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New Zealand begins to bury massacre victims, rescuers scramble to reach flood survivors in Mozambique and Vietnam immortalizes a turtle. Here’s the latest:
The first funerals for New Zealand massacre victims
Hundreds of mourners from around the world arrived in Christchurch in time for the first funerals since Friday’s mass shootings at two mosques.
They massed on a hilltop of dirt cut open with row after row of graves.
For some, the prolonged waiting period for coroners to identify and return victims’ bodies frustrated traditional Islamic rituals, which prioritize immediate burials and a joyful departure.
On the ground: The city seems filled with emptiness — with children out of class and offices unused — but the well-wishers from abroad are flooding it with the world’s humanity, writes our Australia bureau chief.
Looking ahead: Coroners have been working overtime to identify and return the bodies of the 50 dead. As of Tuesday, 21 had been identified.
Confusion, then prayer, in Lion Air crash
As the nose of the doomed Lion Air flight repeatedly bucked downward, one of the pilots flipped through the pages of a technical manual to try to figure out what was happening. Then his co-pilot began to pray.
Newly reviewed audio from the cockpit recorder on the 737 Max 8 flight in October paints a chilling scene, one that is under renewed scrutiny with the crash of a second Max 8 earlier this month.
How we know: Nurcahyo Utomo, the head of the air accident subcommittee of the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee, listened to and described the contents of the cockpit voice recorder that was retrieved from the ocean floor in January.
Investigations: Authorities around the world are now looking into how the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority approved Boeing’s new 737 Max jet, which has been in two deadly crashes in less than six months. The process relies heavily on Boeing’s own employees certifying the safety of their planes.
Flooding in Mozambique hinders aid
Rescue workers struggled to reach the areas devastated by Cyclone Idai, which has been described as the worst natural disaster to hit southern Africa in two decades.
Rain-swollen rivers have created “an inland ocean,” with water rising near the tops of telephone poles in some places. Highways remained impassable, blocking aid.
Relief officials worry that delays in reaching survivors could lead to an outbreak of illnesses like cholera and malaria. The official death toll was 84, but a full tally will be possible only when isolated communities are reached.
Background: The cyclone swept through Mozambique last week before turning inland to neighboring Malawi and Zimbabwe, affecting an estimated 1.5 million people.
The three countries are among the world’s poorest, with limited capacity to respond to disaster. Officials have called for outside help.
E.U. agrees to extend Brexit, with conditions
After Prime Minister Theresa May asked the European Union to push the Brexit process to June 30, top E.U. officials agreed to a short extension — but only if British lawmakers approved Mrs. May’s withdrawal plan, which Parliament has soundly rejected twice.
Confused by the political ping-pong?
The E.U.’s move, which comes little more than a week before the March 29 deadline for Britain to leave the bloc, appears calculated to pressure lawmakers into supporting Mrs. May’s painstakingly negotiated plan.
In the unlikely event that lawmakers do endorse it, they would still need the extension to pass supporting legislation.
Takeaway: The news came in the European evening, so lawmakers have not had a lot of time to react. But it’s reasonable to expect fury all sides of the debate.
The E.U. is wary of a no-deal Brexit, since that could shake their economies. But they also don’t want the process to drag out so long that Britain remains in the E.U. Parliament, where it could possible stall other business to extract concession.
Here’s what else is happening
W.H.O.: The health body called for an international registry to track all research into editing the human genome, months after a Chinese scientist, He Jiankui, rattled researchers, scientists and policymakers across the globe by announcing that he had created the world’s first genetically altered babies.
India: A court acquitted four men accused of being involved in a 2007 train bombing that killed 68 people, most of them Pakistanis. The verdict was immediately framed in stark terms: as a win for Hindu “saffron” extremists, or a decision that disproved their existence.
Taiwan: President Tsai Ing-wen is headed to Palau, Nauru and the Marshall Islands — island nations that belong to a shrinking group of countries that recognize Taiwan’s government — in an effort to shore up support and counter China’s expanding influence in the region.
Federal Reserve: The U.S. central bank left interest rates unchanged and showed little appetite for raising them at all in the near future amid increasing concern about a slowing economy.
Vietnam: A turtle named Cu Rua that symbolized the country’s independence and strength until its death in 2016 has been embalmed and put on display in the capital city of Hanoi, catapulting the animal into an elite club of preserved famous figures in Communist regimes, including Mao Zedong and Vladimir Lenin.
Afghanistan: After the Islamic State bombed a wrestling club’s gym in western Kabul, killing more than two dozen athletes and wounding more than 90, wrestlers from around the world sent aid. The rebuilt gym is bigger, better and busier than ever.
The Mueller report: The highly anticipated findings of the special counsel’s investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election are expected any day now. Here’s what we know so far.
Google: European authorities fined the technology company about $1.7 billion for violating antitrust rules in the online advertising market. The punitive action is the region’s third against Google since 2017, reinforcing its position as the world’s most powerful watchdog of an industry that plays an increasingly powerful social and economic role.
Postpartum depression: U.S. drug regulators approved a new medication that effectively tackles depression during or after pregnancy. Brexanolone, which will be marketed as Zulresso, is delivered by infusion over several days and costs tens of thousands of dollars, but it will most likely pave the way for other treatments.
Space missions: Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft has taken a sample from the Ryugu asteroid despite its unexpectedly rugged surface, while NASA’s Osiris-Rex has not yet succeeded in collecting anything (except near misses) from the Bennu asteroid, their teams reported.
Ricky Gervais: The British comedian is known for cringe-inducing comedy and “outsider” characters. His new Netflix show, “After Life,” is no exception. “Anything you do that’s the slightest bit interesting,” he said in an interview with our Talk columnist, “as many people are going to hate it as love it.”
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
Recipe of the day: If you make herbed rice with tahdig, expect the crisp crust to go quickly — it’s the best part.
So you didn’t land that job. Turn the rejection into an advantage.
Buying wine for your wedding day doesn’t mean breaking the bank.
But planes are designed to be in the air. Putting them out of service takes more than just finding somewhere to park and turning off the engines.
“Basically you’re going to pickle it,” said Vandi Cooyar, the president of Logistic Air, an aircraft leasing company. A grounded plane needs to have its systems powered up and its engines turned on regularly. Grounded fleets need to be protected from the elements.
Such safeguards, Mr. Cooyar said, make it easier to bring planes back into service when allowed — though that, too, takes some finessing.
Zach Wichter, who has been helping cover the Ethiopian Airlines crash, wrote today’s Back Story.
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