Good Sunday morning on the holiday weekend. The best of whatever holiday, if you’re celebrating, and good day to the rest. Here are some stories from the overnight news desk. You can find our latest flood coverage here.
Explosions kill at least 200 in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday: At least 200 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. Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the attacks as a terrorist incident, and blamed religious extremists. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the violence could trigger instability in the country and its economy.
Pope denounces ’cruel violence’ of Sri Lanka Easter attack: 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. Francis skipped his homily during Easter Mass but delivered his traditional “Urbi et Orbi” (To the city and the world) speech highlighting conflicts in the Mideast, Africa and the Americas and demanding that political leaders put aside their differences and work instead for peace. “May the one who gives us his peace end the roar of arms, both in areas of conflict and in our cities, and inspire the leaders of nations to work for an end to the arms race and the troubling spread of weaponry, especially in the economically more advanced countries,” Francis said in a special comment about the “grave attacks” on Sri Lankan hotels and churches, which occurred just as the Christian faithful were celebrating Easter Mass that marks the resurrection of Christ following his crucifixion. “I want to express my loving closeness to the Christian community, targeted while they were gathered in prayer, and all the victims of such cruel violence,” Francis said. “I entrust to the Lord all those who were tragically killed and pray for the injured and all those who are suffering as a result of this dramatic event.”
U.S. ambassador’s Passover wishes in Polish met with anger: The U.S. ambassador to Poland wished Jews a happy Passover in Polish, and the reaction has been a wave of angry comments on Twitter. Ambassador Georgette Mosbacher also wished Poles a happy Easter on Sunday. But by then, she was accused of offending the country with her Passover tweet and reminded that she is serving in a mostly Roman Catholic country. Krystyna Pawlowicz, a lawmaker with Poland’s ruling right-wing party, called it a “provocation.” Robert Bakiewicz, a far-right activist who organizes a yearly Independence Day march that government leaders joined last year, said “Christ died and was resurrected also for you, pagans and traitorous Jews.” Some came to Mosbacher’s defence, recalling that Poland also has a small Jewish population. Poland was home to Europe’s largest Jewish population before the Holocaust.
Ex-Marine arrested in North Korea embassy attack in Madrid: A man suspected of involvement in a mysterious dissident group’s February raid on North Korea’s Embassy in Madrid was arrested in Los Angeles by U.S. authorities. Christopher Ahn, a former U.S. Marine, was arrested and charged Friday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The specific charges against Ahn were not immediately clear. The person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Separately, on Thursday, federal agents raided the apartment of Adrian Hong, a leader of the Free Joseon group, the person said. Hong was not arrested. Free Joseon, also known as the Cheollima Civil Defence group, styles itself as a government-in-exile dedicated to toppling the ruling Kim family dynasty in North Korea.
While You Were Sleeping (WYWS) is a daily roundup from the overnight news desk. News, sports and more anytime at montrealgazette.com.
Source: Associated Press
from Montreal Gazette https://montrealgazette.com/news/world/wyws-deadly-terror-attacks-in-sri-lankan-popes-call-for-end-to-roar-of-arms