While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, March 18


In Ethiopia, a day of mourning with empty coffins for plane crash victims

The Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, echoed with the wailing of the bereaved Sunday morning. Mourners dressed in black had streamed into the vast churchyard, waving pictures of loved ones who died in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 a week earlier.

But the mourners did not have bodies to bury.

Many families do not expect to ever recover remains. The victims died in a fiery explosion when the plane hurtled to the ground minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 people - crew and passengers - aboard. In lieu of remains, witnesses have said, officials gave relatives scorched earth from the crash site.

On Sunday, empty coffins made their way into the churchyard on black vans while women beat their chests and screamed in anguish.


Mick Mulvaney says no sign of 'conspiracy' in New Zealand killings

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said there's no sign of a conspiracy in the mosque attacks that killed 50 people in New Zealand, and he rejected suggestions that President Donald Trump has failed to speak out against white supremacists.

"We have no indication that this is part of a larger conspiracy," Mulvaney said on "Fox News Sunday." He said there's been no proposal for added security around mosques in the U.S. in response to the "truly sorrowful and tragic event."

Mulvaney appeared to be saying there's no plot extending beyond New Zealand, as he later noted there is "concern that other folks might be involved down there."

He blamed the attacks in Christchurch on "a disturbed individual, an evil person" and condemned as "absurd" the idea of connecting the killer and Trump's hard-line rhetoric on immigrants and "Islamic terrorists." "The president is not a white supremacist," Mulvaney said.


Black box shows similarities between Lion Air, Ethiopian Airlines crashes: Transport minister

The Ethiopian Air Boeing 737 Max crash had similarities to the Lion Air plane that went down off the coast of Indonesia about five months ago, the nation’s transport minister said, as scrutiny of one of the aircraft’s flight control systems continued to build.

A preliminary study of the flight data recorders show “clear similarities between Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 and Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610”, Dagmawit Moges said Sunday (March 17) at a press conference in Addis Ababa. The findings will be subject to further investigation, and a preliminary report will be released within 30 days, she said.

The Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes involved the same plane model - a Boeing 737 Max 8.

The Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed March 10 minutes after it took off from Ethiopia’s capital, killing all 157 people on board.


Politicians, public swiftly condemn Aussie senator Fraser Anning who punched 'egg boy' in the face

It's a scene fit for 2019.

A swoopy-haired teen, dressed in a T-shirt, positions himself behind Australian Sen. Fraser Anning during a news conference in Melbourne and raises his phone with his left hand. Then, he lifts his right hand and cracks a raw egg on the back of Anning's head.

The far-right lawmaker had sparked outrage Friday when - after a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand claimed at least 50 lives - he said Muslims "may have been the victims today; usually they are the perpetrators".

"The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today," Anning wrote in a statement, "is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place."


UK government warns it might not hold pivotal Brexit vote

British leader Theresa May's government warned Sunday (March 17) it might not hold a planned Brexit vote this week unless it feels it can secure a win that avoids a lengthy delay to pulling out of the EU.

London has been paralysed by political inaction and chaos as it barrels toward the March 29 end of its 46-year involvement in the bloc without a plan.

Parliament has twice resoundingly rejected the separation terms May reached with the other 27 EU leaders at the end of last year.

She doggedly vowed to bring them back by Wednesday for a third vote that - if it succeeds - would see her ask her European counterparts for a "technical" Brexit extension until the end of June.