1. The British-born Manchester bomber Salman Abedi has been unmasked for the first time – and Theresa May has raised the terror threat in the UK to ‘critical’
Associated Press: The is the first time the terror threat level has been raised to ‘critical’ in 10 years and said she may deploy armed soldiers on the streets because another terror attack could be “imminent”.
The Home Secretary Amber Rudd has this morning said it’s “likely” Abedi “was not doing this on his own”.
The Sun can reveal Abedi had secret jihadi training during family trips to Syria and it’s feared that he was not acting alone when he carried out the atrocity that ISIS has claimed responsibility for.
Today French interior minister Gerard Collomb has said the Manchester bomber is believed to have travelled to Syria and had “proven” links with the Islamic State terror group.
The bomber – who was killed when he detonated a bomb at Ariana Grande’s gig on Monday night that killed concert-goers as young as eight – was born and grew up in Britain.
Abedi’s family originally hail from Libya and he is thought to have visited the North African country – also a haven for ISIS fighters – regularly in recent years.
Related …. CNN Analyst: Manchester Might Have Been a 'False Flag' Attack Perpetrated by Right-Wingers
CNN terror analyst Paul Cruickshank told Anderson Cooper that yesterday's Manchester attack may have been perpetrated by right-wingers. He said, "It must also be noted that in recent months in Europe, there’s been a number of "false flag" plots where right-wing extremists have tried to frame Islamists for terrorism." Really? A suicide bombing...
2. SPECIAL SESSION: Budget Bills Include Big Tax Cuts, Protestors Disrupt Committee
Kstp: The Minnesota House and Senate have yet to pass five remaining budget bills as the Legislature's special session moves toward a Wednesday morning deadline, but some details about key bills have been made public.
As the tax conference committee met Tuesday night, protesters disrupted its session over a provision in the public safety bill that would reinforce the law preventing undocumented immigrants from getting state driver's licenses. The protestors were later escorted out of the room by state troopers. The Legislature has also been working on teacher licensure reform after Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a licensure bill last week.
Republicans are also trying to tempt Dayton to sign a bill blocking cities from passing their own minimum wage hikes or sick leave policies.
3. President Trump meets with Pope Francis at Vatican
Associated Press: President Donald Trump and Pope Francis, two leaders with contrasting styles and differing worldviews, met at the Vatican on Wednesday, setting aside their previous clashes to broadcast a tone of peace for an audience around the globe.
Trump, midway through a grueling nine-day, maiden international journey, called upon the pontiff in a private, 30-minute meeting laden with religious symbolism and ancient protocol. The president, accompanied by his wife and several aides, arrived at the Vatican just after 8 a.m. local time. The president greeted Francis in Sala del Tronetto, the room of the little throne, on the second floor of Apostolic Palace.
Upon completing their meeting, the pope gave the president a medal featuring an olive branch, a symbol of peace, among other gifts. The president responded, “we can use peace.”
4. Summit Brewing stops distribution in six states
Star Tribune: St. Paul-based Summit Brewing Company has ended distribution of its craft beers in six more states, leaving just five in the Upper Midwest where connoisseurs will be able to buy the brewery’s seven year-round beers as well as its many seasonal and limited release beers.
Officials last week announced the move to stop distribution in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, and Michigan in a posting on its website and Facebook page.
In what it called a “difficult decision,” the company cited challenges in getting its product to retailers due to changes in the industry and the need to meet rising demand in its core Midwestern market.
“We’ve been invited into your homes, businesses, and refrigerators, and we’ve been fortunate to make friends and fans out of folks across the country. It’s been a great honor to share our beer with you all,” part of the announcement reads. “We are sorry to leave your area and look forward to returning in the future.”
Summit was started 31 years ago by home-brewer Mark Stutrud. Over the past three decades, Summit has grown from a tiny operation that began in a nondescript building on University Avenue to a multifaceted operation on a 6-acre campus in a redeveloped St. Paul industrial park off Montreal Avenue.
5. Tom Cruise reveals 'Top Gun 2' to start filming soon
Associated Press: The 54-year-old actor says the long-discussed sequel to "Top Gun" is a sure thing and should start shooting soon.
Cruise made the announcement Wednesday in response to questions from anchors on the Australian morning news show "Sunrise."
The actor said filming will likely begin within the next year. He added, "It's definitely happening."
Cruise has said in similar interviews that the film was in development and a strong possibility, but has not offered such clear confirmation.
The 1986 Reagan-era flyboy epic propelled Cruise to superstar status.
Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of the original, had been dropping hints too. He posted a picture of himself and Cruise on Saturday's 31st anniversary of the original's release.