The terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bomb attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed at least 321 people on Easter Sunday, but provided no evidence.The news came on Tuesday as the Sri Lankan minister of defense Ruwan Wijewardene said the attacks were in retaliation for last month’s terrorist attack against Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 50 people were killed. Sri Lanka has implemented an “emergency law” giving police powers to detain suspects without a warrant, and 40 people have now been arrested in connection to the attacks.
Oil prices hit their highest since November on Tuesday after Washington announced all waivers on imports of sanctions-hit Iranian oil would end next week, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran and further tightening global supply. The United States on Monday demanded that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.
A large-scale pilot of what has been called the world’s first malaria vaccine to give partial protection to children has begun in Malawi. The RTS,S vaccine trains the immune system to attack the malaria parasite, which is spread by mosquito bites. Earlier, smaller trials showed that nearly 40% of the 5-to-17-month-olds who received it were protected. Malaria cases appear to be on the rise again after a decade of success in combating the deadly disease.
A new powerful earthquake hit the central Philippines on Tuesday, a day after a magnitude 6.1 quake rattled the country’s north and left at least 16 people dead. The quake was centered near San Julian town in Eastern Samar province and prompted residents to dash out of houses and office workers to scamper to safety. There were no immediate reports of injuries or major damage from the new quake. Philippine seismologists said the back-to-back quakes in the last two days were unrelated and caused by different local faults.
The Thai navy has begun towing the home of a fugitive American seasteader back to shore as its owner faces a possible death sentence. Chad Elwartowski and Supranee Thepdet lived in the structure, known as a seastead, 15 miles from the Thai coast, in order to avoid the jurisdiction of Thai law. Thai authorities have revoked the visa of Mr Elwartowski, a bitcoin trader, and charged both of them with violating Thai sovereignty, punishable by the death penalty or life in prison.