Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: June 5, 2017

British police make arrests as ISIS claims London attack, U.K. politicians clash over security, and more


U.K. police make arrests as ISIS claims London attack

British police arrested a dozen people on Sunday as they investigate whether the three terrorists who killed seven people in London this weekend had assistance from other militants. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. Prime Minister Theresa May warned the public to be on the alert for copycat attacks. Witnesses said the three men said "This is for Allah" as they stabbed people in bars and restaurants after crashing through a crowd of pedestrians on London Bridge. London police officers killed the attackers within eight minutes of their arrival on the scene, authorities said. Forty-eight people, several of them police officers, were treated at area hospitals, and 21 of them remained in critical condition Sunday.


British politicians clash over security following London attack

British political leaders traded criticism on Sunday over the Saturday terrorist attack in London with just days to go before a general election scheduled for Thursday. The van-and-knife attack and the recent Manchester bombing both occurred in the final run-up to the vote, which Prime Minister Theresa May called, hoping to strengthen her position as her government negotiates the U.K.'s exit from the European Union. May, with her Conservative Party's control of the government on the line, said that there had been "far too much tolerance for extremism in our country," adding, "Things need to change." Her rival on the left, Jeremy Corbyn, hit back by saying that May and the Conservatives had weakened the country's security services to save money. "You cannot protect the public on the cheap," Corbyn said.


Ariana Grande holds One Love Manchester concert

Singer Ariana Grande headlined the One Love Manchester concert on Sunday to benefit the victims and families of the suicide bombing that killed 22 people after her May 22 concert in Manchester, England. The concert, held under heavy security, raised $2.6 million and featured performances by Pharrell, Katy Perry, Coldplay, Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, the Black Eyed Peas, and others. Grande, making her first public appearance since the terrorist attack, came on after some of the other performers, and sang Be Alright as people in the crowd held signs of support for Manchester and the victims. "Manchester, I love you so, so much," Grande told the crowd at the Old Trafford Cricket Grounds. "The kind of love and unity that you're displaying is the medicine that the world really needs right now."


Putin calls allegations of Russian election meddling nonsense

Russian President Vladimir Putin told NBC's Megyn Kelly in an interview broadcast Sunday that U.S. intelligence agencies have produced no "direct proof of Russian interference in the presidential election." Putin called Kelly's questions in the debut episode of the former Fox News star's new show, Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, a "load of nonsense." He also said he barely spoke to Michael Flynn, President Trump's ousted former national security adviser, at a December 2015 dinner to celebrate the Russian TV network RT (Russia Today). Putin and Flynn are shown sitting next to each other at the event in a widely circulated photo. "I made my speech. Then we talked about some other stuff. And I got up and left," Putin said. "I didn't even really talk to him ... That's the extent of my acquaintance with Mr. Flynn." Flynn was paid $45,000 to speak at the dinner. Michael McFaul, U.S. ambassador to Moscow from 2012 to 2014, said Putin was being disingenuous. "Flynn was considered a close Trump adviser," he said. "Why else would they want him there?"


14 arrested in Portland during dueling protests over Trump

Police in Portland, Oregon, arrested 14 people Sunday during dueling demonstrations attended by supporters of President Trump and counter-protesters. Hundreds of Trump backers attended the "Trump Free Speech" rally at Terry D. Schrunk Plaza, but they were narrowly outnumbered by counter-protesters across the street who said the pro-Trump gathering amounted to an implicit endorsement of racism because it was held on the heels of the stabbing of three men, two fatally, who tried to defend two young women against a man who was shouting anti-Muslim statements at them. On Sunday, the two sides yelled expletives at each other, then counter-protesters started to throw glass bottles and bricks at the officers, who responded by using pepper spray.


Arab nations break diplomatic ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar on Monday, accusing their fellow Sunni Arab state of backing "terrorist groups aiming to destabilize the region," including "Iranian-backed terrorist groups" active in east Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Saudi Arabia also said Qatari troops would be pulled out of the coalition in Yemen, where the internationally backed government also cut off relations with Qatar. Qatar protested that there was "no legitimate justification" for the actions, vowing that its citizens won't be affected by the "violation of its sovereignty." UEA airlines Emirates, Etihad, and FlyDubai all announced they will cease flying to Doha, Qatar's capital, and it's unclear if Qatar Airways, a major long-haul carrier, will be able to continue flying through Saudi airspace. Qatar hosts 10,000 U.S. troops and a headquarters of U.S. Central Command, while Bahrain hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.


Mexico's ruling party claims a narrow victory in key state election

Mexico's ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, known as the P.R.I., narrowly won the election for governor in the country's most populous state, according to early returns. According to State of Mexico officials, an initial sampling showed that P.R.I. candidate Alfredo del Mazo Maza had received at least 32.75 percent of the vote, while his main rival, Delfina Gómez Álvarez of the left-wing National Regeneration Movement, had received no more than 31.53 percent, although the vote count won't be completed until later Monday. The combative leader of Gomez's party, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, challenged the preliminary projections, saying they "did not correspond to reality." "Delfina won, and we will prove it," he declared. "We will not accept any sort of electoral fraud."


Facebook vows to be a 'hostile environment for terrorists'

Facebook joined a chorus of world leaders in condemning the Saturday van-and-knife attack that left seven people dead in London. "We want Facebook to be a hostile environment for terrorists," Simon Milner, director of policy at Facebook said in an emailed statement. "Using a combination of technology and human review, we work aggressively to remove terrorist content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it — and if we become aware of an emergency involving imminent harm to someone's safety, we notify law enforcement." The announcement came after British Prime Minister Theresa May said internet companies shared the blame for recent attacks because they provided opportunities for terrorist groups to spread extreme ideologies and recruit terrorists.


Golden State takes a 2-0 NBA Finals lead over Cleveland

The Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 132-113 to take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals on Sunday night. Warriors stars Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry combined for 65 points to lift their team to its 14th straight postseason victory. Durant contributed 33 points and 13 rebounds, while Curry delivered his first career triple-double, with 32 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. The Cavaliers' LeBron James also had a triple-double, with 29 points, 14 assists, and 11 rebounds. Cleveland will have a shot at turning around the best-of-seven series on Wednesday, when the teams square off for Game 3 in Cleveland. The Cavaliers trailed 2-0 in last year's Finals before mounting a stunning comeback.


Wonder Woman sets a record on opening weekend

Wonder Woman led the weekend box office by bringing in $100.5 million in North America, the biggest opening ever for a female director. The haul smashed the previous record of $85.2 million set by Fifty Shades of Grey. Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins, also was the first major superhero film led by a woman. Just over half the film's audience members were female, a significant departure in a genre that typically lures in more male movie-goers. "Any ridiculous notion that a woman may not be suited to direct a big budget superhero movie is hopefully once and for all shattered," said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.


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