May 23, 2017

Ariana Grande Concert Explosion: At least 19 dead, 59 injured in Manchester, England

At least 19 people were killed and 59 others were injured Monday night in an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in the British city of Manchester that police are treating as a possible suicide bombing.

The explosion happened near an entrance to the 21,000-seat arena just minutes after Grande’s concert ended with the song “Dangerous Woman” and the singer left the stage, witnesses said.

Many of the concert’s attendees were girls and young women, some clutching pink balloons, who had come to see one of the world’s biggest pop stars. After the explosion, many children were either separated from their parents or came unaccompanied and didn’t know where to go.

British counter-terrorism investigators think the possible terrorist attack may have been the work of a suicide bomber who entered a crowded area outside the performance space where attendees were streaming out of the concert, according to U.S. law enforcement sources briefed on the investigation.

"We are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack,” British Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement. “All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected."

May, who suspended her campaign for parliamentary elections set for June 8, was expected to chair a meeting of the government’s inter-agency emergency committee on Tuesday morning.

Police have focused their investigation on one man whose actions suggest he was the attacker, according to a law enforcement official not authorized to discuss the investigation.

The male suspect was captured on a video security system, the source said. Police are working to confirm the identity of the suspect and are also seeking out any of his known associates.

The explosion appeared to occur near an entrance where fans typically pick up tickets. Cordons blocked off the entire area as a swarm of police cars and ambulances moved in and began evacuating bleeding concert patrons.

The North West Ambulance Service reported taking 59 patients to area hospitals and treating more at the scene.

Grande was not injured. “Ariana is okay. We are further investigating what happened,” said Joseph Carozza, the artist’s publicist with Republic Records, a division of Universal Music group.

Later, Grande tweeted herself. “Broken,” she wrote. “From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry. I don’t have words.”

Police disclosed few details of the preliminary investigation into the incident they said was first reported at 10:33 p.m.

“We are currently treating this as a terrorist incident until we have further information,” Chief Constable Ian Hopkins told reporters. “This is clearly a very concerning time for everyone. We are doing all that we can.”

Fans from around northern England had flocked to the arena near the heart of Manchester, about 200 miles north of London, to see Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” tour. The show ended around 10:30 p.m.

Concert goer Danny Keeling, 22, said he had left shortly before the end of the concert to avoid the crowds. “Everyone was completely happy,” he recalled.

Then, at least one explosion ripped through an area near the arena’s box office, which was crowded with fans leaving the show.

“And the next thing it was complete chaos,” Keeling said. “We saw a guy being treated by paramedics, who had holes in his back from where the shrapnel had hit him and there were kids with blood on them.”

Another attendee, Charlotte, 18, from Manchester, had just left the arena when she heard the blast from the box office area. An eerie silence fell over the attendees outside, she said.

“Everyone stopped and all talking stopped,” she wrote in a direct message on Twitter. Then she saw people running out of the exits. “Everyone was running and screaming. And people was screaming evacuate.”

Lauren Sanders, 15, was near the stage when she heard an explosion that seemed to come from near the entrance of the theater, where the audience had streamed toward the exits, perhaps two minutes after Grande left the stage.

“Then everyone who was leaving started screaming and running the other way to another exit,” Sanders wrote in a direct message on Twitter. A huge Grande fan, she had come to the concert with her mother. She said there were no metal detectors and that security did not carefully check her mother’s bag.

After the explosion, “I grabbed my mum’s hand and started running, following a lot of others towards an exit,” Sanders said. Outside, police were everywhere, trying to clear the area, she said.

Alex Clare, 27, was walking his dog about half a mile away from the concert arena when he heard the explosion. As he approached the area he said he was taken aback by the scene.

“There were swarms of police cars and ambulances and I saw people with blood on their face,” Claire said. “A gentleman approached us with his daughter and started crying and said he had just seen people blown to bits.”

Gary Walker, who is from Leeds, was waiting with his wife for their two daughters to come out of the concert when the explosion happened just yards away. "We heard the last song go, and then suddenly there was a massive flash and then a bang and smoke," he told BBC 5 live. He felt a pain in his foot and leg.

"I turned around to my wife who was standing at the side of me and she said, 'I need to lay down.’” He said she had a stomach wound and possibly a broken leg. "I’ve got a bit of a hole in my foot where I’ve got a bit of shrapnel," he said. "I was surprised I got away so lightly."

Matt Ledger, 19, was with two of his friends at the concert when he heard one of the explosions. “Everyone starting sprinting and grabbing each other,” Ledger said in a phone interview. “When I got outside I saw a few people laying on the grass and their heads were bleeding.”

Ledger, who lives two hours outside of Manchester and came in for the concert, said he ran 10 minutes away to a bar, where he took shelter for two hours.

