A series of bombings at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka that killed more than 320 people on Easter Sunday were conducted "in retaliation" for mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand last month, a senior government official said. "The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch," Ruwan Wijewardene, Sri Lanka's defense minister, told the country's parliament, according to the Independent. He said the death toll now stands at 321 dead and 500 injured.
Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, said Tuesday that Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election interference was worse than anything done by Moscow, which he dismissed as "a couple of Facebook ads." In a rare public speaking appearance, Kushner dismissed Russia's impact during the 2016 election, saying that credit for the victory lay with the Trump campaign. "You look at what Russia did -- you know, buying some Facebook ads to try and sow dissent and do it.
Two teenage neo-Nazis, linked to a group that called Prince Harry a "race traitor" for marrying Mehgan Markle, are facing jail after admitting terror charges. Polish national, Michal Szewczuk, 19, admitted two counts of encouraging terrorism and five of possessing documents that could be useful to a terrorist, when he appeared at the Old Bailey. The charges relate to a neo-Nazi group called the Sonnenkrieg Division, which posted extreme racist material on the GAB social media platform.
Senator Kamala Harris vowed to use executive actions to tighten rules on firearms sales if she's elected president and Congress fails to act on gun control in her first 100 days in office. The California Democrat's proposals to bypass Congress with actions that include expanding requirements for background checks and revoking licenses for gun manufactures and dealers found to have broken the law would almost certainly face legal challenges. But they represent her attempt to lean into a cause that has gained strong support in the Democratic Party following a wave of mass shootings over the past several years.
Samsung on Monday said it is delaying the launch of its folding smartphone after trouble with handsets sent to reviewers. Some reviewers who got their hands on the Galaxy Fold early reported problems with screens breaking. Samsung said it decided to put off this week's planned release of the Fold after some reviews "showed us how the device needs further improvements."
PG&E Corp can pay employees up to $350 million in bonuses this year to spur them to help meet the bankrupt California power provider's safety goals to prevent wildfires, a judge said on Tuesday. PG&E's management has said the company needs to implement the bonus plan to carry out tasks such as clearing trees and branches around power lines to avert contact that triggers wildfires. While the maximum cost of the plan is $350 million, PG&E has said it expects the likely cost will be around $235 million.
Tesla detailed hardware specs for its fully-automated Autopilot system in a live feed on YouTube. The changes include a dual-CPU setup that Elon Musk promises is fail-safe. Tesla's self-driving technology has been controversial as some claim it has been implemented before it is completely safe.
Now two Google employees, Meredith Whittaker and Claire Stapleton, are alleging that Google is retaliating against them and other employee activists. “Google has a culture of retaliation, which too often works to silence women, people of color, and gender minorities,” reads a letter from Whittaker, Stapleton and 10 other employees that was published internally on Monday and seen by the Guardian. Stapleton, a nearly 12-year veteran at Google, wrote that two months after the walkout, she was demoted, had a previously approved project cancelled, and was “told to go on medical leave, even though I'm not sick”.
The newly released sketch in the deaths of two Delphi girls isn`t actually new at all, it was drawn just days after the murders in 2017.
Show the amazing mothers in your life how much you care with these thoughtful (and affordable! gifts. From Woman's Day
President Donald Trump made a new threat Wednesday to send armed soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump tweeted Wednesday that "Mexico's Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border," but he didn't support the drug-smuggling claim. Two U.S. soldiers in a remote area of Texas recently were confronted by Mexican soldiers who thought the Americans had crossed into Mexico.
When Alex Arrow tried to call his 11-year-old son on Sunday morning, the boy quickly texted back: “Can't talk right now,” the fifth-grader told his dad, because he was heading to an Easter breakfast buffet with his mother in the Sri Lanka capital of Colombo. Moments later, Arrow's only child – a precocious student from Washington, D.C. – was dead, one of more than 300 victims, including four Americans, killed in a series of bombings at churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Arrow said his son, Kieran Shafritz de Zoysa, wanted to become a neuroscientist and help cure diseases.
Turkish police on Monday were holding six people, including a member of the ruling AKP party, after a mob attack on opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu that sparked widespread criticism. Kilicdaroglu, 70, of the Republican People's Party (CHP) was assaulted on Sunday in a crowd as he attended a funeral in Ankara for a soldier killed fighting Kurdish militants in the southeast. The attack came days after the opposition CHP won Ankara and Istanbul from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP in March 31 local elections, seen as a major setback for the ruling party after a decade-and-a-half in power.
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren's new student-loan forgiveness plan includes specific policies that would help black and Latino students, two groups that tend to carry disproportionately high levels of educational debt. Her proposal, which is estimated to cost $1.25 trillion over a decade, creates a minimum $50 billion fund for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and minority-serving institutions to help close gaps in per-student spending. It would also prohibit public colleges from considering citizenship status or criminal history in admission decisions.
