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The New Zealand flag on a Wellington Parliament building. Photo: Marty Melville/AFP/Getty Images

The Australian man accused of killing 51 people in 2 New Zealand mosques faces fresh charges including engaging in a terrorist act, Christchurch police said in a statement Tuesday.

Details: Police said they also filed 1 additional charge of murder and 2 more of attempted murder against Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28. That brings the total number of murder and attempted murder charges to 51 and 40, respectively. The death toll from the Christchurch shootings rose to 51 after a Turkish national died of his injuries this month.

Why it matters: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the suspect a terrorist soon after the March 15 shootings. But this is the first charge filed that alleges a terrorist act was carried out in the South Island's most populous city. It'll be a test case of a 2002 terrorism law, brought in after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the U.S., per AP.

What's next? Tarrant, a self-proclaimed white supremacist who was ordered by a judge to undergo a psychiatric assessment to determine his fitness to stand trial, is due to face court on June 14.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump can't quit mainstream media

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa are interviewed by Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" in September. Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa issued a rebuttal on Friday to a statement by former President Donald Trump that misrepresented their reporting — and once again showed the 45th president's thin skin about mainstream media.

Driving the news: "Former President Trump said ... our book, 'Peril,' implied that he was planning to go to war with China," the statement begins. "[W]e report that Chairman of Joint Chiefs Mark Milley 'believed that Trump did not want a war' before or after the 2020 election."

NY declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron COVID variant

Governor Kathy Hochul makes an announcement about a new plan transforming Penn Station on Nov. 3, 2021. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases and the newly-identified Omicron variant of the virus.

Driving the news: The declaration enables the state to acquire supplies to fight a potential surge in cases, increase hospital capacity and combat potential staff shortages, NBC's local affiliate reports.

4 hours ago - Health

First cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant discovered in U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Two cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant were detected in the United Kingdom overnight, the U.K. Health Security Agency announced Saturday.

Why it matters: The discovery comes as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.