5 things to know for March 15: New Zealand attacks, N Korea, Brexit, climate protests

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Foreign editor for Radio New Zealand Graeme Acton comments on the mosque shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, stating the incident has shocked the whole country to the core.

Posted: Mar. 15, 2019 9:02 AM

Christchurch, New Zealand is reeling today, after mass shootings at two mosques. Let's get right to that and what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1.New Zealand mosque attacks

At least 49 people were killed in Christchurch after gunmen opened fire on two mosques. Dozens more are injured, many of them seriously, and the death toll is expected to rise. Three men and one woman have been arrested, with one man, 28, charged with murder. Witnesses say the man strolled in and opened fire on innocent worshipers. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was a well-coordinated attack and called this "one of New Zealand's darkest days."

This type of shocking terror attack is almost unheard-of in New Zealand, one of the world's safest countries. An attacker reportedly livestreamed the massacre in a graphic, 17-minute post on Facebook, which was soon pulled down from the social media platform. An 87-page manifesto believed to belong to one attacker also has emerged, filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Get the latest on this horrific attack here as well as pictures from the scene.

2. North Korea

North Korea might suspend nuclear talks with the US. The North's deputy foreign minister says the country has "no intention to yield to the US demands" or continue negotiations. She said Pyongyang was disappointed in the breakdown in negotiations during last month's summit in Vietnam between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump, and she blamed the US delegation, saying the Americans were inflexible and too demanding. The US hasn't commented yet on the minister's comments.

3. College admissions scandal

Investigators who discovered what's been called the biggest college admissions cheating scandal ever weren't even looking for it. They were investigating a totally separate case when they got a tip. It came from a financial executive who was being investigated by the feds in a fraud case. This executive, in a bid to save his own skin, told them that a soccer coach had accepted bribes to help the executive's daughter get into Yale, The Wall Street Journal reported. Investigators took it from there.

4. Brexit

The United Kingdom is supposed to leave the European Union two weeks from today. But it's unclear now if that timeline will hold. Yes, lawmakers voted yesterday to delay Brexit (and rejected a call for a second referendum), but now the ball is in the hands of EU leaders. They'll have to agree to give the UK more time, and there's no guarantee that will happen. The EU wants the UK to have a withdrawal deal in place before agreeing to the delay. But the UK Parliament has already shot down such a deal twice, by big margins. So, the pressure once again is on Prime Minister Theresa May to craft a withdrawal deal that UK lawmakers will accept.

5. Climate change walkouts

Tens of thousands of students all over the globe are walking out of class today and hitting the streets to protest lax government action on climate change. The Global Climate Strike is taking place in more than 100 countries. The strikes got started in Australia and New Zealand, with students marching in front of government buildings, chanting and hoisting signs that read, "Change the politics. Not the climate." There will be walkouts today in almost every US state, as well. You can meet some of the teens participating and keep up with the latest here.



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