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iStock/Thinkstock(MANCHESTER, England) — At least 19 people are dead and around 50 others injured after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in England.

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said they were called to the arena at just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. Authorities are telling people to avoid the area.

At the moment, the incident is being treated as a “terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”

The wounded are being treated at six different hospitals, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a press conference. “We’re doing all that we can … as we gather information about what happened,” he said, asking people to remain vigilant.

Further details were not immediately available.

Latest statement on incident at Manchester Arena pic.twitter.com/BEpLOan3dY

— G M Police (@gmpolice) May 23, 2017

Concertgoers reported hearing a loud bang at the end of the concert and attendees rushed toward the exit.

Eyewitness Karen Ford told the BBC, “The lights had come up everyone was just getting out and walking towards the stairs, when all of a sudden this huge sound, which sounded like an explosion went off.”

She added: “Everyone just stopped and turned around, and then somebody shouted ‘it’s a bomb’ and everyone just started running. Everybody was trying to push people up the stairs. There was a lot of children there without parents. There was no one to calm them down so everyone was just screaming, crying and pushing.”

Andy Holey, an eyewitness, told the BBC that he was waiting outside the concert and was blown over by the force of what he described as an “explosion.” When he awoke, he said he saw many casualties around him. He added that it was unclear if they were injured or dead.

Abby Barker, who attended the concert, told ABC News that Grande had just left the stage when there was a loud bang. “I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic,” she said. “We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was.”

Emergency personnel treated some of the injured at the nearby Manchester Victoria railway station.

A rep for Grande confirmed that she was not harmed.

In a statement, Manchester Arena confirmed that there had been an incident but said it occurred outside the venue. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims,” it tweeted.

pic.twitter.com/cPwkQbrYp2

— Manchester Arena (@ManchesterArena) May 23, 2017

Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and trains are unable to run.

#ManchesterVic – Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and trains are unable to run.

— National Rail (@nationalrailenq) May 22, 2017

According to a spokesman for the British Home Office, they are holding a senior staff meeting on the Manchester incident this evening.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May said in a statement that they “are working to establish the full details of what is being treated by the police as an appalling terrorist attack.”

“All our thoughts are with the victims and the families of those who have been affected,” she added.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.


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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Turkish businessman who hired Gen. Michael Flynn during the closing months of the 2016 presidential election refused to say whether he had been questioned or received a subpoena in connection with the ongoing investigation into the dealings of Trump associates during the campaign.

“I cannot comment on that,” Ekim Alptekin told ABC News in an interview on Monday.

Alptekin, who was in Washington, D.C. attending a Turkish-American business conference at the Trump International Hotel, founded a Dutch-based company called Inovo that paid the Flynn Intel Group more than $500,000 during the presidential campaign, according to papers Flynn filed with the Department of Justice.

Flynn had previously registered as a lobbyist for the firm, but Flynn’s attorneys advised that he file additional documents with the Justice Department identifying himself as an agent for a foreign government. The attorneys believed the work could be construed as principally benefitting the Turkish government, a finding that would trigger the need for registration.

“Because of the subject matter of Flynn Intel Group’s work for Inovo BV, which focused on Mr. Fethullah Gulen, whose extradition is sought by the Government of Turkey, the engagement could be construed to have principally benefitted the Republic of Turkey,” wrote a lawyer for the Flynn Intel Group in a letter to the Department of Justice. “To eliminate any potential doubt, the Flynn Intel Group therefore is electing to file a registration under FARA, in lieu of its prior LDA registration.”

Alptekin disputed that assessment.

“I’ve never represented the government of Turkey,” he said. “All of the reports that implicated or imply that I was in any way representing the government are simply not true.”

Gulen is a Turkish cleric who lives in Pennsylvania who has been blamed by the Turkish government for orchestrating a failed military coup in July. In November, The Hill published an op-ed written by Flynn comparing Gulen to Osama bin Laden and urging the U.S. to “adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority.”

“The forces of radical Islam derive their ideology from radical clerics like Gülen, who is running a scam,” Flynn wrote. “We should not provide him safe haven. In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.”

Flynn has long been a controversial figure. He served in the Obama administration but left government service in 2014 after being reportedly forced out of his position as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn later took a prominent role in the Trump campaign, paving the way to his appointment as Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser.

He was forced to resign, however, shortly after the inauguration, after the administration learned he misled Vice President Mike Pence about private discussions he had with the Russian ambassador. At the same time, Flynn’s private work for and speech fees from foreign sources also began attracting scrutiny.

