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AbdukadirSavas/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- Amnesty International and Airwars claim that their research shows that 1,600 civilians were killed by the four-month airstrike campaign and artillery strikes carried out by the U.S.-led coalition against the former Islamic State-held city of Raqqa, Syria. That figure dwarfs the U.S. military's own estimates that 180 civilians were unintentionally killed by airstrikes carried out by the coalition.

The two groups published their findings Thursday on a website titled "Rhetoric versus Reality." They say the report is the result of 18 months of research of open-source materials, social media postings and satellite imagery, followed by two months of ground investigations in Raqqa.

Retaken from ISIS in October 2017 by U.S.-backed Syrian forces, the city in central Syria had become the defacto capital of the terror group's self-declared Caliphate. Between June and October 2017 coalition aircraft carried out an intense bombing campaign against ISIS targets in the city to help the Kurdish fighters capture the city.

"Many of the air bombardments were inaccurate and tens of thousands of artillery strikes were indiscriminate, so it is no surprise they killed and injured many hundreds of civilians," said Donatella Rovera, senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International.

"First and foremost, any unintentional loss of life during the defeat of Daesh is tragic," said Colonel Scott Rawlinson, a spokesman for the Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS, which also known as Daesh.

"However it must be balanced against the risk of enabling Daesh to continue terrorist activities, causing pain and suffering to anyone they choose," Rawlinson added.

Overall, the coalition has determined that 318 civilians were killed in Raqqa between October 2014 and October 2017, after investigating 69 credible allegations. Additional allegations are still being investigated.

"The coalition and the U.S. have provided extensive information to Amnesty International on our targeting process including multiple background briefings on targeting with regard to the mitigation of civilian casualties and extensive written responses to requests for information," said Lt. Colonel Earl Brown, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command.

"Additionally, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy briefed Amnesty International, Airwars, and other NGOs on our constant efforts to improve" he added.

Rawlinson said Amnesty International "provided us with 86 new allegations, 43 of which had already been assessed as credible and previously reported or were deemed not credible because the allegation did not corroborate with our strike records."

"We requested that Amnesty International provide us with additional information on the remaining 43 allegations if they have it so that we would be able to determine whether we could conduct an investigation," said Rawlinson. "The Coalition takes all reasonable measures to minimize civilian casualties."

The coalition has extensive procedures in place to ensure that its airstrikes do not result in civilian casualties and also investigates any credible allegations of civilian casualties.

So far those investigations have determined that at least 1,291 civilians have been unintentionally killed in the 34,464 airstrikes against ISIS targets that have been carried out from August 2014 to March 2019.

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Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images(RUSSKY ISLAND, Russia) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted North Korea’s ruler, Kim Jong Un, at a summit in the Russian port of Vladivostok on Thursday, the first time the two have met as leaders, amid efforts by the United States to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear weapons.

The two met at a university on Russky island, a large island in the Sea of Japan linked to Vladivostok by a bridge. Putin received Kim with a Russian honor guard on a red carpet, with the two exchanging a long handshake before going inside for talks.

Speaking at the opening of the talks, Putin said he welcomed Kim’s efforts to normalize relations with the U.S. and said he hoped the talks would help Russia play a role in ending the diplomatic standoff over North Korea’s nuclear arms.

Putin said he believed that Kim could be ready to continue the negotiations provided the U.S. "demonstrates a desire for constructive dialogue," though he told reporters it was better to ask Kim. He also said he would tell President Donald Trump and his administration about his meeting with Kim, which the Korean leader had asked him to do.

Putin said he was sure the meeting "will allow us to better understand what ways we can resolve the situation on the Korean Peninsula, what we can do together, [and] what Russia can do in order to support the positive processes which are happening now."

Following the talks though, which lasted a little less than two hours, it was unclear if any concrete details came out of them despite Putin's pronouncement of "quite a substantial talk." Ahead of the summit, experts said it was very unlikely the meeting would produce anything concrete. Instead, the encounter for both sides was more about the image it broadcast.

Kim gave just two short statements before and after the talks with Putin, but said the two had exchanged views and thanked the Russian president repeatedly for what he said had been a "very wonderful time.”

The meeting is the first time Putin and Kim have met since he became North Korea’s ruler in 2011 and comes against the backdrop of President Donald Trump’s efforts to make North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons and the U.S. president’s own two summits with Kim in the past year.

After concluding their discussions, Putin and Kim appeared at a televised session seated with their delegations, which included senior ministers. They gave very brief statements saying they had exchanged opinions on the Korea conflict and thanked one another for coming.

"I was very glad to meet with you Mr. President and with Russian friends,” Kim said. “I would like to again express my sincere gratitude that you flew here, far from Moscow, thousands of miles and gave us the time to substantively discuss questions,” Kim said.

Putin said the two talked about the nuclear dispute, saying, “We exchanged opinions about what, and how, we need to do so that the situation has a good prospect for improvement.”

Putin followed a similar line in a press conference after the talks, saying he believed Kim could be persuaded to denuclearize provided there were sufficient security guarantees. He said he thought Kim ultimately was a supporter of nonproliferation.

"I have got the impression that that the North Korean leader adheres that point of view. They only need a guarantee of their security. That’s it,” Putin said.

He said it was necessary to think of how such guarantees could be found, but did not go into detail.

The meeting was most notable for the fact it had taken place. Kim arrived in Vladivostok on Wednesday, travelling on the armored train he uses for foreign trips.

The summit was billed as a way for Russia and North Korea to bolster their relations and discuss the dispute over the North’s nuclear weapons. Russia has been involved for years in efforts to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal and has joined with the U.S. in imposing tough United Nations sanctions on Pyongyang. But Russia has also sought to maintain friendly relations, which draw on the countries' shared Communist past, and the Kremlin has criticized the U.S. for being overly aggressive and relying too heavily on sanctions to persuade the North Koreans.

Russia meanwhile has felt like it has been locked out of the efforts to handle the crisis between the U.S. and North Korea and sees meeting with Kim as a way to underline its involvement.

The summit "brings Moscow back into the diplomatic game focused on the Korean Peninsula," Alexander Gabuev, chair of the Russia in the Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center, wrote in an article ahead of the summit.

Kim is expected to remain in Vladivostok for another day after Putin leaves to tour cultural sites.