As in previous incidents in Europe, people took to social media to offer lifts, rooms for the night and tea to those in need using the hashtag #RoomForManchester. Others used the hashtag to send out anguished pleas for information about the missing. "My friend is missing in the concert haven't heard of him please contact me #Manchester #RoomForManchester worried and sick now," read one tweet.

“My heart goes out to families who have lost loved ones, my admiration to our brave emergency services,” Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, wrote on Twitter. “A terrible night for our great city.”

Concert goers said the number of unaccompanied youngsters in the crowd contributed to the panic when the explosion happened. "I was trying to offer my support to a number of girls who were there on their own who were hysterical," the mother of a 13-year-old, who gave her name as Anne-Marie, told BBC 5 live. "They were around my daughter’s age if not younger."

Some survivors fled to the nearby Steven Charles Snooker Club, where a bartender reported hearing a sound from the arena like “thunder.”

“We’ve got four girls here — trying to get them sorted to get picked up. There was a gentleman on the floor with his leg all bleeding and a woman with blood down one side of her face,” the bartender, who gave his name as Tyler, told the Press Association. “One girl had a panic attack and another had streaming tears, a woman had a heart attack just outside.”

After the explosion, police carried out a controlled explosion of a suspicious item near the arena but later said it was just clothing.

Some concert goers began raising questions about security at the venue. Keeling said security personnel were checking bags, but not patting anyone down. “I told my friend you could have anything on you, and you can bring in anything,” he said.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that it was monitoring the situation in Britain and working with international law enforcement partners. It also cautioned Americans around Manchester to “maintain security awareness.”

“At this time, we have no information to indicate a specific credible threat involving music venues in the United States,” the department’s statement said. “However, the public may experience increased security in and around public places and events as officials take additional precautions.”

Grande was scheduled for additional performances on her Dangerous Woman Tour on May 25 and 26 at London’s O2 Arena, according to the website of the tour promoter, Live Nation UK. Tour officials have not yet said whether those events will be canceled.

“We are deeply saddened by this senseless tragedy and our hearts and thoughts are with those impacted by this devastating incident,” a Live Nation spokeswoman said.

Times staff writers Randy Lewis, Todd Martens and Alexandra Zavis contributed to this report. Boyle reported from London, Pearce, Etehad and Winton reported from Los Angeles.

May 15, 2017

Pakistan Cricket Team win the test series against West Indies

Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq are retiring on a winning note after Pakistan clinched their first ever test series victory in the Caribbean when they beat West Indies in a thrilling finish to the third test in Dominica.

A valiant unbeaten century by Roston Chase almost staved off defeat for West Indies on day five on Sunday (NZT Monday), before his team was dismissed all out for 202 in their second innings with only one over remaining at Windsor Park in Roseau.

Chase and the West Indies tail made the Pakistan bowlers sweat after the visitors took the new ball with 17 overs remaining. But number 11 Shannon Gabriel was bowled by leg-spinner Yasir Shah on the final ball of the penultimate over to give the visitors the win.

Had Gabriel survived that ball, Chase would have had a strike for the final over. He ended on 101 not out. Pakistan won the match by 101 runs to win the series 2-1.

Pakistan 376 & 174/8d
West Indies 247 & 202 (96.0 ov)
Pakistan won by 101 runs
West Indies RR 2.10
Last 10 ovs 10/2 RR 1.00

Current time 18:50 local, 22:50 GMTTest Career
BatsmenRB4s6sSRThis bowlerLast 10 ovs
Roston Chase (rhb)10123912142.2547 (83b)5 (34b)
BowlersOMRWEcon0s4s6sThis spell
Yasir Shah (lbg)37.0139252.48175916-4-2-1
Mohammad Amir (lf)15.082211.4680102-2-0-0
Recent overs
  • W

Last bat ST Gabriel b Yasir Shah 4 (32m 22b 1x4 0x6) SR: 18.18
Fall of wicket 202/10 (95.6 ov); Partnership: 5 runs, 7.4 overs, RR: 0.65 (Chase 1, Gabriel 4)

Umpire reviews remaining West Indies 2 (1 successful, 0 unsuccessful); Pakistan 1 (0 successful, 1 unsuccessful)

End of over 96 (wicket maiden) West Indies 202/10

    • RL Chase101 (239b 12x4 1x6)