Alptekin said in an interview that it was unnerving to see his name and that of his company surface in connection with the unfolding scandal.

“I think unfortunately there’s a highly politicized situation in the United States in which a lot of facts are being distorted — there’s a lot of misunderstanding and misperceptions,” Alptekin said. “I don’t think this is a very healthy environment unfortunately. I hope the United States will overcome this period as soon as possible so we can all move forward.”

Earlier this month, sources told ABC News that associates of Flynn Intel Group received grand jury subpoenas in recent weeks, stemming from the FBI investigation being led out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office at the Eastern District of Virginia. Those associates have not been identified publicly.

Flynn, meanwhile, has refused to honor a Senate committee’s subpoena request for documents relating to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“He will not be producing the documents they sought,” a source close to Flynn told ABC News. “He is entitled to decline, pursuant to the Fifth Amendment.”

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Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) — It was the party of the year when the world’s most famous bridesmaid, Pippa Middleton, finally became the bride. Middleton, who became famous for the figure-hugging dress she wore at the 2011 wedding of her sister, Princess Kate, to Prince William, tied the knot Saturday.

The wedding reception Saturday celebrating the marriage of Middleton, 33, and her husband, hedge fund millionaire James Matthews, was planned with military-like precision and executed under heavy security and secrecy.

The reception venue, a glass-enclosed structure estimated to have cost more than $100,000 erected in the backyard of Carole and Michael Middleton’s Bucklebury home, was draped with curtains to shield the prying eyes of the paparazzi and public.

Inside the structure, which resembled a crystal palace, the estimated 350 guests partook in one of the most glamorous and high-profile events of the London social season.

Prior to the evening reception, an intimate circle of the couple’s friends and family enjoyed a champagne brunch featuring langoustines, steak and chips, and foie gras. The brunch took place on the same Englefield Estate as St. Mark’s Church, where Middleton, in a Giles Deacon gown, wed Matthews earlier Saturday in front of around 100 guests. The lavish wedding had an estimated price tag between $500,000 and $1 million.

Guests who received invitations for all three parts of Middleton’s wedding day — the church service, champagne brunch and reception — were asked to bring a change of clothes. Middleton, who wrote a book titled “Celebrate” about party planning, wore a second gown for the black-tie evening reception at her parents’ $8 million home.

The Middletons’ mansion, dubbed “Bucklebury Manor,” boasts seven bedrooms and sits on 18 acres of property with stunning gardens, fish ponds and a tennis court and pool. Before guests could enter the Bucklebury grounds, they reportedly had to pass through an extensive security check that included a special password matched with their passport.

The guest list for the reception was a who’s who of society, including pro tennis stars Tim Herman and Roger Federer. Princess Eugenie, the daughter of Prince Andrew, also joined her cousins, Prince William and Prince Harry, for the day’s activities.

Middleton’s niece, Princess Charlotte, 2, and nephew, Prince George, 3, served in her bridal party, while Kate, 35, reportedly drew the illustration of St. Mark’s Church that graced the wedding ceremony programs.

British tabloids reported one of the highlights of the night was a ping pong match that pitted Prince Harry and William against seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer.

Harry, 32, brought his girlfriend, Meghan Markle, 35, to the evening reception. Markle was missing from both the ceremony and the reception at Englefield House.

Markle and Harry, who began dating last year, were reportedly seated apart from each other at the sit-down dinner, following standard etiquette for high-profile events. At night, a spitfire display took place in the sky while a spectacular light show flashing slides of Middleton’s and Matthews’ love story was projected against the Middletons’ home.

Middleton and Matthews were spotted early Monday morning at Los Angeles International Airport on the way to their honeymoon destination in the South Pacific.

The couple will reportedly visit the exclusive Brando resort on Tetiaroa island, just north of Tahiti. The eco-tourism hot spot, which caters to the world’s most elite and has a price tag of $3,500 a night, recently hosted Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen.

The eco-resort boasts just 35 deluxe cottages on pristine white beaches and private plunge pools. The resort features cuisine designed by a Michelin star chef, and most important of all, privacy.

Marlon Brando was said to have fallen in love with the island while filming the 1962 action film “Mutiny on the Bounty” and purchased the entire Pacific atoll for the less than the price it now costs its exclusive clientele for a week’s stay.

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Dave Thompson/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, England) — Abby Barker was just getting ready to leave an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, when she heard “an extremely loud bang,” she said, and the Manchester Arena dissolved into mass chaos and panic.

