Monday morning news: April 22, 2019


Hundreds dead in Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka » More than 200 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in eight bomb blasts on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.

AUDIO: [Sound from Sri Lanka]

The coordinated bombings ripped through Catholic churches and luxury hotels popular with tourists in or near Sri Lanka’s capital.

The explosions collapsed ceilings and blew out windows, killing worshippers and hotel guests.

AUDIO: [Sound from Sri Lanka]

Witnesses described powerful blasts, followed by scenes of smoke, blood, broken glass, and chaos.

Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith condemned the attacks and asked for prayers.

RANJITH: I would like to call upon all to pray that all those who are injured may be healed soon, and that all these families who have lost someone may be consoled. 

The Sri Lankan government described the bombings as a terrorist attack by religious extremists. Police have arrested more than a dozen suspects, though no group immediately claimed responsibility. Investigators believe most of the blasts involved suicide bombers.

Most of the victims were Sri Lankans but the country’s Foreign Ministry said officials recovered bodies of victims from at least 27 other nations including the U.S.


Democrats ratchet up impeachment talk » Some Democrats are ratcheting up talk of impeaching President Trump.

Massachusetts Senator and White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren told supporters…

WARREN: I have called on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings. 

That from a campaign event in New Hampshire on Saturday.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Democrats say the report revealed plenty of wrongdoing by the president, including, in their view, obstruction of justice.  

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Sunday said Democrats plan to have serious discussions about impeaching the president.

SCHIFF: We’re going to have a caucus about this over the next couple of weeks to try to figure out what the best course is, not for the the party but for the country.

He conceded that impeachment efforts are likely to fail without Republicans on board.

But House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said it might be the right course even if it’s doomed to failure.

CUMMINGS: You know, history I think, even if we did not win possibly; if there were not impeachment, I think history would smile upon us for standing up for the Constitution. 

But other Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have rejected talk of impeachment, insisting their party should focus on beating Trump at the ballot box.


French yellow vest protesters march through Paris » AUDIO: [Sound of yellow vest protests]

French yellow vest protesters marched through Paris over the weekend.

AUDIO: [Sound of yellow vest protests]

Demonstrators demanded economic reforms for the working poor as the government prepares to rebuild the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral. Donors have pledged one billion dollars to restore the Paris landmark.

That has angered many in France who struggle to make ends meet. Some protesters set small fires and threw rocks at police, who responded with tear gas. But the march remained mostly peaceful. The Paris police headquarters said authorities detained well over a hundred people on Saturday and carried out spot checks of more than 11,000 people trying to enter the capital for protests.


Comedian set to become next president of Ukraine » Ukraine, it appears, has elected a new president—a comedian whose only political experience consists of playing a president on TV. Volodymyr Zelenskiy delivered a victory speech yesterday after exit polls suggested a landslide victory in Ukraine’s Sunday election.

ZELENSKIY: [Sound of Zelenskiy speaking]

Zelenskiy told supporters “everything is possible,” and he urged other post-Soviet countries to elect new leaders.

Exit poll results showed the political newcomer with an extraordinary 73 percent of the vote to President Petro Poroshenko’s 25 percent.

If official results closely resemble the exit polling, the vote would stand as a crushing rebuke to Poroshenko’s five years in office. Many voters have voiced disapproval of Poroshenko’s handling of the economy and the country’s war against Russian-backed separatists.

Even before the release of official returns in the two-man runoff, Poroshenko accepted defeat, saying, “I am leaving office,” but “I am not leaving politics.”


(AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena) Sri Lankan Navy soldiers stand guard in front of the St. Anthony’s Shrine a day after the series of blasts, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Monday, April 22, 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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