Pope Francis, in his Easter Sunday address, condemned as "such cruel violence" the bombings in Sri Lanka that killed more than 100 people and were timed to coincide with the most important day in the Christian liturgical calendar. Francis, speaking to a crowd of about 70,000 people in St. Peter's Square, also urged politicians to shun a new arms race that was budding and to welcome refugees fleeing hunger and human rights violations. The blasts in Sri Lanka, which hospital and police officials said killed at least 138 people and wounded more than 400 people, followed a lull in major attacks since the end of the civil war 10 years ago.
JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan's opposition is calling for a six-month extension to implement next steps in a fragile peace deal as a major deadline approaches next month to form a power-sharing government between the president and his longtime rival.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) _ At least 140 people were killed and hundreds more hospitalized with injuries from eight blasts that rocked churches and hotels in and just outside of Sri Lanka's capital on Easter Sunday, officials said, the worst violence to hit the South Asian country since its civil war ended a decade ago. With a curfew imposed, police conducted a search operation on the outskirts of Colombo, where the latest of eight blasts took place. After police moved into Dematagoda, at least two more blasts occurred, with the occupants of a safehouse apparently blasting explosives to prevent arrest.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — At least 140 people were killed and hundreds more hospitalized with injuries from eight blasts that rocked churches and hotels in and just outside of Sri Lanka's capital on Easter Sunday, officials said, the worst violence to hit the South Asian country since its civil war ended a decade ago.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis denounced the "cruel violence" of the Easter Sunday slaughter of Christians and foreigners in Sri Lanka as he celebrated the most joyful moment on the Christian liturgical calendar by lamenting the bloodshed and political violence afflicting many parts of the world.
A park ranger has posted a remarkable selfie on social media showing a pair of gorillas posing proudly in the background. The picture was taken at Virunga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ranger Mathieu Shamavu described his captivating composition as just "another day in the office".
President Donald Trump is offering "heartfelt condolences" after the attacks in Sri Lanka but mistakenly says 138 million people have been killed. Trump says America stands ready to help Sri Lanka cope. Foreign tourists in Sri Lanka have hurriedly contacted loved ones around the world to say they were OK after attacks on churches and hotels killed over 130 people.
An Iraqi court has sentenced four people to death by hanging for belonging to the Islamic State militant group and committing terrorist crimes in Iraq and Syria, a judiciary statement said on Sunday. The four men, wanted by Iraqi authorities, were handed to Iraq by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the statement said. A Baghdad criminal court convicted them for joining IS and "carrying out criminal operations that targeted innocent civilians with the aim of undermining peace and stability in Iraq and Syria".
At least 138 people have been killed in a series of Easter Sunday explosions targeting churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. Reuters news agency is reporting that more than 400 people have been injured. The Shangri-La, Kingsbury, Cinnamon Grand and a fourth hotel, all in Colombo, were all hit in a series of explosions.
"I learned with sadness and pain of the news of the grave attacks, that precisely today, Easter, brought mourning and pain to churches and other places where people were gathered in Sri Lanka," he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square to hear his Easter Sunday message. This truly barbarous assault on peaceful worshippers on one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar serves as a painful reminder that the war against terror must be at the top of the international agenda and pursued relentlessly," he said in a statement. "Heartfelt condolences from the people of the United States to the people of Sri Lanka on the horrible terrorist attacks on churches and hotels," he tweeted.
Sri Lankan security forces and investigators look through debris outside Zion church after an explosion in Batticaloa in eastern Sri Lanka. Photograph: Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images World leaders have expressed their solidarity with the Sri Lankan people and voiced their horror at a series of explosions at churches and luxury hotels that killed more than 150 people and injured hundreds during Easter services. Pope Francis condemned the attacks as “cruel violence” in an Easter address on Sunday and held prayers for the victims. The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, and the Pakistani leader, Imran Khan, both said their countries stood shoulder to shoulder with Sri Lanka after the attacks. US president Donald Trump offered the condolences of the American people and said his country stood ready to help. 138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2019 The UK prime minister, Theresa May, condemned the attacks as “truly appalling” and expressed her sympathies to those affected. Foreign nationals, including British citizens, were feared to be among those killed in the attacks, which has become an increasingly popular destination for UK holidaymakers in recent years. More than a quarter of a million Britons visited the island last year, according to the Sri Lankan high commission in London. Britain’s high commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris, said: “We understand that some British citizens were caught in the blasts but we are unable to say how many people are, or might have been, affected.” The UK Foreign Office said security had been stepped up across Sri Lanka after the bombings and has updated its advice on travel to the island. Pope Francis prays for the victims of the attacks in Sri Lanka during his Easter message. pic.twitter.com/bAFNyZbYkd— Sally Axworthy (@SallyAxworthy) April 21, 2019 In a statement, the FCO said: “We are aware of reports of a number of explosions in Sri Lanka, including Colombo, and we are urgently seeking information from the local authorities. British nationals in Sri Lanka should follow the instructions of the local authorities and check FCO travel advice for updates.” The European council president, Donald Tusk, said it was a “tragic Easter in Sri Lanka” and said his thoughts were with the families of those killed in the wave of attacks. French president Emmanuel Macron, Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan all expressed outrage at the blasts. In a statement on social media, Imran Khan said: “Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost and hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief.” Narendra Modi said: “Strongly condemn the horrific blasts in Sri Lanka. There is no place for such barbarism in our region. India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and prayers with the injured.”