The monthly reports follow a pledge made by the tech giants and advertising trade bodies in October last year to combat the spread of fake news and avoid more heavy-handed regulations. The EU has warned of foreign interference during campaigning for the European Parliament elections and national elections in Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Ukraine in recent and coming months. "Further technical improvements as well as sharing of methodology and data sets for fake accounts are necessary to allow third-party experts, fact-checkers and researchers to carry out independent evaluation," the EU executive said.
SUNLAND PARK, N.M./TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) - A group of armed Americans who have been stopping migrants illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border abandoned their New Mexico camp on Tuesday, days after its leader was arrested and allies deserted them during a storm of criticism. The abrupt departure of the paramilitary group, the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP), followed allegations they had kidnapped migrants and an ultimatum by the Union Pacific Railroad for them to leave the area in 30 minutes after the company accused the group of trespassing. Larry Hopkins, leader of the UCP, appeared in court in Las Cruces, New Mexico, on Monday to face firearms charges following his arrest by the FBI at the weekend.
Washington is expected to become the first state to legalize an environmentally-friendly burial alternative that turns bodies into soil within weeks. A bill allowing “natural organic reduction," sometimes called "human composting," has passed the legislature and is headed to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee's desk. Inslee, who has staked his 2020 presidential campaign on climate change, is reviewing the bill.
Major Chinese automaker Geely has launched a sub-brand it's calling Geometry. The electric Geometry A is the first production model, and Geely says it's got the Tesla Model 3 in its sights. Tesla might be struggling with bringing the long-promised $35,000 version of the Model 3 to market, but Chinese automaker Geely is suffering from no such problems with the Geometry A, the first production car from what is set to be a wider EV sub-brand.
The final day to take advantage of 100,000-point offers on the newly christened Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card is coming up fast, with new card owners only having until Apr. 24 to earn 100k points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. As a reminder, the introduction of the Bonvoy card branding (which led to new offers like this one) is a result of Marriott combining and retiring its old Marriott Rewards, Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest branding. Based on a valuation from The Points Guy, 100,000 Marriott points are worth $800 (or 0.8 cents for each point).
President Donald Trump's decision Monday to end six-month waivers from U.S. sanctions for five countries that have continued buying Iranian oil — the latest turn of the screw in his Administration's “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran — was met with predictable outrage from Tehran. In response to the sanctions, Greece, Italy and, Taiwan had stopped buying Iranian oil, but China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Turkey have continued to import Iranian oil. The economic pressure has reduced Iranian oil exports from more than 2.5 million barrels a day to less than 1 million, discouraged foreign investment, and sent the value of Iran's currency plummeting and inflation soaring.
Amid the latest spate of allegations of sexual abuse of young people by priests, an increasing percentage of Catholics are re-examining their commitment to the religion, according to a poll released Wednesday. The Gallup poll found that 37 percent of respondents said "recent news about sexual abuse of young people by priests" has them personally questioning whether to remain Catholic — a 15 point increase since 2002. The polling, conduct in January and February, came as Pope Francis met at the Vatican with Catholic leaders from around the world to respond to a new wave of sex abuse allegations in numerous countries.
Japan on Tuesday dropped the push to apply "maximum pressure" on North Korea from its official foreign policy, an apparent softening of Tokyo's position as major powers engage with Pyongyang. In last year's "Diplomatic Bluebook", published when tensions on the Korean peninsula were soaring, Japan said it was coordinating efforts with its allies to "maximise pressure on North Korea by all available means." But this language was dropped from this year's edition, drawn up after diplomats had "taken comprehensively into account the latest developments surrounding North Korea", according to chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga.
Walgreens has decided to raise its minimum age for tobacco sales several weeks after a top federal official chastised the drugstore chain for violating laws restricting access to cigarettes and other tobacco products. Deerfield, Illinois-based Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. said Tuesday that it will require customers to be at least 21 years old to purchase tobacco in any of its more than 9,500 stores nationwide. Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in March that Walgreens was a top violator of tobacco sales laws among pharmacies that sell those products.
NASA's robotic probe InSight has detected and measured what scientists believe to be a "marsquake," marking the first time a likely seismological tremor has been recorded on another planet, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California reported on Tuesday. The breakthrough came five months after InSight, the first spacecraft designed specifically to study the deep interior of a distant world, touched down on the surface of Mars to begin its two-year seismological mission on the red planet. The faint rumble characterized by JPL scientists as a likely marsquake was recorded on April 6, the lander's 128th Martian day, or sol.
One of the bombers in the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday attacks studied in the UK and Australia, the country's deputy defence minister revealed on Wednesday. We believe one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and then later on did his postgraduate in Australia, before coming back to settle in Sri Lanka,” said Ruwan Wijewardene, without naming the suspect. He said one of the bombers was a woman.