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We start today with Sri Lanka’s attempts to move forward, a group of protesters in Austria known as the Grannies Against the Right and the second-fastest marathon time on record in London.
A week after Easter bombings, Sri Lanka struggles to move forward
Security forces continued to round up people thought to be involved in the bombings that killed more than 250 people last week, while people in the capital, Colombo, held vigils outside one of the churches that was attacked.
The curfew in Colombo was lifted even as military surveillance aircraft kept an eye on the country’s main airports and naval units patrolled the waters around the island nation.
Over the weekend: The Islamic State said its fighters were among those killed in a raid on a house in eastern Sri Lanka that left 15 people dead and that wounded the wife and child of Zaharan Hashim, believed to be the mastermind of the bombings.
Go deeper: The town of Kattankudy is one of the few predominantly Muslim towns in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka. It’s also Mr. Zaharan’s hometown and where he preached his divisive ideology.
Political fallout: Repeated failures in preventing and investigating the attacks have exposed rifts in Sri Lanka’s government, raising questions about the country’s ability to deter future threats.
Socialist gains in Spain election
Spain’s governing Socialist Party on Sunday was on course to win the election by a clear margin but probably fall short of an absolute majority in the national Parliament, with nearly complete results showing growing political polarization and party fragmentation.
An anti-immigration and ultranationalist party, Vox, won its first seats in Parliament, representing a major shift. The main opposition Popular Party got the worst result in its history, winning only about half of the number of seats secured by the Socialists.
The elections came after an abrupt change of government in June, when Pedro Sánchez and his Socialist Party used a corruption scandal to oust Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party in a parliamentary vote.
Key campaign issues: Voters were concerned about the long-running conflict over Catalonia and tax and labor policies after its 2012 banking crisis.
What’s next: A repeat election may be necessary to break the deadlock. The main parties broadly split into two blocs during the election campaign, providing some guidance to what kind of governing coalition could emerge.
Austria’s Grannies Against the Right
A group of older women known as the Grannies Against the Right have become a fixture at Austrian antigovernment protests.
Often clad in hand-knit hats, they are women from a generation that watched their mothers suffer the fallout of World War II and helped create democracy in Austria. Now, they are galvanizing protests against Austria’s shift to the right, and even seeking to create an international “resistance” against the right wing and extremists across Europe and beyond.
Impact: While the protests they’ve attended may have had limited influence, their presence serves as a reminder of past horrors born of intolerance and of the democratic gains that the Grannies want to preserve.
How Biden and Obama evolved
Former President Barack Obama did not think Joe Biden should run for president in 2016, and he thought carefully about how to convey that. The difficult days in those years illustrated how far the two had come.
Now, as Mr. Biden embarks on a presidential campaign, our chief White House correspondent looked at how their relationship, despite its trying moments, aged “into a surprisingly close friendship unlike any between a president and vice president in modern times.”
Prospects: Mr. Biden, 76, may position himself as Mr. Obama’s natural heir, but he has yet to convince Democrats.
If you’re following the Indian elections …
Crooked candidates left, right and center
Pragya Singh Thakur, wearing garlands and the saffron robes of a Hindu ascetic, is a candidate for the Bharatiya Janata Party. That she faces terrorism charges, in connection with a bomb blast that killed seven people in 2008, has not deterred her or the party.
Ms. Thakur’s situation, however, is not uncommon.
When the Association for Democratic Reforms, an independent think tank, looked through the criminal records of almost all 5,478 candidates in the first half of the general election, the findings were staggering.
About a third of the candidates had some sort of pending criminal case against them. And 13 percent faced serious charges, including allegations of corruption, assault, murder and rape.
Neither of the two main national parties, the governing Bharatiya Janata Party or the opposition Congress party, fared very well in the reports.
Candidates with criminal backgrounds usually end up winning, said Anil Verma, a retired army officer who leads the Association for Democratic Reforms.
Many of them have more campaign money and deliver results at a local level, Mr. Verma said. They also earn good will with small acts, he said, like “donating money for somebody’s daughter’s wedding.”
