Over 2oo people were killed in a series of coordinated explosions as Christians in Sri Lanka gathered on Easter Sunday morning for mass.
The powerful explosion ripped through three churches leaving more than 400 people injured.
Nearly all victims were Sri Lankan. Dozens of foreigners were also killed.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “several U.S. citizens” were among those killed in the South Asian island nation.
Police spokesman, Ruwan Gunasekera, said police have obtained a vehicle they suspect was used to transport the suspects into Colombo. Police also found a safe house used by the attackers.
Authorities in the country said three officers were killed hunting for the attackers at a complex and 13 suspects are currently held in connection with the bombings.
Sri Lanka’s state minister for defense said, the attacks appear to have been carried out by a single group, suicide bombers.
The blasts began around 8:45 a.m and targeted four hotels popular with tourists including the Shangri-La, Kingsbury and the Cinnamon Grand in the capital Colombo.
Also Catholic churches, St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, the capital; St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo; and Zion Church in Batticaloa were also targeted.
Sri Lanka is a religiously diverse country of about 20 million people. It contains Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
The country temporarily blocked major social media and messaging services, including Facebook and WhatsApp, to curb misinformation about the incident.
Biden, Trump Prepare To Debate At A Time Of Mounting US Crises
The first presidential debate in this year’s U.S. General elections takes place tonight. The duel between incumbent Donald Trump and the man who intends to wrest the office from him, Joe Biden, could be an inflection point in an American election year like no other in living memory.
This year’s White House race has remained unchanged for months, fueled to some extent by the coronavirus pandemic and a sinking economy. The sustained demonstrations on racial injustice, police brutality and by black lives matter group have also played a role.
These events have sharply outlined partisan feelings that have been hardened over the most polarizing of presidents. As the race stands today, there are very few undecided voters left.
For Trump, the contest is one of his last opportunities to reshape the race and color voters’ impression of his opponent.
The debate comes just five weeks before election day, and voting is already underway in some key battleground states.
NY Times: Trump ‘Paid $750 In Federal Income Taxes In 2016 And 2017’
New York Times has obtained a copy of president Donald Trump’s federal income tax and has revealed the president paid just $750 in taxes in 2016, the year he ran for the U.S. Presidency, and the same amount during his first year in office. The newspaper also reports Trump paid no income taxes at all in ten of the previous fifteen years.
Trump has faced and is still facing legal challenges for refusing to share documents concerning his fortune and business dealings.
He is the first president since the 1970s who has refused to make his tax returns public. Even though making tax returns public is not legally required of presidential candidates or presidents, those who occupy the White House have always showed their tax returns in an act of transparency.
Trump says the times report was “fake news.” The newspaper says the information carried in the story was provided by sources with legal access to it.
Switzerland Referendum: Voters Reject End To Free Movement With EU
Six in ten Swiss voters have rejected a proposal to end an accord with the European Union allowing free movement of people.
Switzerland is not an EU member, but it has a series of interdependent treaties with Brussels which gives it access to Europe’s free trade area.
The move to rein in immigration was proposed by the Swiss people’s party but opposed by the government. A similar initiative to introduce quotas on immigrants from the EU to Switzerland narrowly passed in a 2014 referendum, damaging Swiss-EU relations.
The Swiss are given a direct say in their own affairs under the country’s system of direct democracy. They are regularly invited to vote on various issues in national or regional referendums.
Supporters of the anti-free movement plan say it would allow Switzerland to control its borders and select only the immigrants it wants.
Opponents argue it would plunge a healthy economy into recession at an uncertain time and deprive hundreds of thousands of Swiss citizens of their freedom to live and work across Europe.
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