Tuesday morning news: March 19, 2019

Netherlands shooting suspect in custody » Authorities in the Netherlands on Monday tracked down and arrested the suspect in a deadly shooting aboard a tram hours earlier.

37-year-old Turkish-born Gokemen Tanis allegedly opened fire inside the tram Monday morning, killing three and wounding five others. Tanis was reportedly known to police and had a criminal record.

While the shooting came just days after Friday’s massacre in New Zealand, investigators say they’ve not yet determined a motive.

GRAPPERHAUS: We are investigating all possibilities. So that means possible terrorist motives, but also other possible personal motives. 

Netherlands minister of justice Ferdinand Grapperhaus heard there.

Turkey’s foreign ministry said Monday that it “strongly” condemned the attack—quote—”regardless of the identity of the perpetrator and the motivation behind it.”

New Zealand prime minister says gun law changes in the works » New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday that her cabinet has agreed “in principle” to several changes to the country’s gun laws in the wake of last week’s mass shooting.

Many expect a ban on semi-automatic rifles to be among the changes she’s seeking, though she’s holding off on announcing specifics.

ARDERN: We will be working hard and as quickly as we can to finalize some of the details around the decision the cabinet has made today and the consequences of it. 

Ardern said “The clear lesson from history around the world is that to make our community safer the time to act is now.”

Meantime, the suspect in the shooting, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant, has fired his lawyer and wants to represent himself. That’s raised concerns that he wants to use his trial as a public platform.

Fifty people died in the massacre at two mosques in the town of Christchurch on Friday.

Mozambique president: Death toll from cyclone could top 1,000 » The president of Mozambique said Monday the death toll in his country from Cyclone Idai may top 1,000. WORLD Africa reporter Onize Ohikere has more.

ONIZE OHIKERE, REPORTER: Speaking on state Radio Mozambique, President Filipe Nyusi said that while the official death toll stood at 84, quote—”It appears that we can register more than 1,000 deaths.”

Cyclone Idai slammed into the port city of Beira late Thursday and then moved inland to Zimbabwe and Malawi with strong winds and heavy rain.

Nyusi flew by helicopter over Beira and two rural provinces. He said “The waters of the Pungue and Buzi rivers overflowed, making whole villages disappear and isolating communities, and bodies are floating.” He called it a “disaster of great proportions.”

About 500,000 people live in Beira. Red Cross officials called the destruction there “massive and horrifying.” They report that 90 percent of the city was damaged or destroyed.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Onize Ohikere.

Flooding continues in several Midwestern states » And flooding continues across several Midwestern states. In Nebraska, some areas, like the town of Fremont, are now isolated with floodwaters cutting off all roads in and out. But volunteer pilot Steve Hill is lending a hand.

HILL: Fremont’s landlocked and, you know, they’re running out of food. And I think everyone needs to do what they can to help out. And I had an airplane that was sitting in a hangar that had gas in it, so I was just more than happy to help. 

And he’s not alone, as another volunteer, Mike McGillick, noted.

MCGILLICK: It has been 25-30 pilots, probably more, that have been doing this all day long. One of the busiest airports in the country, I think, is right here in Fremont, Nebraska. 

The Missouri River is cresting at record-high levels in many areas with the waters breaching at least a dozen levees in Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.

Authorities on Monday said an 80-year-old woman died in her flooded Nebraska home after authorities couldn’t reach her. At least three people have died in the floodwaters. Two more people remain missing.

DOT reportedly probing FAA over approval of MAX jetliners » Federal prosecutors and the Department of Transportation are scrutinizing the Federal Aviation Administration over its approval of 737 MAX jetliners. That according to The Wall Street Journal. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has details.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The Department of Transportation began reviewing the FAA’s approval of the jets after last year’s crash of a Boeing MAX 8 jet operated by Indonesia’s Lion Air.

The DOT is questioning whether the FAA used appropriate standards when it certified the planes’ new anti-stall system. Investigators believe that system may have caused both last year’s crash and the Ethiopian Air accident earlier this month.

The Journal reports a grand jury in Washington, D.C., issued a subpoena last week to at least one person involved in the design of the MAX jetliners. That subpoena seeks documents related to the aircraft’s development.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Former pediatrician sentenced to 79 years for child sex abuse » A judge on Monday sentenced a former Pennsylvania pediatrician to nearly 80 years in prison for sexually assaulting 31 children.

71-year-old Johnnie Barto of Johnstown will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro said Barto spent decades abusing children in the exam room.

SHAPIRO: Dr. Barto used his position of authority as a pediatrician, the family doctor relied on to treat and heal their children, to feed his own sick desires. 

Barto did not apologize and declined to make a statement. He pleaded guilty in December to sexually abusing two family members. He pleaded no contest to the charges involving his patients, refusing to admit guilt but accepting the punishment.

(Josh Estey/CARE via AP) People return to their homes following a cyclone, and heavy rain in the coastal city of Beira, Mozambique, Sunday March 17, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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