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Who was behind the Sri Lanka bombings? Everything we know so far about the Easter Sunday attacks

Who was behind the Sri Lanka bombings? Everything we know so far about the Easter Sunday attacksEaster 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. What happened? The powerful blasts – six in quick succession and then two more hours later – wrought devastation, including at the capital's well-known St Anthony's Shrine, a historic Catholic Church. The three hotels hit in the initial attacks were the Shangri-La Colombo, Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo and the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. pic gallery The first six explosions were all reported within a short period in the morning just as church services were starting. Hours later there were two further attacks in the outskirts of Colombo. Police the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers. Who were the victims? The death toll rose to 310 on Tuesday after several people died of their injuries overnight, a police spokesman said. There were hundreds of people injured in hospitals. There were eight British citizens killed in the attack, two of whom had dual US nationality. Ben Nicholson said his wife Anita, 42, son Alex, 14, and daughter Annabel, 11, had been killed as they sat at a table for breakfast in the Shangri-la Hotel in Colombo on Easter Sunday. "Mercifully, all three of them died instantly and with no pain or suffering," Mr Nicholson said.  Ben Nicholson (right) with the other members of his family who were killed  Daniel Linsey, 19 and his younger sister Amelie, 15, were having breakfast with their father Matthew at the luxury Shangri-La Hotel when the suicide bomber struck. Dr Sally Bradley and her husband Bill Harrop were staying in the Cinnamon Grand Hotel when one of the seven suicide bombers struck. The Manchester couple had been living in the Australian city of Perth since 2013 where Dr Bradley was practising medicine, but were due to return to the UK soon. Read more | Sri Lanka attacks Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, said she lost a relative in the attacks. "It is all so devastating," she wrote on Twitter. "Solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka." The first American victim of the Sri Lanka terror attack has been named as 40-year-old Dieter Kowalski.  Mr Kowalski, from Denver, Colorado, checked into the luxury Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo just hours before it was targeted by the bombers.  Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry said the nationalities of 11 foreigners killed in the Easter Sunday blasts have been verified. Three Indians, one Portuguese and two Turkish nationals were killed, while a further nine foreigners were also reported missing. A Dutch national and a Chinese national also have been reported among the victims. Read more about the victims.  Who was behind the attacks? A police spokesman said on Tuesday 40 people were now under arrest in connection with the attacks. A Sri Lankan government official said the attacks were carried out by seven suicide bombers from a domestic militant group named National Thowfeek Jamaath. There was no claim of responsibility on Monday. All of the bombers were Sri Lankan citizens, but authorities suspect foreign links, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said at a news conference. Earlier, Ariyananda Welianga, a government forensic crime investigator, said an analysis of the attackers' body parts made clear that they were suicide bombers. He said most of the attacks were carried out by a single bomber, with two at Colombo's Shangri-La Hotel. Documents seen by AFP show that Sri Lanka's police chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued an intelligence alert to top officers 10 days ago, warning that suicide bombers planned to hit "prominent churches". "A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama'ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo," the alert said. The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that was linked last year to the vandalism of Buddhist statues. Sri Lankan police were holding a Syrian national in custody for questioning, three government and military sources told Reuters on Tuesday. "The terrorist investigation division of the police arrested a Syrian national following the attacks for interrogation," a source said. Two other officials with knowledge of the investigation confirmed the detention. "He was arrested after interrogation of local suspects," a second source said. Key intelligence on a possible terrorist attack was not passed onto the Sri Lankan government weeks before the attack.  Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledged late on Sunday that “information was there” about possible attacks, adding that “we must also look into why adequate precautions were not taken.” How did Sri Lanka react? The government beefed up security and imposed an immediate and indefinite curfew across the country. It also put in place a "temporary" ban on social media platforms "in order to prevent incorrect and wrong information being spread". Security at Colombo's airport was also enhanced, according to Sri Lankan Airlines, which advised its passengers to arrive four hours before their flights. It added that passengers with passports and tickets will be able to reach the airport during the curfew. he front page of a Sri Lankan newspaper, showing coverage of the Easter Sunday blasts, hangs at a newsstand in Colombo  Credit: AFP The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, called on Sri Lanka's government to "mercilessly" punish those responsible "because only animals can behave like that." Two Muslim groups in Sri Lanka also condemned the church attacks. The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said it mourned the loss of innocent people in the blasts by extremists who seek to divide religious and ethnic groups. The All Ceylon Jammiyyathul Ulama a body of Muslim clerics, said targeting Christian places of worship cannot be accepted. Embassies in Sri Lanka have warned their citizens to shelter in place. Here is a round-up of the world's reaction to the atrocity.



