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5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Sri Lanka names suspected group behind coordinated deadly Easter attacks

  • U.S. to reportedly sanction allies for importing Iranian oil

  • Ukraine elects comedian Volodymyr Zelensky as president

  • Trump fires back at Romney

  • DHS, Pentagon consider designating fentanyl a WMD

Sri Lanka's government said Monday that a coordinated series of bombings on Sunday that killed at least 290 people and wounded 500 were carried out by seven suicide bombers from National Thowfeek Jamaath, a little-known Islamist militant group. All the bombers and most of the victims were Sri Lankan, the government said. The first six bombings hit three Christian churches holding Easter services and three hotels. Among the dead were 32 foreigners from the U.S., Britain, Turkey, India, China, and Europe; Danish billionaire Anders Hoch Povlsen said three of his four children died in the attacks. Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe confirmed Sunday night that security services had been advised about a possible attack on churches beforehand.

Source: BBC News, Reuters

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is planning on telling allies Japan, South Korea, and Turkey on Monday that the United States will begin sanctioning them if they do not stop importing Iranian oil, three U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Sunday. After the Trump administration pulled the U.S. from its 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, eight countries that received oil from Iran were granted sanctions waivers, and told they needed to start looking for alternate energy sources. Greece, Taiwan, and Italy have all stopped importing oil from Iran, but Japan, South Korea, Turkey, China, and India have not, and the waivers expire on May 2. President Trump decided on Friday not to extend the waivers, as a way to pressure Iran, AP reports.

Source: The Associated Press

Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky plays the president on TV, and will soon take on the role in real life, too. Exit polls show that Zelensky won Ukraine's presidential election on Sunday in a landslide, with 73 percent of the vote. Zelensky, 41, has no previous political experience. He beat incumbent Petro Poroshenko, who has conceded defeat. On the show Servant of the People, Zelensky plays a teacher who accidentally becomes Ukraine's president. Ukraine is at war in its eastern Donbass region, and critics worry that because of his lack of experience, Zelensky, who has ties to billionaire oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi, won't be able to stand up to Russia or make peace with separatists.

Source: BBC News

President Trump fired back at Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) after Romney released a statement saying he was "sickened" by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on 2016 Russian election interference and the Trump campaign's conduct surrounding the meddling. Romney said the report highlighted Trump's dishonesty. The president responded to Romney's statement on Twitter, posting video footage of the senator's electoral defeat in the 2012 presidential election when he ran as the Republican nominee against former President Barack Obama. If Romney, Trump wrote, "spent the same energy fighting Barack Obama as he does fighting Donald Trump, he could have won the race (maybe)!" Romney actually won a greater percentage of the popular vote in 2012 than Trump did in 2016, but he did not carry enough of the electoral vote to win.

Source: The Associated Press, Donald Trump

An internal Department of Homeland Security memo said that top military and Homeland Security officials are considering classifying fentanyl — a highly potent synthetic opioid — as a weapon of mass destruction, CNN reports. Fentanyl is one of the painkillers that has contributed significantly to the opioid epidemic plaguing the United States. It has also reportedly concerned national security officials for decades because of its potential widespread lethality in terror attacks. Officials from DHS and the Pentagon have met in recent months to discuss designating the drug a WMD, CNN reports. This designation would allegedly disrupt its availability on the black market.

Source: CNN
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