A Sri Lankan soldier stands guard near St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

A Sri Lankan official said Tuesday an initial investigation shows the Easter Sunday bombings were in retaliation for a terrorist attack on in New Zealand, Reuters and AFP first reported.

The latest: Police have arrested 40 suspects but no group has claimed responsibility for the church and hotel bombings, which killed 321 people. Sri Lanka's Junior Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament they were carried out by 2 extremist groups, National Thawheed Jama’ut (NTJ) and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim, in response to the March shootings inside 2 Christchurch mosques.

Details: Sri Lanka enacted an emergency law Tuesday, giving police and the military special powers to counter militant strikes.

  • It emerged Priyalal Disanayaka, Sri Lanka's deputy inspector general of police, sent a letter on April 11 warning the directors of four Sri Lankan security agencies the NTJ was plotting suicide attacks against churches in Sri Lanka, per AP.
  • Among those arrested for the attacks is the driver of a van allegedly used by suicide bombers involved in one of the attacks, AP reports.
  • The FBI will assist in the investigation.
  • Sri Lanka began a national day of mourning, as relatives began to bury loved ones killed in the attacks.

Go deeper: Sri Lanka's deadliest terror attack ever shakes a delicate balance

Go deeper

Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Louisiana coast as Category 2 storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta is "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain," per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: The hurricane was producing maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 mph and stronger gusts after making landfall on the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 2 storm earlier Wednesday.

Supreme Court rejects GOP push to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a request by Republicans to shorten North Carolina's deadline for mail-in ballots from nine to three days.

The big picture: This is the latest of a series of decisions over mail-in ballot deadlines in various states.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

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