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After months clamoring for Mueller's findings, Congress weighs what's next. First, a subpoena for everything

After months clamoring for Mueller's findings, Congress weighs what's next. First, a subpoena for everythingCongress is wrestling with how to respond to revelations in special counsel Robert Mueller's report, but will start by seeking more information.



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Analysis: With Mueller report in, nothing's over. But for Trump, everything has changed

Analysis: With Mueller report in, nothing's over. But for Trump, everything has changedOnly highlights of Mueller's report are out, and investigations into Trump continue. But the political landscape has shifted. USA TODAY's analysis.



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New Zealand mosque shootings: everything we know so far about the Christchurch attacks

New Zealand mosque shootings: everything we know so far about the Christchurch attacksFour people are in custody after 50 people were killed and 20 more were seriously injured in shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. New Zealand Police said there had been "multiple fatalities" following what they described as a "tragic series of events" in the Canterbury region on Friday. Follow this developing story live here What has happened in Christchurch? Officers first responded to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at about 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT).  Two shootings took place at two separate mosques in the city, one at Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue and another at Masjid Mosque, Linwood Avenue. Police said they also defused a number of improvised explosive devices found on vehicles after the shootings. All schools and council buildings were put on lockdown and members of the public were told not to go outside. The lockdown has since been lifted.  Christchurch Mosque shootings Attack 'streamed live' New Zealand police have warned that "extremely distressing footage" exists relating to the shooting in Christchurch and have urged that it not be shared. A video reportedly streamed live on Facebook showed a gunman filming himself firing at worshipers inside the Al Noor mosque. Facebook later said they had removed the video and disabled the account.  The suspects Four people were taken into police custody following the attack. A white male dressed in camouflage, army-style clothing who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant filmed himself opening fire in the Al Noor mosque.  Twenty-eight-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant appeared in court on Saturday charged with murder over the attack. Police said more charges would follow. Wearing handcuffs and a white prison shirt, the Australian-born former fitness instructor and self-professed fascist sat impassively as the judge read the charge against him. He did not request bail and was taken into custody until his next court appearance scheduled for April 5. New Zealand mosque massacre – In pictures Jacinda Ardern said: "This individual has travelled around the world with sporadic periods of time spent in New Zealand. "They were not a resident of Christchurch, in fact they were currently based in Dunedin at the time of this event. "Inquiries are ongoing to establish whether the other two who were arrested were directly involved with this incident. "The forth person who was arrested yesterday was a member of the public who was in possession of a firearm, but with the intention of assisting police. "They have since been released." Tarrant  left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for his actions. He said he considered it a terrorist attack. Ms Ardern says the suspect held a Category A gun licence which enabled him to legally obtain semi-automatic weapons. She says the country's gun laws will change in the wake of the attack. A still image taken from video circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded Credit: Reuters Tarrant said he was of Scottish, Irish and English stock and moved to New Zealand temporarily to plan and train and then stayed there after deciding to conduct the attack. “I have read the writings of Dylann Roof and many others, but only really took true inspiration from Knight Justiciar Breivik,” he wrote. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "I can confirm that the individual who was taken into custody I have been advised is an Australian-born citizen," he told reporters in Sydney. "As family members with our New Zealand cousins today, we grieve, we are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged, and we stand here and condemn absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist." Tarrant appeared in court on Saturday on one count of murder and is remanded until April 5. Brenton Tarrant, gestures as he is lead into the dock for his appearance for murder in the Christchurch District Court on March 16, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand Credit: Getty The victims New Zealand's Prime Minister has confirmed 49 people dead with another 20 seriously injured in today's attacks. Several of those killed or wounded in the shooting rampage were from the Middle East or South Asia, according to initial reports from several governments. Jacinda Ardern said her government was working with consular officials from countries including "Pakistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia," to deal with the aftermath of the attack. The Bangladesh cricket team was arriving for Friday prayers when the shooting occurred but all members were safe, a team coach said. Thirty-nine people remain in Christchurch Hospital, 11 of them in intensive care. Police and ambulance staff help a wounded man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019 Credit: Mark Baker/AP New Zealand's 'darkest day' A solemn New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Friday the deadly mosque shootings in Christchurch had plunged the country into one of its "darkest days". "Clearly, what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence," Ardern said in an address to a shocked nation. "Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here," Ardern said. "They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not." "They should have been in a safe environment," she said. Terror in New Zealand | Read more Gun Law Ardern reiterated her promise that gun laws would change in New Zealand, and said the firearms used in the mosque shootings appear to have been modified. She said: "New Zealanders will question how someone can come into being in possession of weapons of this nature. "The guns used in this case appear to have been modified. That's a challenge police have been facing and a challenge we will look to address in changing laws." Sign up for your essential, twice-daily briefing from The Telegraph with our free Front Page newsletter.