The Russian newspaper Kommersant reported this week that Kim’s itinerary may include a trip to a local theater or the Russian Pacific Fleet’s museum, as well as to a number of other sites that Kim’s father, Kim Jong Il, visited during a similar official trip he made in 2002.

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Salwan Georges/The Washington Post/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Rashida Tlaib vociferously attacked Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on Tuesday night, calling him out for torturing and executing children.

Tlaib, D-Mich., was responding to a news story about the execution of Mujtaba al-Sweikat, who was slated to attend Western Michigan University. He was arrested for taking part in pro-Democracy rallies as a 17-year-old in 2012, according to the Detroit Free Press.

She wrote, "Saudi Arabia ruler MBS tortures & executes children. Already this year, he has killed 100 people. At least 3 today were arrested as teenagers & tortured into false confessions. He killed them for attending protests!"

Tlaib became one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress last November, along with Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.

Thirty-seven people were executed by beheading on Tuesday, accused of alleged terrorism-related crimes. Amnesty International said the convictions were obtained under "sham trials that violated international fair trial standards, which relied on confessions extracted through torture."

"Today’s mass execution is a chilling demonstration of the Saudi Arabian authorities' callous disregard for human life," Lynn Maalouf, Middle East research director at Amnesty International, said in a statement. "It is also yet another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within the country’s Shia minority."

Most of those killed were Shiite men, according to Amnesty International. The majority of Muslims in Saudi Arabia are Sunnis, and Shias have been repressed for years.

Tlaib and Omar have been the target of criticism due to their relationship with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR grew out of the Islamic Association for Palestine, which was created by Hamas, a terrorist group as designated by the U.S. government, according to the nonprofit Influence Watch. Both women have spoken at CAIR events.

Omar has said she's gotten regular death threats since Trump criticized her for referring to the Sept. 11 attacks as "some people did something."

Saudi Arabia has executed 104 people this year, according to Amnesty International, and is on pace to quickly surpass last year's total of 149.

Tlaib has long called for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, who has a close relationship with the crown prince. Trump has defended the regime in the wake of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year even as both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have called it obvious that bin Salman ordered the killing.

The president -- and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo -- has repeatedly said there is no "direct evidence" between the killing and the crown prince. His son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly has a close relationship with bin Salman.

The Senate unanimously passed a resolution last year saying bin Salman was "responsible" for Khashoggi's killing.

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Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images(VLADIVOSTOK, Russia) -- Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, arrived via train in Russia on Wednesday, a day ahead of his summit with President Vladimir Putin.

Russian state media showed Kim's armored train arriving at Vladivostok, a port city on the Pacific coast. North Korean attendants polished the outside of Kim's train car as it pulled into the station. The door to Kim's carriage was intended to line up with a red carpet. The train overshot its mark by a few feet. Everyone waited as the train backed up. Kim finally exited.

The North Korean leader, smiling and wearing a black hat, was greeted by Vladivostok's regional governor. The two walked toward the street and briefly watched a small military parade before Kim was spirited away in his limousine, surrounded by a jogging phalanx of bodyguards.

This is Kim's first trip to Russia and first meeting with Putin.

Kim, who began ruling North Korea in 2011, is expected to stay three days, but the trip has been shrouded in secrecy.

Thursday's summit will be on the campus of Far East Federal University on Russky Island, which is linked to Vladivostok by bridge.

After the summit, Kim reportedly plans to tour cultural sites, possibly including, as reported by the Russian newspaper Kommersant, the Mariinsky Theater and the Russian Pacific Fleet's museum.

Russia portrays itself as friendly toward North Korea and often criticizes the U.S. for refusing to make concessions. Russia supports North Korea's economy, even when sanctioning it, as tens of thousands of North Koreans work in Russia -- mostly as laborers -- in defiance of a U.N. ban.

South Korea's foreign ministry said last week it hoped the Kim-Putin summit proves "an opportunity that contributes to positive progress" toward denuclearization, but most experts aren't expecting much; they believe Russia is holding the meeting now to demonstrate strength and that Kim made the trip to show he had other geopolitical options after he and Trump failed to cut a deal in Vietnam.

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JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a wave of coordinated bombings at churches and high-end hotels across Sri Lanka.

The terrorist organization offered no evidence to support that assertion, which was initially announced in a statement in Arabic published by its Amaq news agency on Tuesday, saying the attackers were "among the fighters of the Islamic State," according to a translation by SITE Intelligence Group, a company that tracks extremist groups.

ISIS later issued a longer, formal statement identifying the seven suicide bombers who detonated explosive-laden vests at the churches and hotels and a housing complex on Sunday.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe acknowledged the claim during a press conference in the capital, Colombo.

"All that we knew earlier is that there were foreign links and that this could not have been done just locally," Wickremesinghe said. "There has been training done and a coordination which we [have] not seen earlier."

According to multiple U.S. sources briefed on the investigation, ISIS is believed to have been involved in the Sri Lanka attacks in a supportive capacity, but it’s not clear to what degree.

At least 310 people were killed and another 500 were injured Sunday when near-simultaneous explosions took place at eight locations across the island nation, which is located off the southern tip of India.

Most of the explosions were detonated by suicide bombers, according to the Sri Lankan defense ministry.

Explosions erupted at three churches holding Easter services in Colombo, Batticaloa and Negombo. Blasts also tore through three luxury hotels in Colombo that are popular among Western tourists, according to Sri Lankan police.

Hours after the initial bombings, another explosion rang out at a housing complex in Dematagoda, a suburb on the outskirts of Colombo, police said.

Later that night, the Sri Lankan Air Force initiated a controlled explosion of a 6-foot-long pipe bomb that was detected on a road near Colombo International Airport, according to Sri Lanka Air Force spokesman Gihan Seneviratne.

A fourth hotel was targeted in a failed attack that day, according to Sri Lanka's prime minister.

At least 45 children were among the dead, including at least five who were not Sri Lankan, according to the United Nations Children's Fund. Scores more were wounded and are fighting for their lives in intensive care units. Many children who survived the blasts have lost one or both parents.

At least four Americans were also among those killed, according to a U.S. official briefed on the investigation. One of the Americans was identified Monday as Dieter Kowalski, 40, of Denver, according to his mother and Pearson, the London-based global education company that employed him.

United States Secretary of State Pompeo said the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka is working to provide assistance to American citizens affected by the attacks, including their families.