“It’s a travesty but that’s how it is in our country.” — Alisha Haridasani Gupta
Send us your feedback or questions on this series here.
Here’s what else is happening
U.S.: A gunman opened fire in a synagogue near San Diego on the last day of Passover, killing one person and wounding three others. The shooting, the latest in a series of deadly attacks at houses of worship, is being treated as a hate crime.
Apple: Since it introduced its own screen-time tracker, Apple has clamped down on competitors’ offerings, according to an investigation by The Times. In some cases, Apple forced companies to remove parental control features. In other cases, it simply pulled apps from its store.
Belarus: The discovery of a mass grave containing the bones of 1,214 Holocaust victims in the center of Brest, an ancient city on Belarus’s western border with Poland, has brought into focus a little-understood chapter of the Holocaust in one of the first Soviet cities seized by the Nazis.
Uber: As the ride-hailing company meets with investors ahead of its initial public offering next month, it plans to pitch itself as the next Amazon, a concept that hints at its ambition to expand into new businesses and industries.
Gender inequality: American women are the most educated ever, yet they face some of the biggest pay gaps. One reason is the changing nature of work, which has led to longer, inflexible hours.
Snapshot: Eliud Kipchoge, above, the world’s most decorated marathon runner, finished first at the London Marathon on Sunday for a record fourth time. His time — 2 hours 2 minutes 37 seconds — was the second-fastest on record.
“Game of Thrones”: As part of a promotion, NOW TV, a British streaming service, offered free tattoos related to the series. “It’s just getting something you love and relate to,” one tattoo artist said. And read our recap of Sunday night’s episode here.
Raisin rivalries: We went to California’s Central Valley, home of the American raisin industry, and found a tale of intimidation, death threats, conflagration, farmland and a so-called raisin mafia.
What we’re reading: This article in The Colorado Sun. Gina Lamb, a Special Sections editor, writes: “As a longtime typewriter owner (and former Colorado resident), I was delighted by this piece about Darwin Raymond, who has cared for all kinds of typewriters on the state’s Western Slope for decades — including a 60-pounder with a three-foot-long carriage, a purse-size portable and an IBM Selectric that Hunter S. Thompson blew apart with a shotgun.”
Now, a break from the news
Go: From Bushwick to Harlem, with many stops in between, our art critics take stock of the best shows this spring.
Watch: Everything you need to know before “Avengers: Endgame,” in two minutes.
Smarter Living: If buying a used car makes you want to pull your hair out, you’re not alone. There are a few key things to remember. Know which kind of car you need, not the kind you want. Review whether leasing or financing the car makes the most sense for you. Lastly, know the difference between a certified pre-owned and a lemon.
And if you find a lost phone, be sure to return it the right way.
And now for the Back Story on …
If you’re feeling footloose today, there may be a reason: April 29 is International Dance Day, so proclaimed by the performing arts partner of Unesco 37 years ago.
Why this date? It’s the birthday of Jean-Georges Noverre (1727-1810), a choreographer and dance theorist who invented the “ballet d’action,” a forerunner of that staple of dance companies: the evening-length story ballet. (Think “Swan Lake” and “Giselle.”)
Before Noverre, ballets had amounted to spectacular entertainments. He revolutionized the art by introducing pantomime and the idea that a dance could tell stories.
Early in his career, Noverre also had the distinction of serving as the young Archduchess Marie Antoinette’s dancing instructor in Vienna, before her departure for France.
According to Antonia Fraser, whose biography of Marie Antoinette became the basis of Sofia Coppola’s 2006 biopic, the future queen was an apt pupil, admired for her graceful port de bras and elegant bearing.
Their friendship helped his career, until the French Revolution. He managed to escape the guillotine and lived until 1810 in the Paris suburb of St. Germain en Laye.
A correction: Thursday’s Morning Briefing misstated how the Russian chemist Dmitiri Mendeleev arranged the first recognizable periodic table. It was by atomic weight, not by atomic number.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson, Eleanor Stanford and Kenneth R. Rosen for the break from the news. Marina Harss, who writes about dance for The Times, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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