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Near Manchester Arena on May 22
Near Manchester Arena on May 22
Jillian Deutsch

News broke shortly after 10:30 p.m. local time Monday night: an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in the northern British city of Manchester. At least 22 people were confirmed dead and 60 injured in an attack authorities are investigating as an act of terrorism. Islamic terror group ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack early Tuesday afternoon, according to AFP.

A lone male suicide attacker is believed to have set off the explosion, and the BBC is reporting that armed police have arrested a 23-year-old man in a town south Manchester early Tuesday in connection with the attack.

The bombing is the second major terror attack to hit Britons this year, after a car mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge in March, killing five. As condemnation came in from leaders around the world, people in Manchester are banding together, offering beds and donating blood. EU flags are flying half-mast; and in Paris, the Eiffel Tower will turn off its lights, an act of solidarity for a city that is still grappling with its own trauma of terrorism.

manchester_arena_ariana_grande_terrorism

Manchester Evening News May 23 front page

The first victim has been named as 18-year-old student Georgina Callander. There will be others, no doubt, who are even younger — Grande, an American pop singer, is a favorite among teen and pre-teen girls.

The attack conjured memories of the November 2015 coordinated bombing and shooting attacks in Paris that killed 130. Eighty-nine of the victims were at the Eagles of Death Metal concert at the Bataclan concert hall, including many in their teens and twenties.

Until Monday night, Manchester, a city of half-a-million, was known best for its role in England's 19th-century industrial revolution and its celebrated football club. Now, like Paris and Beslan, Sandy Hook and Chibok, the city's history will also be marked by terrorism that specifically targets the most innocent among us.

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Geopolitics

It's Not About Mussolini, Searching For The Real Giorgia Meloni

As the right-wing coalition tops Italian elections, far-right leader of the Brothers of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, is set to become Italy's next prime minister. Both her autobiography and the just concluded campaign help fill in the holes in someone whose roots are in Italy's post-fascist political parties.

Giorgia Meloni at a political rally in Palermo on Sept. 20.

Alessandro Calvi

-Analysis-

ROME — After Sunday’s national election results, Italy is set to have its first ever woman prime minister. But Giorgia Meloni has been drawing extra attention both inside and outside of the country because of her ideology, not her gender.

Her far-right pedigree in a country that invented fascism a century ago has had commentators rummaging through the past of Meloni and her colleagues in the Brothers of Italy party in search of references to Benito Mussolini.

But even as her victory speech spoke of uniting the country, it is far more useful to listen to what she herself has said since entering politics to understand the vision the 45-year-old lifelong politician has for Italy’s future.

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