Six In The Morning Sunday 5 May 2019

The Sunday school children: The little-known tragedy of the Sri Lankan Easter attacks

Updated 0122 GMT (0922 HKT) May 5, 2019

The first church Mohammed Nasar Mohammed Azar tried to blow up had already finished its service by the time he arrived. The Easter Sunday mass there had started early.

“He came in the car around 8:30 a.m., and they told him mass is over now,” said Bishop Joseph Ponniah, of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Batticaloa, eastern Sri Lanka. “Then he went to the next church.”
That timing mix-up saved the lives of hundreds of people inside St. Mary’s, who were already back in their homes by the time Azar walked through the church gates, intent on murdering everyone inside.

‘Senseless hate’: the far right’s deep roots in southern California

The Poway synagogue shooting is far from the first time California’s Jewish communities faced threats, as rightwing groups date as far back as the 1920s

The murderous attack on the Poway synagogue in San Diego last weekend may have shattered some people’s image of southern California as a sunny, liberal enclave. But the region has for decades been an incubator of far-right politics, and it’s far from the first time its Jewish communities have faced violent threats.

“Hate groups and hate activity run pretty deep in southern California, and have for a very long time,” said Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “This activity is deeply rooted in Orange county and northern San Diego,” she added.

Giving Birth in India‘The Women Here Are Afraid’

Every year, 32,000 women in India die as a result of pregnancy or childbirth. To reduce that number, the government plans to begin training midwives. A visit to a maternity ward in Hyderabad shows the difference they can make.

By  and  (text) and Saumya Khandelwal (photos)
It is shortly before 1 a.m. in a state hospital in the South Indian city of Hyderabad. Four women are lying next to each other on metal tables, their legs stretched out toward the door. They are naked from the waist down.
Another woman in a dark blue dress is squatting on one of the tables and groaning. “You’re doing great,” says Rekha Marandi, a 25-year-old midwife who has pulled on a plastic apron over her flower-patterned blouse. A child might be born at any moment.

Maduro rallies troops against US after opposition asks army to join protests

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro urged the army on Saturday to be ready for a possible US military intervention against his regime, days after opposition leader Juan Guaido appealed to troops to join the rebellion against Maduro.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro urged his troops Saturday to be “ready” for potential US military action, as a limited number of opposition supporters marched on military barracks in a bid to win the armed forces’ support.

The small turnout for the Saturday marches — with participants in the hundreds, not the thousands — is another setback for opposition leader Juan Guaido, following a failed military uprising earlier in the week.

North Korea: Kim Jong-un oversees ‘strike drill’ missile component test

North Korea has confirmed via state media that leader Kim Jong-un has overseen a “strike drill” testing various missile components.

A number of short-range projectiles” were also fired from the Hodo peninsula into the Sea of Japan on Saturday.

North Korea’s leader gave the order of firing to “increase the combat ability” of the country, the announcement said.

US President Donald Trump tweeted he believed Mr Kim would not jeopardise the path towards better relations.


FOCUSING ON BREATH and gratitude, Dahr Jamail’s latest book, “The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption,” stitches together personal introspection and gut-wrenching interviews with leading climate experts. The rapidly receding glaciers of Denali National Park, home to the highest peak in North America, inspired the book’s title. “Seven years of climbing in Alaska had provided me with a front-row seat from where I could witness the dramatic impact of human-caused climate disruption,” Jamail writes.

With vividly descriptive storytelling, Jamail pushes further north into the Arctic Circle where warming is occurring at double speed. He surveys rapid changes in the Pribilof Islands, where indigenous communities have had to contend with die-offs affecting seabirds, fur seals, fish, and more — a collapsing food web. The story continues in the fragile Great Barrier Reef, utterly ravaged by the warming ocean. South Florida is faring no better: Jamail finds that 2.46 million of the state’s acreage will be submerged within his lifetime. Experts are aghast everywhere Jamail visits. In the Amazon, rich in biodiversity, the consequences are especially enormous.