    • Yasir Shah37-13-92-5
    • Mohammad Amir15-8-22-1

Younis and Misbah join their mates for the team photograph. This side - Misbah's side - had done what Hanif Mohammad couldn't do, what Javed Miandad couldn't do, what Imran Khan couldn't do in West Indies. He had led his side to its first ever series victory there, a 101-run win sealing his - and Younis' - careers with aplomb. Test cricket certainly has a way of rewarding its own. Sure they'll celebrate this long into the night. Time for Karthik and I to say goodbye. Hope you enjoyed our coverage. Until next time, cheers.
If you ever wonder what Pakistan might do without Misbah, the reverse is a more frightening prospect: what will Misbah do without the game? Osman Samiuddin on the man who breathed cricket
His career was spent overcoming challenges that threatened to overwhelm him, but at the end, he has emerged as undeniably Pakistan's greatest Test batsman. Ahmer Naqvi on Younis Khan

Misbah-ul-Haq: There's nothing better than that. Whatever success I had through my career, I couldn't have asked for a better finish. Would like to thank my mother, sisters, family and wife. It was only for her, I would have finished in Australia but she felt I could go on. My team-mates wanted me to go out on a winning note. My son isn't here, he may be watching on TV. I'm missing him, he's got his exams so couldn't be with us. A big thank you to the coaches, teachers, fans and everyone who prayed for me. Lot of people here in West Indies too have come up to wish me the best. I'm happy with what I've had in my career, couldn't have asked for a better finish. Really happy for this team. The way they gave me and Younis a send-off. I wish him all the best. It was a fine journey with him in the middle, sharing a lot of partnerships. In the history books, both our names will be there.

"With one over left, both of teams were under pressure," he continues. "The bowlers bowled their heart out on a slow track. They just believed in themselves. Everyone was so motivated. They were working hard for me and Younis too. There were frustrations. No-balls, wickets, couple of chances here and there, but you enjoy wins like this much more than straightforward wins."

Jason Holder: Proud of the fight that we showed. Lot of people may have thought the Test would be earlier than it did. Disappointing to lose but we've seen something we haven't seen in a long time with West Indies cricket. We're coming up against good teams. Pakistan were No. 1 not too long ago. We need to learn to seize crucial moments. I said to the guys that I was extremely proud of the way we fought. There's still lot of room for improvement, but a great effort nonetheless. Roston Chase, Shannon Gabriel outstanding, Alzarri and myself - we all played a part. Coming into this game with a chance of winning the series was fantastic. To Misbah and Younis, I want to say congratulations to you both. You've been ambassadors for world cricket. Best wishes for your future endeavors.

Yasir Shah is the Player of the series. He picked up his 11th Test five-for today.

Roston Chase is the Player of the Match for his combative century. Very kind of him to pose for a selfie after such a heartbreaking loss. "All that was going through my mind was to be there till the end and save the Test. A hundred didn't matter," he says. "I just told the tailenders to trust their defence. Well, Shannon will learn. Hopefully if he gets into a situation like that, he'll choose a better shot. Can't blame him, we fought as a team. I had a good series, but as you see it wasn't good enough. Hopefully we can be on the winning side next time."

5.58pm With only six balls remaining, Pakistan have sealed their first ever series win in the West Indies. Misbah and Younis sign off with a series win. They're being lifted onto their team-mates' shoulders. Yasir finishes with a five-for. But think of Roston Chase. He has played one of the great innings of recent years. He is stranded on 101.

So a tour that started last month with the T20Is has ended with Misbah and Younis signing off with crowning glory. Emotional scenes. No sooner than Gabriel chopped on, Younis ran in to take one of the stumps as a souvenir. Misbah draped himself with the Pakistan flag around his shoulders and then ran over to quickly meet his family.

What was Shannon Gabriel thinking? And what must Roston Chase be thinking right now? Moment of madness. I'm not sure he's going to sleep tonight.

Hamzah: "Probably the best match I have ever seen. This is why T20 can never even come close to the intensity of test cricket and it is still best format. Finally I can get back to work, I couldn't take my eye off the game for the last hour or so. "

Misbah-ul-Haq wraps a Pakistan flag around his shoulders, and walks up to the grass banks to join his family. Hugs and handshakes in the Pakistan camp. All the players' wives and kids are out to join the celebrations. I'm going to go catch my breath. Shashank will bring you the post-match reactions and the presentation.
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, OUT, WHAT HAS JUST HAPPENED HERE? Slogs, and inside-edges into off stump! He had one ball to see out, and I think Yasir bowled the googly outside off. Gabriel may have picked it, and figured he was safest hitting it over the top because everyone was clustered around the bat. Still, what a risk. Only manages an inside-edge, and the ball ricochets into the stumps
ST Gabriel b Yasir Shah 4 (32m 22b 1x4 0x6) SR: 18.18

Everyone is standing ten feet or less than ten feet from the bat.
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, tossed up full outside leg, big stride out, solid defensive push into the leg side
The ball before, they had a chance of taking a single, but Chase turned it down. He trusts Gabriel to see this over out.
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, given! Gabriel reviews this, I'm not sure he edged that. Drops this on a nice length outside leg. Gabriel thrust his pad at the ball and then the pad. Bat hit the back of his front leg, preventing it from completing his defensive stroke. I think the ball hit his pad, and somehow squeezed behind his bat, hit his back thigh, and then popped to silly point. For once, we have conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field decision!
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, full outside leg, defended past the man at short leg
Around the wicket now. And whoa, it's begun drizzling! The floodlights have come on.
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, short, pitches on leg and turns away sharply, but this pitch is really slow, and he waits on the back foot and blocks comfortably into the covers
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, tossed up full on leg stump, gets that front leg out of the way and gets down low to defend back to the bowler
Two overs. Twelve balls. Yasir to bowl his last over of the series. He's taken 24 wickets so far.

