Sri Lanka bombings – what happened on Easter Sunday in 2019?

A COORDINATED bomb attack on Easter Sunday saw explosions ripping through five-star hotels and churches in Sri Lanka, slaughtering more than 270 people.

It was the worst Islamist terror attack the country had ever seen. Now, one year later, BBC Two revisits the atrocity, with its investigative documentary 'Terror in Paradise'.

What happened during the Easter Sunday attack?

The first reports of attacks came about 8.45am and six blasts happened within a short space of time.

Three were at churches – carried out as Christians attended Easter mass – and three were at luxury hotels.

Worshippers were ruthlessly targeted in the Kochchikade district of the capital, Colombo, in Negombo, to the north of the capital, and in the eastern city of Batticaloa.

Sri Lanka's Shangri-La, Kingsbury and Cinnamon Grand hotels in Colombo were also attacked.

Those blasts are thought to have been carried out by suicide bombers including one who studied in the UK.

Police said at least nine members of two little-known local Islamist outfits, the National Thawheedh Jamaath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim, carried out the bombings.

The NTJ is a radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka that was linked in 2018 to the destruction of Buddhist statues.

Hours after the first six bomb attacks were reported, there were two more fatal blasts in the city – an explosion at a hotel in Dehiwala and another in flats in Dematagoda.

In addition, a six-foot pipe bomb was intercepted and destroyed by the Air Force on the way to Colombo International Airport.

The atrocities came ten days after Sri Lanka's police chief issued alert on possible attacks.

This key intelligence was not passed on to the Sri Lankan government just days before the attacks.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Sri Lankan prime minister, acknowledged that “information was there” about possible attacks.

Two days after the attacks, ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombings and released a picture of the terror mastermind and seven henchmen responsible.

The death cult's Amaq news agency claimed that the terrorists involved in the attacks were "fighters of the Islamic State."

What was the death toll?

The suicide bombs being triggered in churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka killed more than 270 people.

Over 500 people were injured in the blasts.

Among the dead were 35 foreigners, from the UK, America, the Netherlands, China, Turkey and Portugal.

Among the dead were British lawyer Anita Nicholson, 42, and her son Alex, 15 and daughter Annabel, who were queuing for breakfast at the Shangri-La hotel when a suicide bomber detonated a device at 8.30am.

Anita’s husband Ben survived the attack and frantically searched the wreckage for his family.

Daniel Linsey, 19, and Amelie Linsey, 15, were killed after escaping a suicide bomber in the Shangri-La hotel – only to run into a deadly second blast.

Lorraine Campbell, 55, from Manchester, was named the last of eight British victims killed in the Easter Sunday massacre.

Three children of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen also died in the blasts.

Who were the suicide bombers?

One of the sick bombers, Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed, studied aerospace engineering at Kingston University between 2006 and 2007, according to The Daily Telegraph.

He was responsible for the smaller suicide blast at the Dehiwala hotel in southern Colombo hours after the later explosions.

Officials revealed that the twisted ISIS extremist also studied for a post-graduate degree in Australia.

Ilham Ibrahim, 36, the son of a millionaire spice tycoon, was understood to have set off the first bomb at the Shangri-La hotel.

An unverified video posted to social media claimed an ISIS-affiliated group was behind the attacks.

Seconds later YouTube Islamist ranter Zahran Hashim detonated a second device at the luxury hotel which left five Brits dead.

Police sources later confirmed Ilham’s 38-year-old brother Inshaf was the suicide bomber who blew up the Cinnamon Grand Hotel in Colombo.

Their warped family of hate is at the centre of the series of horrifying attacks in Sri Lanka.

The brothers' wealthy dad, Yoonis, who is also a trustee at the local mosque, was among more than 40 suspected jihadis in custody.

Police revealed that Ibrahim’s pregnant burka-clad wife Fatima was a key player in the bomb plot.

And when armed SWAT teams arrived at the couple’s home she killed herself, her three young sons, her unborn child and three cops with a suicide vest.

The video, purportedly from Al Ghuraba Media, run by supporters of the terror group, featured the chilling message: “This bloody day is our reward to you."

It also showed photos of three of the alleged suicide bombers.

The men were named as Abul Barra, Abul Mukhtar and Abu Ubaida and appeared in front of a black ISIS flag giving a one-finger salute.

Which hotels and churches were affected?

Hotels frequented by tourists, the luxury Shangri-La Hotel, Cinnamon Grand and The Kingsbury Colombo, were targeted in the deadly series of blasts.

