive,” wrote @RussellHawyard. “He left this world exactly how he lived, centre of attention.”

Memorials have been set up in Manchester to honor those killed in the suicide bombing.

Memorials have been set up in Manchester to honor those killed in the suicide bombing.

(Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

Many of the fatalities were young concert goers.

Saffie Rose Roussos, 8, is believed to be one of the youngest killed. Others were in their teens such as Olivia Campbell, 15, and Georgina Callander, 18.

Olivia was attending the concert with a friend who was injured and underwent surgery, her high school said in a statement.

Tottingham High School said it is “in shock” over Olivia’s death.

Charlotte Campbell, her mother, posted a remembrance of her daughter on Facebook Wednesday morning.

“RIP my darling precious gorgeous girl Olivia Campbell taken far far too soon, go sing with the angels and keep smiling mummy loves you so much,” she wrote.

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Fighter jets smash ISIS with 27 air strikes on SAME day as Manchester terror bombing

American-led military fighters hit 37 targets of the sick jihadis with 18 strikes in war-torn Syria and 62 ISIS targets in Iraq. 

Oil supplies, vehicles and weapon caches were obliterated along with a cache of deadly weapons including rocket systems, machine guns,vehicle bombs and grenade launches. 

US officials said the hammering took place as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, aimed at crushing the sick terror cult in Syria and Iraq.

It came on the same day ISIS suicide bomber Salman Abedi killed 22 people and injured dozens others at a Ariana Grande concert on Monday night. 

It has since emerged Abedi, 22, is believed to have travelled to Syria, as recently as this week. He has also travelled to Libya, where his parents are from. 

Donald Trump yesterday expressed his “deepest condolences” to those killed in the Manchester Arena terror attack. 

The US President, who is currently in Bethlehem, branded the attacker an “evil loser” for striking at an Ariana Grande concert filled with children and young people enjoying life.

He said: “I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. 

“I will call them from now on losers because that is what they are, they are losers.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin also attacked the “inhuman crime” that saw children as young as eight killed by a bomb packed with nails, nuts and bolts.

He warned ISIS terrorists who masterminded the attack that it will not go “unpunished”.

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