"These vile attacks are a stark reminder of why the United States remains resolved in our fight to defeat terrorism," Pompeo said in a statement Sunday. "We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they confront violent extremism and have offered our assistance as they work to bring the perpetrators to justice."

The first funerals for victims were held Tuesday.

At one ceremony in Colombo, mourners paid their respects to a slain mother and her three children, ages 13, 11 and 7. The four bodies, each wrapped in white cotton with the faces exposed, were laid out on tables, and their clasped hands held rosaries and flowers.

Ruwan Wijewardene, the state minister of defense, told the Sri Lankan parliament Tuesday that authorities have information showing Sunday's blasts were carried out "in retaliation" for last month's attacks at two mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people.

Sri Lanka's health minister, Rajitha Senaratne, on Monday blamed the deadly blasts on a little-known domestic Muslim militant group called National Thowfeek Jamaath.

Sri Lankan police are searching for a mini van, three cars and six motorcycles carrying explosives in Colombo and believed to have been used for terrorist activities, police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara told ABC News Tuesday.

At least 40 suspects have been arrested around the country in connection to the Easter explosions. Twenty-six of them were being questioned by the criminal investigations department Tuesday, while three were being held by the terrorist investigations unit, according to Gunasekara.

The identities of the suspects haven't been released, but Sri Lanka's prime minister told reporters Tuesday that all those arrested so far are Sri Lankan and "a few people" were still on the run "with the explosives."

According to a U.S. official briefed on the investigation, Sri Lanka has asked the United States for more help due to the "exigent" circumstances, prompting the FBI to continue sending additional resources to the country.

Two U.S. officials told ABC News that the United States has identified an individual believed to have previous ties to ISIS who may have been involved in the Sri Lanka attacks.

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iStock/Poligrafistka(NEW YORK) -- The deputy mayor of an Austrian village has caused an uproar across the country's political spectrum after he published a poem that seemed to compare migrants to rats.

Christian Schilcher of the village Braunau am Inn, and a member of the Freedom Party, a far-right populist party, published a poem on Monday in the party’s local newspaper titled “The Town Rat.”

"Just as we live down here, other rats who [came] as guests or migrants, including the ones we didn't know, must share our way of life! Or get out of here fast!" the poem reads.

The prose, which used imagery widely associated with anti-Jewish propaganda pushed by Nazis before and during the Holocaust, was met with condemnation by politicians.

Conservative Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement Tuesday that the deputy mayor’s resignation was “the only logical consequence of this vile and racist poem. The clear step of the Vice Chancellor and the FPO top was necessary and correct.” Kurz currently governs in a coalition alongside the far-right populist FPO.

By Tuesday morning, it was announced that Schilcher had resigned from his post and left the party, Austria Press Agency reported.

FPO has been in Austria's governing coalition since 2017, and was founded by former Nazis in the 1950s. It is one of the few far-right parties in Europe to be part of a ruling coalition. The town of Braunau am Inn is already infamous for being the birthplace of Adolf Hitler.

Comparing people to rats was “customary in Nazi propaganda,” Pamela Rendi-Wagner, party leader of the center-left Social Democratic Party (SPO), told the Austria Press Agency.

In a statement broadcast on Monday, Schilcher said he wanted his poem to provoke, “but in no way insult or hurt anyone," the Austria Press Agency reported.

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Oleksii Liskonih/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- A month and a half after President Donald Trump ended his summit with Kim Jong Un without a deal, the young North Korean leader is preparing to step out again on the world stage.

This time, it will be for his first meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The summit comes at a critical time with the relationship with Russia increasingly important, according to analysts, as Kim seeks to maintain his nuclear weapons stockpile while loosening the economic pressure on his country.

That means the U.S. will be watching closely, with its chief negotiator Stephen Biegun in Moscow last week for meetings. It was the special representative for North Korea's first visit to Russia since October, and he was taking the Kremlin's temperature ahead of the Putin-Kim summit, as well as reinforcing the importance of the United Nations Security Council sanctions implementation, according to a State Department official.

"The United States is committed to working with interested parties, including Russia, on the robust and sustained implementation of U.N. sanctions in order to move forward with denuclearization," the official told ABC News.

The Kremlin confirmed Tuesday that the meeting would take place on Thursday in the Russian port city Vladivostok in the country's far east. Kim's father Kim Jong Il, visited the city in 2011 -- the most recent meeting between the two countries -- and went on to Ulan-Ude to meet then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev near the border with Mongolia, still thousands of miles east of Moscow.

The summit would be Kim's first trip to Russia and his first meeting with Putin. While China has long been North Korea's most important ally, Russia has played a key second role as an economic partner and tried to assert itself as a political player, often by playing a foil to U.S. interests.

"Obviously Russia -- and China as well -- is a key player in sanctions evasion. Kim certainly wants to cultivate that relationship," said David Maxwell, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. "I am sure Kim also thinks that Putin will be supportive of his objectives as he likely believes that Putin will want to act as a spoiler versus U.S. interests in the region."

Russia hosts thousands of North Korean laborers, for example, who are an important source of cash for the regime. A report by the U.N. Panel of Experts that oversees sanctions implementation also called Russia out for continuing ship-to-ship transfers of oil and other fuel and joint business ventures based in Russia, which are prohibited by sanctions.

Ensuring that those lines of financial support can continue is key for Kim, as his country's economy continues to struggle under the weight of international sanctions -- although Russia will never be as economically important to North Korea as China.

"They don't have enough money to feed North Korea. They're not China. And their top priority is boosting the economy of their Primorsky region," said Shin Beom-chul, a senior fellow at the Asian Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, referring to Russia's sole province that borders North Korea.

That level of influence, however, may be shifting at least slightly. Russia has been a key conduit for the South to relay messages to Kim's government, according to a South Korean official, who said Seoul uses the Russian and Chinese embassies in Pyongyang to ensure a message gets communicated.

The summit will also come after several high-level visits between the two countries and a new agreement on economic and political cooperation.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Kim Jong Un for the first time in May 2018 in Pyongyang, when Kim accepted an offer to meet Putin in Moscow. But in recent weeks, the pace of engagement has accelerated. Kim's chief aide Kim Chang Son traveled to Moscow and Vladivostok, Russia in March; a high-level delegation from Russian parliament, or Duma, visited in March; Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev visited Pyongyang at the start of April; and a second Duma delegation visited this week.