Worshippers were also attacked, with those at an Easter mass targeted at St Anthony's Shrine, a Catholic Church in Kochchikade, Colombo.

Blasts were also reported at St Sebastian's Church in Negombo, a majority Catholic town north of Colombo, and at Zion Church in the eastern town of Batticaloa – where more than 300 people are thought to have been injured.

  • BBC Two's 'Terror in Paradise' airs tonight, April 6, at 9pm

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Two-bed house on sale for £1 sparks more than 1,000 bids without a single viewing during coronavirus lockdown – The Sun

A HOUSE which went on the market for just a POUND has sold – and more than 1,000 Brits stuck inside during the country-wide coronavirus lockdown put in bids for the property.

The would-be buyers had never seen the two-bed terraced house in Roath, Cardiff.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

But in spite of that, the property, which has just 25 years left on the least, sparked an online bidding war.

The bay-fronted home features spacious rooms – but the buyer will need to carry out renovations.

Seel and Co, a century-old auctioneers, said the home eventually sold for more than £21,000 – more than expected.

Auctioneer Huw Edwards said: “It was an unusual lot in itself as it is a leasehold interest which is relatively short, which is why the guide price was so low.

"When we realised that the bids were mounting we were very surprised and pleased for our client.

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“We then realised that in fact we had more than 1,048 bids on that one lot and have been told that this is a record for an online property auction, which was even better news.

“This was a new experience for us at Seel and Co, after more than 100 years in the auction business going online was a step into the unknown, but one that has really paid off.”

“All of the lots sold well in excess of their guide price and we had lots of bidders register, some of whom had never bought at an auction before.

"It was great that this format attracted a different buying audience.”

Seel and Co is one of the oldest independent chartered surveyors, block management, lettings and auction houses in the UK.

Although the low selling price was unusual, it's not unheard of.

In January, Sun Online reported that a property in a dreamy coastal city in southern Italy was on the market for just 1€ (85p).

The city of Taranto, located in the "heel" of Italy, is joining a number of Italian towns that are selling off 1€ homes in a bid to boost the size of its population.

And in 2018, we reported that a selection of homes sold for £1 were totally transformed by their new owners.

The homes were sold as part of an ambitious council initiative to sell off derelict properties in Liverpool.




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Corrie’s Lucy Fallon reveals she’s feeling ’emotional’ as she urges people to keep isolating – The Sun

FORMER Corrie star Lucy Fallon told her followers she was feeling “emotional” yesterday as she urged them to stay indoors.

The 24-year-old, who is best known for playing Bethany Platt on the ITV soap, is currently in lockdown with her boyfriend Tom but like many of us, the isolating seems to be taking its toll.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Sharing a clip of herself making cookies, she wrote: “Feeling a bit emotional today – so I have made some peanut butter protein cookies for Tom and I’m just sat on the floor waiting for them to be done.

“Hope everyone is hanging in there and feeling ok.”

She later revealed that the cookies hadn’t turned out quite as she hoped – and that she couldn’t even eat them herself because they contained nuts.

The actress then reminded everyone that they shouldn’t be hanging out with anyone they don’t live with.


She wrote: “If you aren’t isolating with your boyfriend/ girlfriend/ husband/wife/ fiancée/ dog/ cousin/ goldfish, you shouldn’t be hanging out with them. And you shouldn’t be posting on social media that you are.”

Lucy’s warning comes as Brits continued to ignore the lockdown yesterday yesterday to sunbathe during a mini heatwave, forcing a park in London to close.

Police in the UK capital were also forced to break up an 18th birthday attended by 25 guests who flouted the social distancing guidelines set out by the government amid the coronavirus outbreak.


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Cops have warned anyone who refuses to follow the UK's lockdown guidelines this weekend will be arrested.

Under the drastic measures, Brits are expected to stay indoors and only go outside for essential shopping trips, medical reasons, one stint of daily exercise and to work from home if possible.

Anyone who flouts the new crackdown will face fines of up to £1,000 or even arrest when cops are given emergency powers.

Police also now have the power to issue on-the-spot fines of £30 for meeting under the new legislation.

Those who keep disobeying can be arrested and locked up.

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Celebrity Hairstylist Ashley Streicher Shares DIY Haircare Tips

While we’re social distancing and in quarantine, we’ve also been missing out on our blowout and styling appointments. 

