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Morning Update: Horror In Sri Lanka

The death toll reaches 290, Beto O'Rourke loses top adviser, India's child abuse problem.

Posted on April 22, 2019, at 8:00 a.m. ET

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At least 290 people are dead after multiple explosions in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday

A series of explosions targeting hotels and churches ripped through Sri Lanka, killing 290 people and injuring more than 450 on Easter.

Three churches across the island nation and three hotels near the capital, Colombo, were hit with nearly simultaneous blasts. Then, hours later, two more explosions went off: at a guesthouse, and on the outskirts of Colombo.

The initial death toll of 207 rose to 290. Although no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Associated Press reported that police arrested 13 people.

Worth noting: In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, Sri Lanka’s government blocked social media to stop the spread of rumours and disinformation. The government says the block will remain until the investigation into the explosions concludes.

Eranga Jayawardena / AP

The FBI has arrested the leader of an armed militia detaining migrants at the border

Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, is the head of the United Constitutional Patriots, an armed right-wing group that had detained hundreds of migrants at the New Mexico border.

This weekend, he was arrested by the FBI for being a felon in possession of a weapon.

The group came under scrutiny this week after posting videos of its members detaining large groups of migrants at gunpoint. State officials openly condemned the militia after these videos surfaced.

SNAPSHOTS

A top advisor to Beto O’Rourke has left his presidential campaign. Becky Bond, a longtime activist known for her work on O’Rourke’s 2018 Senate bid, left the campaign along with her deputy Zack Malitz. Bond and Malitz worked closely on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in 2016.

Florida police officers who slammed a 15-year-old black boy’s head to the ground in a viral arrest video said he was acting “aggressive.” The high school student was attempting to retrieve a cell phone that fell out of the pocket of another teen who was being arrested. Thousands shared videos of the incident online, demanding the officers be fired.

A woman has accused India’s most senior judge of sexual harassment. Speaking to us from a safe house, the woman alleged that Ranjan Gogoi, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, sexually harassed her and carried out a campaign of retaliation against her and her family.

BBM will be dead on May 31, and people are high-key upset. If you grew up in a very specific stretch of time, you remember the thrill and tedium of giving your crush your BBM pin. Alas, the sun will set on the messaging service at the end of May, and people are in the throes of grief.

Singer Adele and her husband Simon Konecki have split. Three years after the pair wed in a secret ceremony, they’ve announced their separation. They said they will comment publicly, aside from expressing their commitment to raising their 6-year-old son Angelo “together lovingly.”

A child is abused in India every four hours. Banning TikTok won’t fix that.

The massively-popular video sharing app was pulled from the Google and Apple app stores over fears it was exposing children to porn and sexual predators. The 120 million people who already have the app are still free to use it as normal.

TikTok is beloved in India, and for good reason. From the subgenre of boys who cry passionately on video, to the young girls whose lives are policed strutting with complete abandon online, it’s become a platform showcasing liberation.

But this takes place in a larger, scarier context: there is a child sexual abuse epidemic in India, and little is being done to address the country’s crisis. TikTok has been accused of not taking the problem seriously.

Read Nishita Jha’s deep dive into why a ban on TikTok may be another instance that exposes the limitations of tackling real-world problems with a digital ban.

These parents adorably sent their daughter a surprise Seder kit while she’s on vacation

Bess Kalb’s parents weren’t going to let an ocean and several time zones stop them from making sure their daughter celebrated Passover.

Sure, Kalb was on vacation in Hawaii with her husband during the holiday, but that doesn’t mean she can skip Seder dinner.

Kalb, an Emmy-nominated writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, tweeted some photos of a package she received from her parents, and added “Today in Judaism: My absolutely insane parents tracked down the hotel where my husband and I are staying on vacation and sent us a Seder in a box.”

Her tweet went viral, and for good reason. Please enjoy, the whole thing is so fun.

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