During a visit to Moscow in March, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Im Chon Il and his Russian counterpart Igor Morgulov signed a "2019-2020 plan of exchange" to "boost high-level contact and exchange in the political field [and] actively promote cooperation in the fields of economy and humanitarianism," according to North Korean state media.

North Korean state media has also paid Russia a "disproportionate" amount of attention since the Hanoi, Vietnam summit with Trump, according to analyst Ankit Panda, an adjunct senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists.

Meanwhile, South Korea is increasingly concerned by the decline in its own communications with the North -- a key objective of President Moon Jae In. Moon met Trump at the White House earlier this month to keep the momentum of diplomacy going and announced afterwards that he's ready for a fourth summit with Kim to help salvage faltering nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

It's that kind of political game that is perhaps most important for a Kim-Putin summit, with Kim eager to show that he can rebound from his rejection by Trump in Hanoi and that he has friends beyond China, analysts say.

"Definitely North Korea is playing a game. Visiting Russia is leverage for Kim Jong Un when it comes to his negotiations with President Trump," said Shin. "Russia's role is just giving political blessing to Kim Jong Un."

Maxwell said, "Another summit with another world leader continues to enhance his legitimacy. It also helps with his Hanoi failure and it puts him in a positive light on the world stage for internal political support and domestic legitimacy."

Some reporting for this story was made possible by the Atlantic Council Korea Journalist Fellowship Program. The fellowship was sponsored by the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington in partnership with the Korea Foundation.

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Angelina Jolie and Amal Clooney added their voices in the calls to support a new United Nations Security Council resolution that included a mechanism to investigate sexual violence as a weapon of war. The resolution also called for full services for victims, including sexual and reproductive health care.

But the U.S. mission to the U.N. opposed a draft version of the resolution because of that language on sexual and reproductive rights, according to a U.N. special envoy and a U.S. official. The Trump administration has implemented a hard line against such language, which it sees as code for abortion.

The final resolution was passed on Tuesday, but it was a weakened version. Opposition from China and Russia already forced the German mission, which proposed the resolution, to take out the investigative mechanism. Although the German draft copied language from previous U.N. Security Council resolutions on sexual and reproductive rights, the U.S. opposed that language and said it may veto the resolution over it.

The ultimate version that passed did not include that language, and the U.S. supported it. Russia and China abstained.

The U.S. was "threatening to use their veto over this agreed language on comprehensive health care services including sexual and reproductive health," U.N. Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten told the Guardian on Monday, which first reported U.S. opposition. "It will be a huge contradiction that you are talking about a survivor-centered approach and you do not have language on sexual and reproductive health care services, which is for me the most critical."

The U.S. has no ambassador to the U.N., but its acting permanent representative Jonathan Cohen did not comment on possible U.S. opposition when he addressed the chamber on Tuesday. Before the vote, a U.S. official told ABC News that they had not made a final decision on the resolution, as the delegation was still in talks with Germany and other allies on the final draft.

U.S. opposition was centered over this line, where the resolution "urges United Nations entities and donors to provide non-discriminatory and comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive health, psychosocial, legal, and livelihood support and other multi-sectoral services for survivors of sexual violence, taking into account the specific needs of persons with disabilities."

The language borrows from previous U.N. Security Council resolutions about sexual violence in conflict.

"We are worried that the threat of veto was used by several members to bring into question 25 years of advances in this area. It is inexplicable that sexual and reproductive health are not acknowledged when discussing victims of sexual violence. ... Victims need this kind of care," Francois Delattre, the French ambassador to the U.N., said after the vote.

France was joined by the U.K., Belgium and South Africa in denouncing the U.S. position after the vote.

Patten told the Security Council that the language was critical to serving the needs of sexual violence survivors.

"The urgency to ensure comprehensive health services for all survivors, including sexual and reproductive health, as well as psychosocial and legal support, could not be more acute. This is at the heart of the survivor-centered approach that the secretary-general articulates in his recommendations," Patten said.

Angelina Jolie, an actress and special envoy for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, advocated for the resolution in an editorial on Tuesday with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. They noted the importance of both a strengthened working group to improve monitoring and an "inclusive, survivor-centered approach" that deals with all of a victims' needs.

"As voices of bigotry rise, the wait for gender equality is growing. Women’s rights are again being called into question, and demands for sexual and reproductive health and rights are met in some quarters with open hostility," Jolie and Maas wrote.

The Security Council adopting Germany's resolution "would be a much-needed step toward ending impunity for sexual violence in conflict," they added. "It would also send an important message to those who attempt to roll back human rights: We don’t take progress for granted. And we will fight to keep it alive."

But the resolution is not enough for many human rights advocates. Amal Clooney, the prominent human rights lawyer and wife of actor George Clooney, spoke before the Security Council on Tuesday and said it must do more to address "your Nuremberg moment, your chance to stand on the right side of history."

"Although this draft resolution is a welcome step forward, especially insofar as it strengthens the sanctions regime for those who commit sexual violence, we must go further because if this august body cannot prevent sexual violence in war, then it must at least punish it," Clooney said.

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PSNI via Getty Images(DUBLIN) -- The paramilitary organization New Irish Republican Army (New IRA) apologized for the murder of 29-year-old journalist Lyra McKee, as a third person was arrested in connection with the death.

McKee was killed by a "single gunmen" who fired shots during riots in Creggan, Derry/Londonderry on April 18, Northern Irish police said.

"In the course of attacking the enemy Lyra McKee was tragically killed while standing beside enemy forces," the New IRA said in a statement seen by Irish News. "The IRA offer our full and sincere apologies to the partner, family and friends of Lyra McKee for her death."

In the statement, the group, which formed in 2012 as an offshoot to the Irish Republican Army, claimed "volunteers" were deployed after British forces "provoked rioting."

Meanwhile, a 57-year-old woman was arrested under the Terrorism Act in connection with the murder of McKee, the Police Service of Northern Ireland announced Tuesday on Twitter. The arrest comes after two men, aged 18 and 19, were arrested Saturday.

The rioting apparently erupted as homes belonging to Irish republicans, who believe Ireland should be separate from British rule, were raided ahead of the Easter weekend. Rioters threw over 50 petrol bombs and hijacked two vehicles, which were later set on fire, police said.

The murder was initially believed to have been "carried out by a violent dissident republican," assistant chief constable for district policing Mark Hamilton said in an April 19 statement.

