Sri Lanka's president has asked for the resignations of the defense secretary and national police chief, a dramatic internal shake-up after security forces shrugged off intelligence reports warning of possible attacks before Easter bombings that killed over 350 people, the president's office said Wednesday. It wasn't immediately clear who would be replacing them, but President Maithripala Sirisena said during a televised speech Tuesday that he planned to change the head of the defense forces within 24 hours. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which struck Christians worshipping in three churches and people at three luxury hotels.
Ukraine leapt into the unknown Monday after comedian Volodymyr Zelensky was elected president on promises of change but with just a vague blueprint of what he might do as leader. Zelensky, whose previous political experience was playing the president on a TV show, crushed incumbent Petro Poroshenko in a stinging rebuke to the establishment fuelled by voters' anger over war with separatists and social injustice. Ukrainians looked to the future with hope and anxiety after the performer took 73 percent of the vote on Sunday, according to nearly complete official results.
Iran's parliament passed a bill on Tuesday requiring the government take firm steps to respond to "terrorist actions" by U.S. forces, state TV reported, retaliating against Washington's blacklisting of the country's elite Revolutionary Guards. President Donald Trump on April 8 designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) a foreign terrorist group, in an unprecedented step that drew Iranian condemnation and raised concerns about retaliatory attacks on U.S. forces. Tehran reacted to the designation, which took effect on April 15, by naming the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) a terrorist organization and the U.S. government a sponsor of terrorism.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
The U.S. had no prior knowledge of the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that killed over 350 people, the American ambassador said Wednesday, despite local claims that foreign officials had been warned an attack was looming. As the investigation into Sunday's Islamic State-claimed attack continues, FBI agents and U.S. military personnel are in Sri Lanka assisting the probe, Ambassador Alaina Teplitz said. While declining to say whether U.S. officials had intelligence on the local extremists and their leader who allegedly carried out the assault, Teplitz said America remained concerned over militants at large.
President Donald Trump said he won't nominate Herman Cain for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board after opposition from his own Republican party appeared to sink the former pizza company executive's hopes for Senate confirmation. “My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board,” the president said in a tweet on Monday. My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board.
PIJIJIAPAN, Mexico – Central American migrants hoping to reach the U.S. are finding a much tougher trek than those in previous caravans, meeting unwelcoming townsfolk and a surprise raid by Mexican police and immigration agents who detained hundreds in Mexico's south. While their compatriots were been taken into custody Monday, hundreds of other migrants scrambled away into the brush along the highway in Chiapas state to elude authorities. Many had already learned they would not be received in towns with the same hospitality that greeted previous caravans, and now they know they won't be safe walking along the rural highway either.
Show the amazing mothers in your life how much you care with these thoughtful (and affordable! gifts. From Woman's Day
INDIANAPOLIS - It's been more than two years since the Delphi murders, when the bodies of Indiana teens Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, were discovered near a wooded creek. The deaths of Abby and Libby horrified people in Indiana and around the world. The emotional toll on the Delphi community has been overwhelming.
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.
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.
Samsung's foldable smartphone has been making lots of headlines over the past week, and for all the wrong reasons. After several prominent technology blogs revealed that their review units broke within days (and sometimes hours) of use, it quickly became clear that the nearly $2,000 phone isn't ready for prime time just yet. Now, a new report from The Wall Street Journal suggests Samsung is poised to delay the phone's launch for at least another month.
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.
Easter Day bomb blasts at three Sri Lankan churches and four hotels killed 310 people and wounded around 500, following a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago. The explosions, some of which officials said were suicide bomb attacks, led to an immediate clampdown, with the government declaring a curfew and blocking access to most major social media and messaging sites. The three hotels hit in the initial attacks were the Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo and the Cinnamon Grand Colombo.
“So unfair to U.S. We will Reciprocate!” Trump said Tuesday on Twitter in a post that quoted a person speaking on Fox Business Network. Harley-Davidson reported slumping first-quarter profit Tuesday, though it beat analysts' expectations. Harley is moving some U.S. production overseas to sidestep EU tariffs that jumped to 31 percent from 6 percent after Trump hiked levies on steel and aluminum imports.
A United Airlines employee is accused of calling a Houston actress a 'monkey' and other racial slurs.
A New York college student filed a lawsuit against Apple for $1 billion, claiming the company's alleged use of facial recognition software in its stores falsely linked him to a series of Apple store thefts. Ousmane Bah, 18, claims that he received a summons from a court in Boston saying that he stole $1,200 worth of Apple products in 2018, according to papers filed on Monday in Manhattan federal court. On the day of one of the thefts in Boston, Bah was attending his senior prom in Manhattan, according to the court documents.
Cardi B, charged with multiple counts of assault and reckless endangerment in connection with a brawl in a Queens strip club last summer, appeared in court in New York on Friday and rejected a plea deal that would have kept her out of jail. The Queens District Attorney's Office said the platinum-selling and Grammy-winning rapper rejected a deal that would have allowed her to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count and be released under certain conditions instead of serving time in jail. It was not clear why she rejected the deal.
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.