Barker told ABC News that the “Dangerous Woman” singer had just left the stage, the music had cut off and the lights were on, when the reported bang happened.

“Everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming,” Barker said. “We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb, gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was.”

Greater Manchester police report that 19 people are dead and around 50 others are injured. In a statement, police said they were called to the arena at just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. At the moment, the incident is being treated as a “terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”

Eyewitness Karen Ford told the BBC that the “huge sound … sounded like an explosion went off.”

“Everyone just stopped and turned around, and then somebody shouted ‘it’s a bomb’ and everyone just started running,” she continued. “Everybody was trying to push people up the stairs. There was a lot of children there without parents. There was no one to calm them down so everyone was just screaming, crying and pushing.”

Emergency personnel treated some of the injured at Manchester’s Victoria railway station near the arena.

Andy Holey, an eyewitness, told the BBC that he was waiting outside the concert and was blown over by the force of what he described as an “explosion.” When he awoke, he said he saw many casualties around him. He added that it was unclear if they were injured or dead.

Manchester Arena sent out a tweet after the incident, saying the reported explosion happened outside the concert venue.

pic.twitter.com/cPwkQbrYp2

— Manchester Arena (@ManchesterArena) May 23, 2017

Reps for Grande confirmed that she was not harmed.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MANCHESTER, England) — At least 19 people are dead and around 50 others injured after reports of an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in England.

In a statement, Greater Manchester police said they were called to the arena at just before 10:35 p.m. local time on Monday. Authorities are telling people to avoid the area.

At the moment, the incident is being treated as a “terrorist incident until police know otherwise.”

Further details of the incident were not immediately available.

Concertgoers reported hearing a loud bang at the end of the concert and attendees rushed toward the exit.

Eyewitness Karen Ford told the BBC, “The lights had come up everyone was just getting out and walking towards the stairs, when all of a sudden this huge sound which sounded like an explosion went off.”

She added: “Everyone just stopped and turned around, and then somebody shouted ‘it’s a bomb’ and everyone just started running. Everybody was trying to push people up the stairs. There was a lot of children there without parents. There was no one to calm them down so everyone was just screaming crying and pushing.”

Andy Holey, an eyewitness, told the BBC that he was waiting outside the concert and was blown over by the force of what he described as an “explosion.” When he awoke, he said he saw many casualties around him. He added that it was unclear if they were injured or dead.

Abby Barker, who attended the concert, told ABC News that Grande had just left the stage when there was a loud bang. “I looked across the arena and everyone over there started running in different directions, screaming in panic,” she said. “We all started panicking too and ran out the doors and ran down the stairs out of the arena. We got outside and children were crying their eyes out, people talking about it being a bomb/gunshots, there were many parents running towards the arena but no one knew exactly what it was.”

Reps for Grande confirmed that she was not harmed.

Video shows panicked people fleeing the arena.

Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and trains are unable to run.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.


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iStock/Thinkstock(MANCHESTER, England) — Police are responding to reports of a “serious incident” at Manchester Arena in England and telling individuals to stay away from the area.

In a statement, police said there are a “number of confirmed fatalities” as well as additional injuries. The nature of the incident was not immediately available.

Emergency services are at the scene of the incident that reportedly happened at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

Reps for the singer confirmed that she was not harmed.

Concertgoers reported hearing a loud bang at the end of the concert and attendees rushed toward the exit.

Andy Holey, an eyewitness, told the BBC that he was waiting outside the concert and was blown over by the force of what he described as a “blast” from near the box office. When he awoke, he said he saw many casualties around him. He added that it was unclear if they were injured or dead.

Reps for Grande confirmed that she was not harmed.

Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and trains are unable to run.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MANCHESTER, England) — Police are responding to reports of a “serious incident” at Manchester Arena in England and telling individuals to stay away from the area.

In a statement, police said there are a “number of confirmed fatalities” as well as additional injuries. The nature of the incident was not immediately available.

Emergency services are at the scene of the incident that reportedly happened at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

Reps for the singer confirmed that she was not harmed.

Manchester Victoria station has been evacuated and trains are unable to run.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged to give a total of $100 million to the Women’s Empowerment Fund, which Ivanka Trump has publicly supported.

The announcement came at an event that Trump attended while visiting Saudi Arabia as part of the first foreign trip of her father’s presidency.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was the one to announce the donation, saying that the two countries had pledged a combined $100 million donation to the World Bank-based fund.

He added that because of that pledge, as well as additional pledges from the U.S. and other countries, they are expecting to have accumulated $1 billion for the fund by the G-20 summit in July.