A car burns after petrol bombs were thrown at police in Creggan, Londonderry, in Northern Ireland, April 18, 2019.

The New IRA, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S., was formed with the aim of uniting Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

In March, the group claimed responsibility for three explosive devices sent to major transport hubs in London, according to The Guardian. The devices were dealt with by counter-terror police and no one was harmed.

McKee, a journalist who had written for publications such as The Atlantic, appeared on Forbes' European 30 under 30 list for media in 2016, with the magazine saying her "passion is to dig into topics that others don't care about."

Journalist Lyra McKee is seen in this undated handout picture released April 19, 2019 by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Her murder was met with international condemnation.

McKee's friend, Irish writer and journalist Susan McKay, described McKee as "a beautiful young woman, brimful of life, love and creativity," in an article in The Guardian.

"Let no one dare say that she died in the cause of Irish freedom," McKay wrote. "Lyra was Irish freedom."

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Stringer/Getty Images(COLOMBO, Sri Lanka) -- Members of a radical Muslim group have been identified as suspects in a series of Easter suicide bombings on churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka.

Coordinated explosions erupted near simultaneously Sunday morning across the island nation off the southern tip of India, killing nearly 300 people, including at least four Americans, and injuring at least 500. The attacks left government security officials scrambling to explain why warnings of an imminent terrorist attack went unheeded.

The bombings are now being blamed on the local group National Thowfeek Jamaath, or NTJ. Police said 24 suspects have been arrested so far in connection with the bombings, and Sri Lankan Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said all suspects are Sri Lankan nationals.

"We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country," Senaratne said at a press conference. "There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded."

"The intelligence reports [indicate] that foreign terrorist organizations are behind the local terrorists," Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena's office said in a statement. "Therefore, the president is to seek the assistance of the foreign countries."

One American victim identified

At least four Americans were killed in the attacks, according to a U.S. official briefed on the investigation. Eleven foreigners were confirmed killed, including two victims who were dual citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Sunday "several U.S. citizens were among those killed."

One of the Americans was identified Monday as Dieter Kowalski, 40, of Denver, according to his mother and Pearson, the London-based global education company that employed him.

Kowalski, who was born and raised in Wisconsin, had gone to Sri Lanka for work and was staying at the Shangri-La in Colombo when a suicide bomber detonated an explosive in a third-floor restaurant of the hotel.

"He was standing in a breakfast line in Sri Lanka when the bomb went off," Kowalski's distraught mother, Ingeborg Kowalski, of Milwaukee, told ABC News Monday.

Kowalski was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and worked as a senior leader of Pearson's operation technical services team. He gained a reputation as a fix-it man, who was assigned the "most challenging engineering problems" to figure out, said John Fallon, Pearson's chief executive officer.

 "Colleagues who knew Dieter well talk about how much fun he was to be around, how big-hearted and full-spirited he was," Fallon wrote in a message to employees Monday.

Quoting colleagues who knew Kowalski best, Fallon said, "Dieter ... was never happier than cheer-leading for our customers and our company and inspiring people in the best way he knew how – by helping them to fix things and doing it with joy, happiness and grace. He was a man who took great pride in the purpose of our company – helping our students progress in their studies and their lives mattered to him."

Questions remaining for government officials


Government officials admitted that international intelligence agencies had issued a warning earlier this month that NTJ was planning an attack. The alert was also emphasized in an April 9 report from the country's defense ministry to its police chief, Senaratne said.

On April 11, he said, police passed along the warning to government officials in charge of security for the judiciary and diplomatic agencies, but it remains unclear what actions, if any, were taken to prevent the attacks from occurring.

 Senaratne said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was ousted by President Maithripala Sirisena last year only to be reinstated, and his cabinet members were not informed of the warning and blamed political turmoil for the miscommunication.

Harin Fernando -- Sri Lanka's minister of telecommunications, foreign employment and sports -- tweeted a document he described as the security warning passed up the government's chain of command.

"I honestly do feel there was a breach and as well as there's been a big, massive miscommunication or somebody has taken this whole intelligence report very lightly and thought, 'No, it's not possible,'' Fernando said in an interview on CNN.

 "What's ironic is this particular report was not considered with the cabinet or mentioned to the cabinet, and this looms a huge doubt on why and how this lapse actually happened," Fernando said.

How the attacks took place

The explosions unfolded Sunday when at least seven suicide bombers detonated devices inside three Christian churches packed with people celebrating Easter services as well as three hotels popular among Western tourists, officials said. There were eight simultaneous explosions around 8:45 a.m. local time.

Video from inside St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, a coastal city about 40 miles north of Colombo, showed the immediate aftermath as worshipers were surrounded by devastation, death and chaos.

There were about 500 people at St. Sebastian's Easter Mass when the explosion took place, according to church officials. Parishioners, many bleeding, scrambled to carry severely injured people from the church, which was littered with overturned chairs, shattered glass and debris from the ceiling.

St. Anthony's Shrine, a Catholic church in Colombo, and Zion Church in Batticaloa were also attacked. Colombo is on the western side of Sri Lanka, while Batticaloa is on the eastern shore, about 200 miles from the capital.

Shangri-La Hotel, Cinnamon Grand Hotel and Kingsbury Hotel, all located in Colombo -- and all popular with tourists -- were also targeted.

Hours after the initial bombings, a ninth occurred at a guest house in Colombo, killing at least two people, according to police.

Akshat Saraf, 30, a financial adviser from India, said in an interview Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America" that he and his family were vacationing in Sri Lanka and staying at the Shangri-La Hotel when a blast on in a third-floor restaurant shook their room on the 25th floor.

"My family was about to leave for breakfast. From the room is when we hard the loud explosion," Saraf said. "There were two explosions that took place in a matter of a few seconds. When I heard the first one, I frankly just thought it was a loud thunderstorm."

He said he looked out his window, saw people pointing at the hotel and knew something was "not right."

"My wife and I just grabbed our passports and decided to evacuate. At that point, the hotel did not announce the evacuation alarms," Saraf said on GMA. "We decided to take the emergency exit and climb down 25 floors, and when we reached the third or fourth floor was when we could see there was blood on the stairs and we thought something has definitely happened in this building."

The threat did not appear to be over Monday morning as officials continued to find explosive devices that had not detonated.