To help Us have some sort of normalcy while we are stuck at home, Ashley Streicher, celebrity hairstylist to Mandy Moore, Emily Blunt, Mila Kunis, Rachel Brosnahan, Kiernan Shipka and more shared her tips for getting healthy hair, mastering a blowout for a Zoom conference or FaceTime date and trimming your bangs and layers at home.

The Best Celebrity Hair Transformations of 2020: Miley Cyrus, Barbie Ferreira, Jada Pinkett Smith and More!

Streicher’s top recommendations? “Use a hair mask, heat-free style when you can and let your hair grow out, so when you do get to go back to the salon for your next haircut, your hair stylist will have something to work with and possibly be able to have a new style,” she tells Stylish.

What to avoid right now: “Over washing your hair can make it very dry and at the same time, make your scalp create more sebum, which makes your roots greasy,” she shares.

“During this time I would encourage people to wash your hair a little less. I would recommend washing it 2-3 times a week depending on your hair type and using a mask like Garnier’s Hydrating Treat Mask with Aloe Extracts once a week to get your hair super healthy,” the hairstylist continues. 

Even if you’re packing in the at-home workouts, there’s no need to wash your hair every time you get your sweat on. “Sweat is not greasy or dirty, especially if you are a healthy person with good eating habits,” she dishes.

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In fact, Streicher says that sweat can actually be used as a great natural salt spray. “Sweat can give you great volume and texture. … After sweating, let your hair down and don’t touch it, let it dry completely and then use a clean dry shampoo,” she says. “Do not blow dry it after a workout though, as that can create frizz,” she warns.

If you are craving that fresh blowout feeling you’d get after visiting the hair guru at Striiike, a beauty studio in Beverly Hills run by Ashley and her two sisters Jenn and Kristie Streicher where hair, makeup and brows are crafted, here are the steps you need to follow: 

“Spray a bit of Garnier’s Fructis Invisible Dry Shampoo into the roots of your hair and give yourself a little head massage, getting all of your roots moving to help absorb any oil. Next, section out the front of your hair, mostly the hairline, and take a small round brush and smooth it out while also getting some volume. This gives the illusion that you have a fresh blowout,” she reveals.

If that’s not enough of a pick-me-up for you and your bangs or layers are in desperate need of a trim, Streicher says sticking with very small and very sharp scissors is key. “The small scissors help so that you can only take a little bit at a time, which keeps you from lopping off big chunks of hair on accident. … I also recommend cutting them dry and as you wear them, so that way you will know exactly how they will lay,” the hair guru adds.

Stars Get Real About Their Natural Hair Colors After Salons Close During COVID-19 Pandemic

And if you’re looking an easy DIY style, Streicher says hydrating products, hair accessories and braids can make all the difference. “Try air drying out of the shower with a little Whole Blends 10 in 1 Miracle Nectar or use  Garnier  Fructis Style Pure Clean  Detangler and  Air Dry for a nice beachy look,” she spills. 

“I also love bright and colorful Chunks clips for a cool, bright pop of color and instead of over styling, try some braiding tutorials and learn some heat-free techniques,” Streicher suggests.

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When is Passover 2020? – The Sun

AS we reach April, we are approaching one of the most important Jewish celebrations; Passover.  

But when is Passover, what does it commemorate and what foods are consumed during this religious holiday?

When is Passover 2020?

Each spring, Passover is celebrated.

The exact date of the holiday varies from year to year.

This year’s Passover begins at sundown on Wednesday, 8th April 2020.

Passover will end at sundown on Thursday, 16th April 2020.

Traditionally Passover is eight days long, although some Jewish reform groups celebrate it for seven days.

What does Passover commemorate?

Passover is a Jewish holiday which celebrates the liberation of Jews from Egypt, known as the Exodus.

Passover (‘Pesach’ in Hebrew) gets its name from when God told Moses to instruct Israelites to mark their doorposts with lamb’s blood so God would ‘’pass over’’ their homes and let their firstborn sons live.

What foods are eaten?

A range of traditional Jewish foods are consumed during this religious holiday.

Some examples of which are the following:

  • Matzo (flatbread)
  • Fish
  • Roasted chicken
  • Brisket
  • Potato Kugel (similar to casserole)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Egg drop soup

These are all typical foods which are consumed during the Passover holiday.

In terms of beverages, wine plays an important role during the Jewish ritual.

At least four glasses of wine are to be consumed during the Passover.

Each glass of wine represents a different theme.

The four themes symbolised by the glasses of wine are:

1. Salvation from harsh labour
2. Geographically leaving Egypt
3. Moses’ parting of the seas
4. Becoming their own nation

At some celebrations a fifth glass of wine is included to represent the prophet Elijah, but no celebrants are meant to drink from this cup.

