Sri Lanka attacks, Earth Day and Notre Dame's choir sings on: The Morning Rundown

Nearly 300 people were killed and 500 injured in the wave of coordinated Easter Sunday attacks on Christians and foreigners.
Image: St. Sebastian's Church
Officials inspect St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka, after Sunday's explosion.Stringer / Getty Images

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Easter Sunday was marred by extreme violence in Sri Lanka after a wave of coordinated bombings targeting Christians and foreigners killed and injured hundreds.

Here's more on that tragedy and what else we're watching today.


'We never expected it to be so big': Sri Lanka was warned about terrorist plot

Sri Lankan authorities were warned about a terrorist plot two weeks before a series of Easter Sunday blasts that killed at least 290 people, government officials confirmed Monday.

The near-simultaneous explosions hit three churches and three luxury hotels on Sunday, officials said. Police later reported two further explosions. About 500 people were injured and at least 27 foreign nationals were among the dead.

"We never expected it to be so big," Hemasiri Fernando, the chief of staff to Sri Lankan's president, told NBC News. "We never thought it would happen so soon."

Americans are among the victims of the attacks.

Dieter Kowalski, a 40-year-old from Denver who was in Sri Lanka for a business trip, was unaccounted for on Monday.

"And the fun begins," Kowalski posted on Facebook on Friday. "Love these work trips. 24 hours of flying. See you soon Sri Lanka!"

Shoes and belongings of victims of the bombing at St Sebastian's Church in Negombo, Sri Lanka. JEWEL SAMAD / AFP - Getty Images

Beyond the Green New Deal: Another climate cause is dividing Democrats

Today is Earth Day. We take a look at how some 2020 presidential contenders are dealing with the issue of climate change.

Some Democrats are joining the "Keep it in the ground" movement to ban mining, drilling and fracking. Others say that's going too far.

Meantime, for some millennials, the climate change clock is ticking louder than the biological one.

"It’s like you are playing with two ticking time bombs — yours and the planet’s," Erika Lundahl, a Seattle 27-year-old, said.

Chloe Cushman / for NBC News

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Democrats say Trump impeachment proceedings 'possibly coming'

House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said he could foresee the possibility of bringing impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump on Sunday.

"I think [Mueller] basically said to us as a Congress, 'It's up to you to take this further with regard to obstruction and the other matters that might come up,'" Cummings said.

Meantime, Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, said during an interview on "Meet the Press" that Americans had the "right to know" the contents of Democratic emails hacked by Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“They shouldn’t have stolen it, but the American people were just given more information about how deceptive, how manipulative her campaign was,” Giuliani said.


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Plus


THINK about it

Is the Mueller report really a road map for Trump's impeachment? Suzanne Garment, the author of "Scandal: The Culture of Mistrust in American Politics," compares the special prosecutor's report to the Watergate "road map."


Science + Tech = MACH

Circling the Earth above the distortion of the atmosphere, the Hubble telescope is celebrating 29 years of mind-blowing space pictures.

In celebration of the 29th anniversary of the launch of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers released this festive, colorful look at the tentacled Southern Crab Nebula. NASA / ESA / STScI

Live BETTER

Looking for a new warm-weather sport? How about Pickleball. It's the fastest growing sport you've never heard of.

How about a game of pickleball? It's something of a mix between tennis, racquetball and ping pong. YinYang / Getty Images

One hopeful thing

The destructive fire at Notre Dame Cathedral displaced its choir, but the singers say they are not without a home.

Other churches have welcomed the group and they celebrated Easter in a neighboring Paris church. Now they hope to travel and maybe even bring Notre Dame’s music to America.


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

And thanks to my colleagues Patrick and Alex for filling in for me last week.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

If you would like to receive the Morning Rundown in your inbox Monday to Friday, please sign up here.

Thanks, Petra