A Sri Lankan Air Force spokesman confirmed to ABC News that a suspicious van booby-trapped with gas cylinders was detected outside St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo Monday and was promptly disposed of in a controlled explosion by Sri Lanka Air Force's Explosive Ordnance Disposal team. On Sunday night, a large pipe bomb was found on a road leading to the international airport in Colombo and was disposed of.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka increased a warning for travel in Sri Lanka from a Level 1 to a Level 2, advising tourists to exercise increased caution due to terrorism.

"Terrorist groups continue plotting possible attacks in Sri Lanka," embassy officials said in a statement. "Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas."

Security was also boosted in the United States. Police in Los Angeles and New York upped patrols around places of worship, including St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan.

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CIL868/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. will no longer grant any waivers to countries to purchase Iranian oil, fully implementing the sanctions that President Donald Trump reimposed nearly a year ago when he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal.

The end of waivers means that those countries that continue to buy Iranian oil will face sanctions, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with the goal to get Iranian oil exports to zero and to get Iran to the negotiating table.

"We've made clear our seriousness of purpose. We are going to zero. How long we remain there, at zero, depends solely on the Islamic Republic of Iran's senior leaders," he said.

The move has triggered global oil markets, with crude oil at its highest level in almost six months, and has set up a showdown with U.S. allies and adversaries alike. China, India, Turkey, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were relying on the waivers to avoid being sanctioned by the U.S., but they could now be hit with economic penalties after their waivers expire on May 2.

Pompeo said the administration has used the "highest possible care to ensure market stability," especially by working with partners Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to increase production. But the price of oil has climbed recently, as U.S. sanctions also hit Venezuela, and the conflict in Libya makes production there volatile.

Trump tweeted in support of that message, writing, "Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil."

 Trump went on to accuse former Secretary of State John Kerry of giving "VERY BAD advice" to Iran in a possible "Big violation of Logan Act," which makes it illegal for unauthorized citizens to negotiate with foreign governments in dispute with the U.S.

Kerry is a favorite target of Trump and some of his senior advisers for meeting with Iranian officials since leaving office and apparently telling them to wait Trump out -- activity that critics call unseemly, but is not likely criminal, since no one has been prosecuted under the Logan Act since 1852.

It's unclear what sanctions would look like, whether each country would face them if they did not completely end their import of Iranian oil, and when. Senior State Department officials dismissed those questions as hypothetical at this point, but Pompeo hinted at cutting off access to the U.S. financial market.

"We've made clear: If you don't abide by this, there'll be sanctions. ... To conduct these transactions, one almost always needs to participate in financial markets," he said.

 Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was quick to respond, rejecting "unilateral sanctions and impositions on how to conduct relations with neighbors," Çavuşoğlu said in a tweet.

While the sanctions tighten the economic pressure on Iran's government, Pompeo said the ultimate goal is to get Iran to change its behavior, especially its ballistic missile development, funding of groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and detention of U.S. citizens.

"If they're prepared to come to the table and negotiate those things to get to that outcome, fantastic. If not, the campaign with which we've been engaged ... will continue," he said.

But while he reportedly told a group of Iranian Americans privately that the Trump administration will not use military force to overthrow the Iranian regime, he would not repeat that language on Monday. Instead, he warned Iran that "If Americans are attacked, we will respond in a serious way."

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Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images(LONDON) -- As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle prepare for the birth of their first child, a new report claims the couple may raise their child for some time outside of the U.K.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are reportedly considering heading on a “sabbatical” for six months. Their likely destination is Africa, a place close to both of their hearts.

“I think they're looking to go abroad for extended periods of time, most likely to Africa, to take roles overseas working and living a bit to give them a little freedom,” said ABC News royal contributor Roya Nikkhah, who broke the story of Meghan and Harry’s possible move in The Sunday Times.

"I think the feeling is Harry and Meghan do have global appeal ... why not send them somewhere they can make a real impact?," Nikkhah continued, noting that Africa includes many Commonwealth countries. "They are the rock stars. Why not send them abroad?"

Africa is where Harry, 34, whisked Meghan, 37, away a few weeks after the couple's first date in 2017.

"I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana and we camped out with each other under the stars," Harry said in his post-engagement interview with Markle last year. "She came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic, so then we were really by ourselves, which I think was crucial to me to make sure we had a chance to get to know each other."

Harry also included Botswana in Meghan's engagement ring. The main stone in Meghan's ring is sourced from Botswana, while the diamonds surrounding it are from the jewelry collection of Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana.

Harry has also said in previous interviews that Botswana will always have sentimental value to him because Africa is where he and Prince Charles and Prince William went to "get away from it all" after Diana's death in 1997.

Harry also established his charity, Sentebale, in the African country of Lesotho in 2006 after first visiting the nation two years earlier during his gap year as a teenager.

Buckingham Palace issued a statement after the news broke in The Sunday Times, calling reports of future plans for Harry and Meghan "speculative."

“Any future plans for The Duke and Duchess are speculative at his stage. No decisions have been taken about future roles," the statement said. "The Duke will continue to fulfill his role as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.”

Prince Harry was spotted Sunday attending Easter services with other members of the royal family, including Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William and Kate, at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, where he and Meghan wed.

Meghan did not attend. She has told well-wishers she is due in late April or early May.

Meghan's mom, Doria Ragland, is said to be close by her side at the couple's newly-renovated home, Frogmore Cottage.

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Stringer/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- At least 290 people were killed and hundreds more injured on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka when attackers unleashed an apparently coordinated series of suicide bombings that simultaneously targeted Christian churches and luxury hotels, sending a wave a terror across the globe.

Eight explosions took place miles apart, three at Christian churches holding Easter services and three at hotels, some commonly used by Western tourists. In addition to those who were killed, at least 450 were wounded, according to officials with police, the Colombo Hospital, and St. Sebastian Church.

Most of the explosions were detonated by suicide bombers, according to the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry.

At least 11 foreigners were confirmed killed in the attacks, including two victims who were dual citizens of the United States and the United Kingdom. One American was also among the missing, officials said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Sunday that "several U.S. citizens were among those killed."

All of the foreigners died in attacks on hotels in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, an island nation off the southern tip of India in the Indian Ocean, according to the officials.

President Donald Trump sent his condolences to the country in an early morning tweet from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, where he is spending the Easter holiday.

"The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka," the president tweeted Sunday. "We stand ready to help!"