At least 10 Malian soldiers died Sunday in an attack by suspected jihadists in the centre of the African country, a security source told AFP. "There are at least 10 dead soliders," the Malian source said. "Yes our camp at Guire was attacked on Sunday about five in the morning.""The terrorists came out of the forest. They were on motorcycles and pick-up trucks. They burnt vehicles and took away others," said the source, who asked not to be named.The Mali armed forces confirmed the attack on Twitter and said reinforcements were being sent to the Nara sector, about 370 kilometres (230 miles) north of the capital Bamako.A local resident contacted by AFP said there was heavy gunfire and the military "were taken by surprise" in the attack."I saw two terrorists put their motorcycles in an army vehicle and drive off with it," he said.On Saturday a UN peacekeeper was killed and four others wounded when a mine exploded as their convoy passed through central Mali, the latest in continued violence.The UN mission was established in Mali after radical Islamist militias seized the north of the country in 2012 before being pushed back by French troops in 2013.A peace agreement signed in 2015 by the Bamako government and armed groups was aimed at restoring stability. But the accord has failed to stop the violence.The latest attacks come as President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita pursued consultations to pick a new prime minister -- two days after the previous one, Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga, resigned with his entire cabinet, under fire from the ruling and opposition parties for failing to clamp down on the unrest.(AFP)
Nearly half of all people working in Britain's financial services industry have followed their parents into the sector, more than three times the national average, research from consultants KPMG showed. The research revealed that forty-one percent of financial services staff had parents in the same sector against a national average of 12 percent. "The fact that people in financial services are more than three times more likely than the national average to have followed in their parent’s career footsteps is staggering," said Tim Howarth, head of financial services consulting at KPMG.
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Australia advanced to the Fed Cup final for the first time in more than a quarter century after Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur beat Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 7-5, 3-6 6-2 in a decisive doubles match Sunday.
Exquisite finesse … Lisa Batiashvili, who played Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto. Photograph: Ullstein Bild via Getty ImagesThe programme for Andrew Davis’s concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra consisted of three 20th-century works of quite extraordinary beauty. Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto and a suite from Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, arranged by the French conductor Alain Altinoglu, came after the interval. The opening work, however, was The Rose Lake, Michael Tippett’s “song without words for orchestra”, his last major score, completed in 1993 when he was 88.Inspired by a visit in 1990 to Lake Retba in Senegal, the waters of which look pink in the sunlight, it’s the work of a man calmly reflecting on the grandeur of the natural world and its mutability, even as life approaches its end. It’s also a piece that to some extent demands to be seen as well as heard, since Tippett deploys some 40 rototom drums spanning the platform in a line behind the main body of the orchestra, forcing two of his percussionists into almost balletic motion throughout. Davis carefully probed the score’s shifting sonorities in an interpretation that sometimes emphasised its lyricism at the expense of its momentum. And the BBCSO drummers were mesmerising to watch as they darted back and forth between their instruments. Careful probing … Andrew Davis. Photograph: Hiroyuki Ito/Getty ImagesHearing Szymanowski’s concerto in close proximity to Tippett is to be reminded of the preoccupation with almost kaleidoscopic orchestral colour that both composers share. Lisa Batiashvili was the breathtaking soloist, spinning out Szymanowski’s long, ecstatic lines with wonderful sweetness of tone and exquisite finesse. Davis’s understanding of the ebb and flow of this music is marvellously acute, and the orchestral sound balanced opulence with great clarity.Altinoglu’s concert digest of Pelléas, meanwhile, was strikingly effective. The big interludes in Acts I and IV form its structural backbone, though Altinoglu also draws on the opera’s opening and closing scenes, and the bitter colloquy between Pelléas and Golaud in the castle vaults. You miss the voices in places, particularly Arkel’s heartbreaking comments on the mysterious fragility of human nature at the close, though you’re also left marvelling yet again at the greatness of Debussy’s orchestration and the work’s extraordinary balance between beauty and unease.