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Balance of Power: Britain Mourns

Britain is reeling from last night's terror attack, which killed 22 people in the northern city of Manchester at a concert by U.S. pop star Ariana Grande. It bore all the hallmarks of a suicide bombing, and children are among the dead. No one has yet claimed responsibility.

Prime Minister Theresa May, the country's most experienced politician when it comes to dealing with terrorism, suspended campaigning ahead of next month's general election and other parties soon followed. She condemned the attack as an act of “appalling, sickening cowardice,” and the “ideology” behind it.

The tragedy is the latest to traumatize Europe over the past two years and is sure to be discussed at this week's NATO summit in Brussels.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been pressuring NATO to do more to fight terrorism, and one of the most difficult decisions on his nine-day foreign trip could be how hard to push that point.

The incident is also a reminder that intelligence-sharing will form a crucial part of the upcoming Brexit negotiations. The U.K. will fall out of a lot of European Union's existing frameworks when it leaves the bloc in two years.

For now, the U.K. is a country in mourning.

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Police officers stand in front of the Manchester Arena in England on May 23, 2017.

Police officers stand in front of the Manchester Arena in England on May 23, 2017.

Photographer: Dave Thompson/Getty Images

Global Headlines

A skeptical Middle East | Trump's effort in Riyadh to recast his administration’s ties with the Muslim world may have worked a charm on Arab leaders. But as Bloomberg's Middle East team reports, distrust of American intentions still runs deep in homes across the region. While he “seemed conciliatory, I don’t think much will change with Trump’s era -- except for the worse,” said Hussain Al-Qatari, who works in public relations in Kuwait.

Trump urged intel chiefs to deny link to Russia | The president's brief respite from revelations about the Russia probe ended with a Washington Post report that he urged two top intelligence officials to push back against the FBI's enquires into his campaign. Both men -- Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the National Security Agency chief, Admiral Mike Rogers -- refused and consider the requests inappropriate, the Post reports.

Trump seeks $3.6 trillion in budget cuts | Seeking to reshape the government's role in U.S. society, Trump will announce 10-year spending cuts that will shrink the safety net for the poor, recent college graduates and farmers. He still has not outlined the details of his tax plan, making it impossible to tell if he can balance the budget in a decade, as he claims. Republicans plan to scrap the plan for one of their own.

Political risk along Xi's Silk Road | As the limelight fades from President Xi Jinping’s “Belt and Road” summit, Chinese state-owned companies are warning about the risks they face along the route. They have already insured more than $400 billion worth of investments. But as Ting Shi in Hong Kong reports, the dangers of putting money in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen is giving them even more cause for concern.

Google's China strategy | The U.S. search giant is exploiting common ground with China over the strategy game, Go. Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt's attendance at a tech summit in Wuzhen -- where the company's AlphaGo system eked out a victory against a local champion -- was the latest sign of a thaw between the two sides seven years after Google withdrew from the market over censorship concerns.

Famine in Nigeria | Africa's most populous nation and one of its top oil producers has joined South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen on the list of countries most at risk from famine, the United Nations says. More than a million people are facing critical food shortages and 44,000 are close to starvation in the northeastern part of the country.

And finally... President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed solidarity with the British people after the attack, and Trump decried the perpetrators as “evil losers.” In Manchester, a four-hour drive from London, a somber quiet lies over the city before a vigil in its main Albert Square at 6 p.m. tonight. “We are grieving today, but we are strong,” Mayor Andy Burnham said in a speech outside Town Hall.

A floral tribute to the victims of a terrorist attack is placed on the streets on May 23, 2017, in Manchester, England.

A floral tribute to the victims of a terrorist attack is placed on the streets on May 23, 2017, in Manchester, England.

Photographer: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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