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in the statement that "the United States condemns in the strongest terms the outrageous terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka that have claimed so many precious lives on this Easter Sunday."

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the more than 200 killed and hundreds of others wounded," Sanders said in the statement. "We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they bring to justice the perpetrators of these despicable and senseless acts."

There were eight simultaneous explosions around 8:45 a.m. local time. Video from inside the St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, a coastal city about 40 miles north of Colombo, showed the immediate aftermath of a bombing there as worshipers who had just been praying for peace found themselves surrounded by devastation, death and chaos.

There were about 500 people at the Easter Mass at St. Sebastian when the explosion took place, according to officials from the church. Parishioners, many bleeding, scrambled to carry severely injured people from the church, which was littered with overturned chairs, shattered glass and debris that had fallen from the ceiling.

A statue in the sanctuary of Jesus Christ was left pockmarked and splashed with blood but remained standing.

St. Anthony's Shrine, a Catholic church in Colombo, and Zion Church, in Batticaloa, were also attacked. Colombo is located on the western side of Sri Lanka, while Batticaloa is on the eastern shore about 200 miles from the capital.

Shangri-La Hotel, Cinnamon Grand Hotel and Kingsbury Hotel, all located in Colombo -- and all popular with tourists -- were targeted in the bombings.

Hours after the initial bombings, a ninth explosion occurred at a guest house in Colombo that killed at least two people, according to police.

On Sunday night, at 10:15 local time, a 6-foot-long pipe bomb was detected on a road near Colombo International Airport. The country's air force initiated a controlled explosion, Air Force spokesman Gihan Seneviratne told ABC News.

Police chief warned of attack

The wave of bombings came after the Sri Lanka police chief issued a nationwide alert 10 days ago that suicide bombers planned to attack "prominent churches," according to multiple reports.

"Some intelligence officers were aware of this incidence. Therefore, there was a delay in action. What my father heard was also from an intelligence officer. Serious action need to be taken as to why this warning was ignored," Harin Fernando, a member of parliament in Sri Lanka, tweeted Sunday and included a document he says is the security warning.

Fernando, Sri Lanka’s minister of telecommunications, foreign employment and sports, went on CNN overnight to expand on his earlier tweet, showing a document said to be a security warning from April 11.

"I honestly do feel there was a breach," he added, "and as well as there's been a big, massive miscommunication, or somebody has taken this whole intelligence report very lightly and thought, 'No, it's not possible.'"

Pope Francis prays for the victim

Following Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Pope Francis condemned the "cruel violence" that "have wrought grief and sorrow."

"I wish to express my heartfelt closeness to the Christian community [of Sri Lanka], wounded as it was gathered in prayer, and to all the victims of such cruel violence," Pope Francis said. “I entrust to the Lord all those who have tragically perished, and I pray for the injured and all those who suffer as a result of this tragic event.”

Officials who spoke to ABC News were able to confirm at least 24 people were killed at St. Anthony's Church, 27 died at Batticaloa's Zion Church and 81 have died at St. Sebastian Church.

The explosions were followed by the wail of sirens from emergency vehicles headed to the multiple bombing scenes.

Ruwan Gunasekara, a police spokesman, said that in addition to the 290 killed, approximately 450 people were injured, overwhelming hospitals throughout the island nation.

The National Hospital in Colombo reported that 66 people had died there from injuries suffered in the attacks and that 260 were being treated, Gunasekara said. At the Negombo Hospital, 104 people were reported dead and 100 of the injured were being treated, he said.

Another 37 people were pronounced dead at the Kalubowila, Batticaloa and Brown's hospitals. Eighty-nine people were being treated at those medical centers, Gunaskekara said.

Authorities confirmed that three British citizens, in addition to the two with dual American citizenship, one Portuguese citizen, three Indian and two Turkish nationals were among the dead.

"It's a very, very sad day for all of us. I wish to, therefore, express my deepest sorrow and sympathy to all those innocent families that have lost someone, and also to those who have been injured and rendered destitute," Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, said at a news conference. "I would like to call upon all to pray that all those who are injured may be healed soon and that all these families who lost someone may be consoled."

"I condemn to the utmost of my capacity this act that has caused so much death and suffering to the people," Ranjith said. "I ask all us Sri Lankan people not to take the law into their own hands and to maintain peace and harmony in this country. And I also ask that all those who are able to donate blood in order to help these people who are injured, and then I also appeal to the doctors to please help us."

Several suspects arrested

Pompeo said the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka is working to provide assistance to American citizens affected by the attacks, including their families.

"These vile attacks are a stark reminder of why the United States remains resolved in our fight to defeat terrorism," Pompeo said in his statement. "We stand with the Sri Lankan government and people as they confront violent extremism and have offered our assistance as they work to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Buddhism is the most common religion in Sri Lanka. National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri-Lanka documented the growing number of attacks on Christians in 2018, saying there were 67 from January to September.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks. But Gunasekara, the police spokesman, said at a news conference that several people had been arrested, clarifying an earlier report from that seven suspects were taken into custody. As of early Monday, 24 individuals had been detained.

Gunasekara also said that multiple raids had been carried out as police worked to identify those responsible for the carnage.

Gunasekara said it was too early to say who was behind the attack or comment on a possible motive.
Dangerous history

Sri Lanka has been at times one of the most dangerous locations in the world for terrorist attacks. A civil war that raged for decades between the ruling government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam -- known colloquially as the Tamil Tigers or LTTE -- officially ended in 2009, but some conflict has continued. As many as 100,000 people were killed in the civil war from 1982 to 2009, according to the U.N.

The U.K. government warns travelers of the risks posed by those visiting the country.

"Terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka can’t be ruled out," the government advises on its website. "Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners."

The U.S. lists Sri Lanka as a Level 1 country, the lowest risk level, which warns travelers to exercise normal precautions.

The country was also divided by a constitutional crisis at the end of 2018 when Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was removed by the country's president in October, only to be reinstated in December.

"I strongly condemn the cowardly attacks on our people today," Wickremesinghe said in a tweet. "I call upon all Sri Lankans during this tragic time to remain united and strong. Please avoid propagating unverified reports and speculation. The government is taking immediate steps to contain this situation."

Security was increased across Sri Lanka, including Colombo's international airport. Authorities also imposed an indefinite nationwide curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. and temporarily blocked major social media and messaging services, including Facebook and WhatsApp, to curb what government officials described as misinformation from being spread.

