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Survivors of 2017 Ariana Grande concert bombing take legal action against UK intelligence agency

People
Ariana Grande

LONDON — More than 250 survivors of the bombing that killed 22 people at a 2017 Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, are taking legal action against Britain's domestic intelligence agency, lawyers said.

Lawyers from three law firms said Sunday they have submitted a group claim on behalf of more than 250 clients to the U.K.'s investigatory powers tribunal. They said they could not provide further details because it was an ongoing legal matter.

Suicide bomber Salman Abedi set up a knapsack bomb in Manchester Arena at the end of Grande's concert on May 22, 2017, as thousands of young fans were leaving. More than 100 people were injured, many of them children and teenagers. Abedi died in the explosion.

An official inquiry reported last year that Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, didn’t act swiftly enough on key information and missed a significant opportunity to prevent the bombing, the deadliest extremist attack in the U.K. in recent years.

Abedi had been a “subject of interest” to MI5 officials in 2014, but his case was closed shortly after because he was deemed to be low risk.

The report also found that one MI5 officer admitted they considered intelligence about Abedi to be a possible national security concern, but didn’t discuss it with colleagues quickly enough.

Ken McCallum, the head of MI5, said in a rare televised statement that he was “profoundly sorry” his agency was unable to prevent the attack.

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Nelly Furtado

Singer Nelly Furtado was able to laugh off her onstage fall at Coachella this weekend despite suffering a bloody thumb in the accident.

The 45-year-old Canadian artist posted a video of her stumbling to the floor and popping right back up during her performance of “Eat Your Man,” a song she made with Australian producer Dom Dolla.

She doesn’t appear to miss a beat in the performance, continuing to sing right through the incident.

“Eat your man…not the stage,” she wrote over the video, adding a crying/laughing emoji. A previous post to her story showed the bloody finger that resulted from the fall.

“Literally left it all on the stage,” she wrote, “including my blood.”

The video was long enough to show she was all smiles and seemingly unfazed by the injury.

“This Barbie like to rave,” she says, laughing into the camera and acknowledging her pink bedazzled jumpsuit.

She also shared a longer video of her performance with Dom Dolla from Saturday night in which she was introduced to raucous applause.

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicked off its first performances this weekend in Indio, Cal., and runs until April 21.

Headliners at the festival include Lana Del Rey, Doja Cat, Tyler, the Creator and No Doubt. Other performances by Ice Spice, Lil Uzi Vert, Sabrina Carpenter, Victoria Monét, Suki Waterhouse, Jon Batiste, Bebe Rexha and Reneé Rapp are in the lineup.

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift were spotted at the event on Saturday, supporting Swift’s frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff, who was performing with his band Bleachers.

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Travis Scott

A judge in Texas is set to hear arguments Monday in rap star Travis Scott’s request to be dismissed from a lawsuit over the deadly 2021 Astroworld festival in Houston.

Scott headlined the concert during which 10 people were killed as authorities and festival organizers responded to a massive crowd surge and tried to shut down the show.

Last week, the judge dismissed lawsuits against hip-hop guest performer Drake along with several other individuals and companies involved in the show.

Attorneys for Scott, whose real name is Jacques Bermon Webster II and is also known as “Cactus Jack,” write in the motion to dismiss that he is a performer and had no role in providing security or crowd management for the festival.

“Performers are not expected to render special protection to the audience, nor to safeguard them from the rest of the crowd,” the motion said. “Performing artists, even those who engage in certain promotional activities, have no inherent expertise or specialized knowledge in concert safety measures.”

The motion said Scott followed instructions and ended the show after a performance by Drake by performing one final song because it was feared that an abrupt ending could have led to riots, panic and chaos in the crowd.

“Thus, due care also required taking the time to end the show properly, so that the crowd would feel satisfied and leave peacefully,” according to the document.

After an investigation by Houston police, no charges were filed against Scott and a grand jury declined to indict him and five other people on any criminal counts related to the deadly concert.

Those killed, who ranged in age from 9 to 27, died from compression asphyxia, which an expert likened to being crushed by a car.

The first trial from the lawsuits is scheduled for May 6.

Some of the lawsuits filed by the families of the 10 who died and hundreds who were injured have been settled, including those filed by the families of four of the dead.

From combined wire services

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