The coffins of Khalid Mustafa and his son, Hamza Mustafa, 15. Photo: WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

New Zealand Police believe the Christchurch terrorist attack suspect was on his way to another target when they stopped him, according to Mike Bush, the commissioner of police.

What he's saying: "We strongly believe we stopped him on the way to a further attack, so lives were saved," he said Wednesday morning local time.

The latest: The first funerals of the attack victims began taking place in Christchurch around lunchtime Wednesday local time. Khalid Mustafa, 44, and his 15-year-old son, Hamza Mustafa, who arrived as refugees from Syria in 2018, were the first to be buried. A total of 6 funerals had taken place by the end of the day. Others are planned for Friday.

  • Post-mortems have been completed on all 50 victims — the remains of 30 were being released to families Wednesday.
  • Canterbury District Health Board said 29 people were still being treated in Christchurch Hospital — 8 were in critical conditions.
  • A girl, 4, was in a critical condition in an Auckland children's hospital and her father remained in a stable condition in another hospital in the North Island city.
  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a 2-minute silence would be held Friday, marking one week since the attacks on two Christchurch mosques.
  • Ardern was welcomed at a local school that lost two students in the attacks with a haka pōhiri — a ceremonial dance.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 11,294,859 — Total deaths: 531,419 — Total recoveries — 6,078,552Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Protesters toss Columbus statue into Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Christopher Columbus statue in Columbus Piazza in Little Italy on April 9, 2015 in Baltimore. Photo: Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Protesters in Baltimore on Saturday toppled a statue of Christopher Columbus and tossed it into the city's Inner Harbor, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Why it matters: It's the latest monument toppled by demonstrators during the protests against racism and police brutality. Statues of Confederate soldiers and slave owners have been a flashpoint in the protests.

Protester dies after car drives through closed highway in Seattle

Protesters gather on Interstate 5 on June 23, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. Photo: David Ryder/Getty Images

One person is dead and another is in serious condition after a car drove onto a closed freeway in Seattle early Saturday and into protesters against police brutality, AP reports.

  • "Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died in the evening at Harborview Medical Center, spokesperson Susan Gregg said."

Where it stands: The suspect, Dawit Kelete of Seattle, fled the scene after hitting the protesters, and was later put in custody after another protester chased him for about a mile. He was charged with two counts of vehicular assault. Officials told the AP they did not know whether it was a targeted attack, but the driver was not impaired.