SRI-LANKA-CHURCH-BLASTS-THE LATEST The Latest: Curfew lifted after Sri Lankan bombings COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan authorities have lifted a curfew that was in place overnight following Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than…
The Latest: Curfew lifted after Sri Lankan bombings
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan authorities have lifted a curfew that was in place overnight following Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 200 people.
The streets in the capital, Colombo, were largely deserted Monday morning, with most shops closed and a heavy deployment of soldiers and police. Stunned clergy and onlookers gathered at St. Anthony’s Shrine, looking past the soldiers to the damaged church that was targeted in one of the blasts.
The nine bombings of churches, luxury hotels and other sites was Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since a devastating civil war ended a decade ago. Police the death toll, which was 207 late Sunday, had risen overnight but the figure wasn’t immediately released.
The Latest: Ukraine comedian romping to presidential win
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — With just over half of Ukraine’s polling stations reporting, a comedian whose only political experience consists of playing a president on TV is cruising toward a landslide victory in Sunday’s presidential election.
Sitcom star Volodymyr Zelenskiy has 73% of the votes reported so far, while President Petro Poroshenko is far behind at about 25%.
It is a crushing rebuke to Poroshenko’s five years in office and the results are seen as a reaction against Ukraine’s entrenched corruption and low standard of living.
Zelenskiy is promising wide changes in the top echelons of government. Ukraine has been plagued by rampant graft, a sickly economy and a grinding, five-year war with Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country that has killed over 13,000 people.
AP sources: US to sanction nations for importing Iranian oil
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is poised to tell five nations, including allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey, that they will no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran.
U.S. officials say Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce on Monday that the administration will not renew sanctions waivers for the five countries when they expire on May 2.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss publicly the decision, which was first reported by The Washington Post.
It was not immediately clear if the five, including China and India, would be given more time to wind down their purchases or if they would be subject to sanctions on May 3 if they continue to import Iranian crude.
Nadler: Evidence against Trump impeachable if proven
WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee chairman says the evidence of obstruction by President Donald Trump detailed in the special counsel’s report is impeachable if proven.
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York chairs the House committee that would hold impeachment proceedings. He says it’s up to Congress to investigate the 10 allegations of Trump’s attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation that special counsel Robert Mueller laid out but left open whether Trump broke the law.
Asked whether the offenses are impeachable, Nadler told NBC, “If proven, some of this would be impeachable, yes.” He said Democrats’ focus is to “go where the evidence leads us.”
Democratic leaders are under pressure from the party’s rising stars and some presidential contenders to start impeachment proceedings. House Democrats will confer Monday on next steps.
BOSTON (AP) — Stop & Shop supermarket workers and company officials say they’ve reached a tentative contract agreement.
Both parties said in news releases Sunday that a tentative three-year agreement has been reached between the company and the United Food and Commercial Workers union members who’ve been on strike since April 11.
The union says “today is a powerful victory for the 31,000 hardworking men and women of Stop & Shop who courageously stood up to fight for what all New Englanders want.”
The company says associates’ “top priority will be restocking our stores so we can return to taking care of our customers and communities and providing them with the service they deserve.”
Members at 240 Stop & Shop stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut had been on strike. The company says the strike has ended.
As Russia probe began, Trump called on spy chiefs for help
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two months before special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed, President Donald Trump called the head of the largest U.S. intelligence agency.
Trump told Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency at the time, that news stories alleging that Trump’s 2016 White House campaign had ties to Russia were false. Trump asked whether Rogers could do anything to counter them.
Trump’s outreach to Rogers and other top intelligence officials stands in sharp contrast to his public, combative stance with his intelligence agencies.
At the time of the call, Trump was about 60 days into his presidency, but he’d already managed to alienate large parts of the intelligence apparatus with comments denigrating the profession.
Yet in moments of concern as Mueller’s investigation proceeded, Trump turned to his spy chiefs for help.
Notre Dame’s Paris worshippers displaced for Easter Mass
PARIS (AP) — Displaced by a massive fire, Notre Dame Cathedral’s Paris parishioners are gathering to celebrate Easter in another church and to pray for a speedy reconstruction of their beloved monument.
The fire that engulfed Notre Dame during Holy Week has forced worshippers to find other places to attend Easter services. The Paris diocese invited them to attend Easter Mass on Sunday at the grandiose Saint-Eustache Church on the Right Bank of the Seine River.
Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit will lead the service. Other Catholics from around France and other countries who wanted to mark Easter in Notre Dame are also expected to attend.
Notre Dame isn’t expected to reopen to the public for at least five or six years, according to its rector, although the French president is pushing for a quick reconstruction. Investigators believe the fire was an accident.
Accuracy at core of Supreme Court case over census question
WASHINGTON (AP) — Vast changes in America and technology have dramatically altered how the census is conducted. But the accuracy of the once-a-decade population count is at the heart of a Supreme Court case over the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
The justices are hearing arguments in the case on Tuesday.
The citizenship question hasn’t been asked on the census form sent to every American household since 1950.
Judges have blocked the administration after crediting the analysis of Census Bureau experts who found that a question would damage the overall accuracy of the census and cause millions of Hispanics and immigrants to go uncounted.
The administration says asking about citizenship won’t harm accuracy and that the information is needed to help enforce the Voting Rights Act.
Texas town reflects on dragging death ahead of execution
JASPER, Texas (AP) — A Texas town is still haunted by a gruesome hate crime in which a black man was dragged behind a pickup truck and killed by three white men nearly 21 years ago.
The history of Jasper will be revisited Wednesday, when the ringleader responsible for the brutal 1998 killing of James Byrd Jr. is scheduled to be executed.
Jasper leaders say their community’s reputation as a place of racial unrest and intolerance is undeserved.
But other townspeople, as well as members of Byrd’s family, believe Jasper has never fully accepted the crime’s place in its history. They say some tensions between the white and black communities remain unresolved.
Byrd’s family still hopes to build a multicultural center and museum in Jasper to promote diversity and education.
KANSAS ZOO-TIGER ATTACK
Condition of Topeka zookeeper attacked by tiger improving
(Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com)
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The director of the Topeka Zoo says a zookeeper who was attacked by a Sumatran tiger remains in intensive care but her prognosis for recovery is good.
The zookeeper was attacked Saturday while in the outdoor tiger habitat of Sanjiv, a 7-year-old male tiger.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports zoo director Brendan Wiley said the zookeeper was talking Saturday night. Wiley said she remained in intensive care Sunday but could be transferred out of the unit soon.
The woman has worked at the zoo since 2002 and has several years of experience with tigers.
Wiley said the zoo is conducting an investigation and will determine what protocol changes might be needed after talking to the injured employee.
The zoo has no plans to euthanize Sanjiv, who was back on display Sunday.