When is the second Passover?

The second Passover is from Thursday, 7th May to Friday, 8th May.
The second Passover provides an opportunity for those who were unable to participate in the first Passover celebration.

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EastEnders star Maisie Smith shows off her toned figure as she does home workout during self-isolation – The Sun

EASTENDERS star Maisie Smith is making sure she stays in shape during the lockdown by doing home workouts.

The actress – who plays Tiffany Butcher on the BBC soap – showed off her toned figure as she took part in Results With Lucy, the exercise plan from Lucy Mecklenburgh yesterday.

Looking very fit she could be seen swinging a dumbbell between her legs while doing the class in  her living room.

Maisie, 18,  is currently on a break from filming due to coronavirus – so like the rest of the cast she has been entertaining herself at home.

Viewers now just get two episodes of the show a week as the BBC attempts to keep it on air as long as possible.

It means they will have to wait a while to find out if Tiffany and her husband Keegan survive their latest row.


Their marriage has reached breaking point in recent weeks after Keegan’s application for a business loan was rejected.

Keegan blamed a string of racial injustices for his angry behaviour, but Tiffany told him that was no excuse – and that everyone has challenges to overcome.

She told him to get back up and try again, before telling him that being black isn’t a disability.

The strong character added that she didn’t let the challenges she faces as a woman bring her down.

She said: “I don’t know why it’s all got to be about labels, and why it’s got to be about the colour of your skin. Maybe your business plan just wasn’t quite good enough.”

The news of the loan rejection comes after a string of racial injustices has left Keegan at his wits end.

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ABC to broadcast educational shows, mini lessons on kids channel

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation will broadcast educational shows and mini lessons on one of its children's channels from mid-April, with shows for primary students in the morning and high school content in the afternoon.

The broadcaster will create the mini-lessons, run by teachers, for the ABC Education portal and on ABC Me, which will be partially financed by the NSW and Victorian education departments.

“With so many Australian children now studying at home or preparing to do so, the ABC is boosting its support for students, teachers and parents to help young Australians receive the education they need,” said ABC Managing Director David Anderson.

ABC Managing Director David Anderson says the broadcaster is boosting its support for students, teachers and parents. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

From Monday April 14, when students in some states will be beginning term two (schools in NSW resume on April 27), ABC Me will run educational programming between 10am and 3pm. Programs will include Ecomaths, ScienceXplosion, and Numberblocks.

The ABC will also offer 4000 free videos, interactive resources and games mapped to the Australian curriculum through its education portal.

"Working in partnership with the states and territories, ABC Education will also create original teacher-led mini-lessons, which will be broadcast on the ABC Education portal and ABC ME, to support students learning at home," the broadcaster said in a statement.

The NSW and Victorian departments of education have provided financial assistance.

As many households do not access to computers or wireless internet, raising concerns about remote lessons increasing the disadvantage gap, television is seen as the best way to deliver educational content to some of the students who need it most.

Studies in the United States have shown that students who had access to the show Sesame Street performed better in elementary school than those who did not.

Tom Alegounarias, the former chair of the NSW Education Standards Authority and a long-time education policy specialist, said using television as a medium to reach disadvantaged students would be an "enormous and valuable input, and could become a breakthrough as a help."

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Cassian Andor Series to Bring Back Little-Seen or Unused 'Star Wars' Creatures

The future of movie theaters seems tenuous at the moment, but the prevailing wisdom right now seems to be that when the coronavirus crisis ends, (some) theaters will still be around, even if they’re only used for mega-blockbuster comic book and Star Wars movies. While we wait to learn more about what will happen to the theater industry, let’s turn our attention to Lucasfilm’s future on the small screen – specifically, the Cassian Andor Disney+ series which acts as a prequel to Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. According to a new interview, this show will serve as a “second chance” for Star Wars creatures who may have only gotten a brief moment of screen time, or a place for previously-made but unused creatures to finally make their mark in a galaxy far, far away.

