Mar 6, 2018

Sri Lanka declares state of emergency amid anti-Muslim riots

Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka has declared a 10-day state of emergency as authorities attempt to quell violent riots between the Buddhist and Muslim communities in the city of Kandy, reports The Guardian.

What's happening: The violence was reportedly set off after a group of Muslim men were accused of killing a Sinhala Buddhist in the nearby town of Digana. Buddhist hardliners responded by lighting Muslim shops on fire, killing at least one Muslim man, and defying a police curfew, prompting the government to declare the first state of emergency since the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2011.

The backdrop: The island nation of 22 million is comprised of four main religious groups: Buddhists (70.2%), Hindus (12.6%), Muslims (9.7%) and Christians (7.4%). Communal tensions have been a constant of Sri Lankan life for decades, but they've run especially high in the years following the civil war, as Buddhist nationalists have grown more emboldened behind mainstream political support.

Go deeper

House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health