End of over 95 (maiden) West Indies 202/9

    • RL Chase101 (239b 12x4 1x6)
    • ST Gabriel4 (16b 1x4 0x6)

    • Mohammad Amir15-8-22-1
    • Yasir Shah36-12-92-4
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, shortish, angling into off stump, Chase jumps to get on top of the bounce, keeps it down by playing close to his body
David Parry : "What's the light like? " -- Good enough, I think, good enough.
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, another bouncer, rising over Chase's right shoulder this time. Keeps his eye on it and sways away from the line
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, awkward bouncer, angling in and rising towards Chase's ribs. He got into a closed-off position, fended at it, and the ball hit the sticker of his bat and went to the right of short leg
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, full outside off, angling in from wide of the crease, defended to Misbah at short cover
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, short outside off, hops to ride the bounce and defends towards point
Mohd Irshad: "Anyone remember Jimmy last over wicket against Sri Lanka in 2015? He played out 50 deliveries and lost it in last over of fifth day." -- Oh yes, Headingley, very similar situation.
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, banged in short from wide of the crease, Chase ducks
Eighteen balls. Amir around the wicket.

End of over 94 (maiden) West Indies 202/9

    • ST Gabriel4 (16b 1x4 0x6)
    • RL Chase101 (233b 12x4 1x6)

    • Yasir Shah36-12-92-4
    • Mohammad Amir14-7-22-1
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, lbw appeal, more in hope than in belief. Length ball pitches on middle and turns away. Slow getting forward, gets an inside-edge onto pad
Slip, two gullies, leg slip, short leg, silly point
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, full, too full, gets a nice stride in and blocks to silly point
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, short, wide, slapped powerfully to point
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, slows it down a touch, Gabriel ensures he doesn't reach of it, presses forward and lets it come on before defending into the on side
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, and again. This one pitched on the stumps, but spun even more. Gabriel didn't follow it with his hands
Yasir Shah to Gabriel, no run, Beaten. Length ball outside off, turns away to beat Gabriel's forward defensive
Shehroze: "Did people stop commenting or you are unable to focus on commentary feedback because of the thrilling ending?" -- The latter. I try to post as many comments as I can, but it's not always possible.
End of over 93 (maiden) West Indies 202/9

    • RL Chase101 (233b 12x4 1x6)
    • ST Gabriel4 (10b 1x4 0x6)

    • Mohammad Amir14-7-22-1
    • Yasir Shah35-11-92-4
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, length ball wide of off stump, Chase will not chase those
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, another yorker, an inch outside off stump this time, jabbed to cover point
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, full, angling into middle and leg, defended to midwicket. Showed the full face there, didn't look to flick
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, looks for the yorker, bowls it a few inches outside off stump. Stabbed away into the cover point region
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, wide of the crease, bangs it in short. Loops up tennis-ball style, and Chase ducks low under it
Mohammad Amir to Chase, no run, back of a length outside off, left alone
Whoa boy. Five overs to go, and Amir returns. Around the wicket.

End of over 92 (1 run) West Indies 202/9

    • RL Chase101 (227b 12x4 1x6)
    • ST Gabriel4 (10b 1x4 0x6)

    • Yasir Shah35-11-92-4
    • Hasan Ali20-7-33-3
Yasir Shah to Chase, 1 run, short outside off, Chase slaps it away between cover point and backward point. They take one, and despite Pakistan's fielders asking it to continue in that direction, the ball refuses to reach the boundary
Yasir Shah to Chase, no run, ooh, finally lands one on the perfect length. Slows it up and makes Chase reach out and stretch. Pitches on middle, rips away, and beats the outside edge of his defensive bat.
Yasir Shah to Chase, no run, flighted ball on leg stump, too full to really bother Chase, defends inside-out to silly point
Yasir Shah to Chase, no run, legbreak lands on a nice length on leg stump, Chase is calmly forward to defend past short leg
Yasir Shah to Chase, no run, fuller now, on leg stump, driven firmly to mid-on
Yasir Shah to Chase, no run, tossed up on middle stump, defended into the on side

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