U.S. security boosted

The bombings sent shockwaves all the way to the United States, where security was bolstered at churches coast to coast.

In California, the Los Angeles Police Department boosted patrols around places of worship. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the State Police to increase security at churches and houses of worship across the state.

"New York grieves for the victims of the horrific attacks at churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday," Cuomo said in a statement. "On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest condolences to the people of Sri Lanka, to the families who lost loved ones and to all those grieving around the world."

"In the wake of these despicable acts of violence and out of an abundance of caution, I am directing State Police to increase patrols around churches and houses of worship across the state today," Cuomo said. "During these troubling times, we will not be intimidated by cowardly acts of violence and will continue to do everything in our power to ensure the safety of all New Yorkers."

A U.S. intelligence bulletin issued last week and obtained by ABC News raised ongoing serious concerns that U.S. law enforcement generally has in anticipation of high-profile holidays or gatherings, specifically Easter, Passover and Ramadan. But the bulletin said there was no evidence of a confirmed attack planned in the United States or U.S. facilities elsewhere.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Counterterrorism Center and the Department of Homeland Security "are not aware of any specific, credible threats surrounding the upcoming religious holiday season, but note that previous attacks happened with little to no warning," read the intelligence bulletin issued on Thursday.

"Religious holiday gatherings are an attractive target for HVEs [homegrown violent extremists] and domestic extremists because they offer an opportunity to capitalize on large crowds and increased symbolism of the target," the bulletin reads.

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Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(KIEV, Ukraine) -- Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comedian with no political experience who plays the president on TV, has won Ukraine’s presidential election in a landslide, according to a national exit poll. The poll showed Zelenskiy receiving 73 percent of the vote, sweeping away Ukraine’s incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, who conceded defeat on Sunday.

At a campaign party at a bar in Kiev, packed with hundreds of journalists, Zelenskiy declared victory. As the exit poll’s results were announced, confetti was shot into the air and Zelenskiy thanked his campaign volunteers, saying they had “protected Ukraine”.

The result places a political novice at the head of Ukraine, one of the poorest countries in Europe, on a fault-line in the stand-off between the West and Russia. Ukraine is still locked in a war with Russia that has seen 13,000 people killed since 2014.

Zelenskiy’s victory comes on the back of deep dissatisfaction among Ukrainians with their political establishment, weariness over the war. He ran promising to fight corruption and to upend that political elite, which is viewed as corrupt and indifferent to the concerns of ordinary Ukrainians.

At polling stations on Sunday, few voters expressed great affection for Zelenskiy, saying instead they supported him as an agent of change.

“I am for a new face,” said Tatiana Zakharenko, 50, an economist voting in central Kiev. “We need a change.”

The vote was a resounding rejection of Poroshenko, a 53-year-old billionaire confectionary tycoon who came to power on the back of mass protests in 2014 that toppled Ukraine’s then-Russian-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych. Poroshenko had campaigned as a wartime leader, promoting himself as a defender of Ukrainian identity against Russia and warning that Zelenskiy’s inexperience meant a win for Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Poroshenko, though, was unable to overcome widespread perceptions that he has failed to tackle entrenched corruption and continued Ukraine’s tradition of using power to enrich his associates.

In a country where politics is a byword for corruption and self-dealing, some said that Zelenskiy’s lack of experience in politics was actually a plus.

“On the one hand, it’s not the best president for me, but at least he has no experience in corruption or all the things that our politicians have,” Anna Dysheleva, a marketing executive, told ABC News after voting with her young son.

Few know, however, what that change will mean in practice. Zelenskiy has campaigned on almost no detailed policies and has avoided the media, refusing interviews. The last interview he gave was to a journalist who won a ping pong competition on the night of his victory in the first round. On Sunday, the same competition was running at the victory party.

Instead, Zelenskiy largely campaigned as a version of his on-screen persona, and held stand-up shows instead of political rallies. In his show, “Servant of the People,” he plays a schoolteacher who is catapulted into the presidency when his rant against corruption goes viral. Once president, he eschews the traditional perks of his office and battles oligarchs who normally direct politics in Ukraine.

Both candidates have promised to maintain Ukraine’s pro-European course. Critics of Zelenskiy, though, fear his more moderate stance could see the country slide back into Russia’s orbit.

Poroshenko, who campaigned as a wartime leader, warned that Zelenskiy will be unable to stand up to Putin.

Tatiana Zakharenko, 50, an economist, said she had voted despite her reservations about Zelenskiy.

"I’m for a new face, for the young,” she said. “We need a change."

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Chamila Karunarathne/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- From the White House to the Vatican, world leaders condemned the string of bombings that killed more than 200 people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday as many of the victims were in churches celebrating one of most important holidays in the Christian faith.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan shared his condolences with the Sri Lankan brethren while strongly condemning the horrific attacks that wounded another 450 people.

"Strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday resulting in precious lives lost & hundreds injured. My profound condolences go to our Sri Lankan brethren. Pakistan stands in complete solidarity with Sri Lanka in their hour of grief," he tweeted.

U.S. President Donald Trump offered "heartfelt condolences" to the people of Sri Lanka, pledging that the U.S. stands "ready to help."

 The coordinated bombings at eight locations left at least 207 people dead. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and at least three suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks.

The outpouring of support came from all over the world.

Prime Minister of India Chowkidar Narendra Modi tweeted: "There is no place for such barbarism in our region," adding that "India stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka."

Pope Francis expressed "sadness" over the attacks while delivering his Easter Sunday Mass at the Vatican and prayed for those who were killed and injured.

 Former U.S. President Barack Obama described the series of coordinated bombings as an "attack on humanity."

"On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka," Obama tweeted.

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the attacks as "truly appalling" and urged people to "stand together to make sure that no one should ever have to practise their faith in fear."

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he is "deeply saddened" by the attacks.

Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, expressed the "horror and sadness" he felt upon learning of the bombings, three of which occurred at Christian churches.

The press office for Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted that the president "urges the authorities not to spare the wicked elements behind these mischievous attacks."

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said the "heartbreaking" attacks come at the time when Sri Lanka "has worked hard to build a common future after years of war."

 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed state police to increase patrols around churches and houses of worship. During a press conference, New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan commended the "brave" worshippers who attended mass on Easter Sunday despite the threats.

"These are the ones that give us hope," Dolan said.

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