During the press rounds for the home video release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, MovieWeb caught up with Neal Scanlan, the creature and special make-up effects creative supervisor of the five most recent Star Wars movies. Scanlan has been making lots of headlines recently by dropping interesting little tidbits about Star Wars productions, and when the interview turned toward the upcoming Cassian Andor Disney+ show, which features Diego Luna reprising his role from Rogue One as a Rebel spy, Scanlan revealed some more interesting info about the series. After talking about how working on a Star Wars show doesn’t feel noticeably different from working on a Star Wars movie, he said:

“We also have this backlog of characters. A lot of the characters that we built for all of the films either didn’t make it to the final cut, because that’s just the way that the film process happens, or that they are seen so momentarily that there is this wonderful second opportunity to bring back some of the characters that we’ve made and bring them to this new storyline in a more, shall we say, integrated way. I think it’s going to be tremendous. I find that it’s a second opportunity for everything that we’ve made, plus the opportunity of moving TV along, in a sense, at what will not at all be diminished as far as the level of quality, the level of things that we are going to try and achieve.”

Scanlan and his team devote tons of time and resources to the design and creation of Star Wars creatures, so it only makes sense that Disney and Lucasfilm would want to get their money’s worth and make sure those creatures are utilized as efficiently as possible. The interesting thing to me, though, is that Star Wars fans are incredibly obsessive about the tiniest details, so it’s guaranteed that fans will notice when a creature who appeared for a microsecond in the background of a shot suddenly pops up in a different context elsewhere in the galaxy. But will the people behind the scenes actually care about that degree of scrutiny? More importantly, will we see more of characters like Dexter Jettster and Sy Snootles? Those are the real stakes of what we’re talking about here, folks.

The Cassian Andor series was supposed to begin production this year for a 2021 release on Disney+, but we’ll have to wait and see if that still happens or if it’s ultimately delayed.

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Kanye West Feels Like He’s Racially Profiled for Supporting Donald Trump

Comparing the backlash he received for being a Trump supporter to racism, the ‘Follow Jesus’ rapper also appears to liken his mental breakdown to ‘Deadpool’.

AceShowbizKanye West confused everyone when he first showed his support for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. In a new interview with the Wall Street Journal, the rapper opens up about dealing with public’s outrage that stemmed from his political views.

The songwriter/fashion designer likens the backlash to racial profiling as he shares, “I’m a black guy with a red [MAGA] hat, can you imagine? …It reminded me of how I felt as a black guy before I was famous, when I would walk in a restaurant and people would look at you like you were going to steal something. ‘This is your place, Ye, don’t talk about apparel. This is your place, Ye, you’re black, so you’re a Democrat.’ “

“Classism, protectionism — not just racism,” he says of public’s reaction. “Classism is like living on a bookshelf. The more money you have, the higher you go. And you get to the top and look over and what do you see? Fear.”

Despite having publicly showing his support for Trump, Kanye admits he didn’t vote for the real-estate tycoon during the 2016 presidential election. In fact, he did’t vote at all. However, had he been a registered voter at the time, the “Black Skinhead” spitter says that he would cast his vote in favor of Trump.

During the interview , Kanye also talks about his mental breakdown. Comparing his struggles with mental health issue to the plight suffered by Ryan Reynolds ‘ Marvel superhero character, the husband of Kim Kardashian says, “I’ve been through ‘Deadpool‘. You know that movie?”

He also mentions the Japanese practice of Kintsugi, in which broken pottery is restored. “I had an actual mental breakdown from attempting to put together all of the pieces,” he says of the dark period in his life.

The interview is published after Kanye’s infamous phone call with Taylor Swift leaked in full. The entrepreneur and his wife Kim came under fire as the leaked video seemed to backup Taylor’s claim that Kanye never asked for her permission for the controversial lyrics about her in his 2016 song “Famous”.

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Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers Bring Joy To A Few Million Shut-ins With Online Monologues

People are getting antsy as the coronavirus quarantines stretch out into a week or more, depending on when you closed the lid on your bunker and began ignoring the shouts from outside.

Riding to the rescue are America’s late night comedians, who bring us tidings of comfort and joy from their homes as we all try to keep up a semblance of normalcy.

Trevor Noah focused on President Trump’s hope that the quarantine will end by Easter Sunday, presenting a skeptical take on the plan.

Jimmy Kimmel brought another mini monologue, talking about a family making their son’s 21st birthday special in isolation, Donald Trump being “hard at work,” the Senate agreeing to a 2 trillion dollar stimulus package, and the Olympics being postponed. A special appearance from Courteney Cox is also on tap, as she goes head-to-head with Jimmy’s superfan cousin Anthony in a “Friends” trivia challenge. As per usual, Kimmel asked for donations to a worthwhile cause, spotlighting Meals on Wheels today.

Finally, Seth Meyers admitted that getting stuck at home was a bummer, but we all need to make the best of it.

 

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