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A Powerful 'Bomb Cyclone' Could Impact 70 Million Americans. Here's Everything to Know

A Powerful 'Bomb Cyclone' Could Impact 70 Million Americans. Here's Everything to KnowThe Central U.S. is bracing for the strong storm, with winds surpassing 80 mph



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Don't cover up Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation. We need to know everything he finds.

Don't cover up Mueller's Trump-Russia investigation. We need to know everything he finds.Presidents have no right to control investigations or commit crimes. Americans must see Mueller's report to judge his work and Trump's deeds.



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Devin Nunes: ‘Everything That Mueller Did’ Should Be Made Public

Devin Nunes: ‘Everything That Mueller Did’ Should Be Made PublicRepresentative Devin Nunes on Friday called for "everything" related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation to be made public."I want everything that Mueller did made public. I want every email, everybody that they wiretapped, every warrant that they got," Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said during remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference.“I think the White House is going to ultimately have to get involved in declassifying all documents,” Nunes said, adding that he doubts the Justice Department will declassify all the documents, based on its previous reluctance to declassify other documents related to the investigation.However, the California Republican also said he does not think any report on the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election will contain anything "worthwhile, with anything new."Nunes has frequently accused the FBI and Justice Department officials of harboring bias against Trump. He headed the House Intelligence Committee's own Russia investigation in 2017 but recused himself after his controversial decision to visit the White House to examine classified documents.Recent reports have suggested that Attorney General William Barr expects Mueller to wrap up the investigation and submit a final report in the next few weeks.During his confirmation hearing, Barr told Congress that he intended to "provide as much transparency as I can" regarding reports on the investigation, but declined to promise to release the full report to the public."I also believe it is very important that the public and Congress be informed of the results of the special counsel's work," Barr told the Senate Judiciary Committee in January. "For that reason, my goal will be to provide as much transparency as I can consistent with the law."



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The Crisis in Venezuela Is Rapidly Escalating. Here's Everything That Happened Over the Weekend

The Crisis in Venezuela Is Rapidly Escalating. Here's Everything That Happened Over the WeekendDeadly clashes at the border over humanitarian aid led to the end of diplomatic ties with Colombia and fresh talk of intervention



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The Crisis in Venezuela Is Rapidly Escalating. Here's Everything That Happened Over the Weekend

The Crisis in Venezuela Is Rapidly Escalating. Here's Everything That Happened Over the WeekendDeadly clashes at the border over humanitarian aid led to the end of diplomatic ties with Colombia and fresh talk of intervention



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Everything you should know about the Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam

Everything you should know about the Trump-Kim summit in VietnamPresident Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will discuss nuclear weapons in a follow-up to their historic first summit last summer.



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