“This is really a stunning achievement. I’ve never seen anything come together so quickly, and I really have to say that Ivanka’s leadership has been tremendous,” Kim said, according to the pool report from the event in Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

The fund is intended to provide capital for small and medium sized women entrepreneurs.

ABC News has reached out to the White House for further information about the fund and will update accordingly.

Kim first announced the creation of the fund on April 26, 2017, releasing a statement applauding the support of Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“The World Bank Group is working with partners on the details around creating a facility for women’s economic empowerment, specifically through providing access to finance, markets and networks,” the statement reads. “Typically, the governance of facilities we manage is decided among donors, and the secretariat sits within and is administered by the World Bank Group. We are very grateful for the leadership Ms. Trump and Chancellor Merkel have demonstrated on this important issue.”

While specific details about the fund have not been released publicly, Trump’s connection to the fund has already prompted questions from at least one senator.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, sent a letter to the director of the Office of Government Ethics on April 28 urging them to review potential conflicts that come from both Trump’s involvement with the fund and her decision not to divest from her businesses.

“I am concerned that Ms. Trump’s refusal to divest from her business interests, and her creation of a fund to solicit foreign money, provides foreign governments an opportunity to improperly influence United States trade and foreign policy,” Wyden wrote in the letter.

During the presidential election, Donald Trump was a frequent critic of the Clinton Foundation for accepting donations from Saudi Arabia and other countries with bad human rights records.

“Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!” Trump wrote in a Facebook post on June 13, 2016.

He reiterated that sentiment during the first presidential debate as well, saying that countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar “are people that push gays off … buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money … why don’t you give back the money?”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Wall Street closed in the green Monday with technology and defense stocks leading the pack.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 89.99 (+0.43 percent) to finish at 20,894.83.

The Nasdaq gained 49.92 (+0.82 percent) to close at 6,133.62 while the S&P 500 finished at 2,394.02, up 12.29 (+0.52 percent) from its open.

Crude oil was about 1 percent higher with prices nearly $51 per barrel.

Winners and Losers: Shares of Ford Motor Company climbed 2 percent on news that CEO Mark Fields would be replaced with Jim Hackett, a former chairman of Ford Smart Mobility LLC.

Zoe’s Kitchen Inc’s stock was downgraded by Robert W. Baird to “Neutral,” causing shares of the restaurant chain to tumble 8 percent.

Blackstone Group announced a $40 billion infrastructure plan for U.S. projects with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund committing to a $20 billion investment. Shares of the private equity firm soared nearly 7 percent.

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Sotheby’s(LONDON) — One lucky lady snagged the deal of a lifetime over 30 years ago when she purchased what she thought was merely a fun cocktail ring, but what turned out to be a diamond worth more than $450,000.

The unaware buyer who spent approximately $15 at a flea market in London had no idea the gem was actually a 26.27-carat white diamond.

On Monday, Jessica Wyndham, head of Sotheby’s London jewelry department, met with the owner who has been wearing the ring since the ’80s and only recently found out from a local jeweler it could be of significant value.

“She first bought it in the 1980s as a costume jewel, cocktail ring and she has been wearing it around ever since,” Wyndham said. “It’s impossible to really date it, but the style of the diamond has notable characteristics similar to what you would expect from the 19th century,” she explained.

“She randomly took it to a local jeweler who said, ‘This could be a diamond,’ and told her to ‘seriously get it looked at,'” Wyndham added.

The jewelry specialist for the international auction house told ABC News that the ring’s owner was searching impressive diamonds on Google when she found Sotheby’s and reached out to Wyndham to get the process started.

Once Wyndham first saw the jewel in person earlier this year, she contacted the Gemological Institute of America to have the gem identified. “They check the diamond and give a certificate confirming the color, clarity, size and weight,” Wyndham said of the New York City-based company.

Wyndham said she was astonished that given the weight, color, cut and clarity that an average person could own this kind of stone without knowing what it really was.

“Even if it was just a small 1-carat diamond it would be amazing, but the fact that it’s 26 carats, that’s larger than most would see in their lifetime let alone own dream of owning. To have one this big and truly pure is astounding,” Wyndham explained.

Sotheby’s will start the low auction price at about $325,000 but Wyndham said the diamond could reach $454,000. “We don’t stop people from bidding past an upper price. The hope is that people will continue bidding, it’s really just the low estimate that people should focus on,” she said.

The unique 26.27-carat white diamond will be part of a sale on June 7, 2017, that includes a diamond broach worn by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and other priceless historic jewelry items.

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