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Elon Musk’s Tesla has sent a team to investigate a Chinese viral video, purportedly showing one of its electric cars spontaneously combusting and going up in flames in an indoor parking lot.

The chilling video has been circulating on Chinese social media. The short CCTV clip, reportedly filmed in Shanghai, starts with what appears to be an empty white Tesla Model S parked in an indoor parking lot. Smoke suddenly appears from underneath the electric vehicle. It is almost immediately followed by a bright flash, after which the car bursts into flames.

So far, it hasn’t been possible to independently verify the video, but it nonetheless caught Tesla’s attention. A team was “immediately” dispatched onsite and the company is supporting local authorities in trying “to establish the facts,” the California-based carmaker said.

Safety concerns have been raised in relation to Tesla in the past, as there have been reports of more than a dozen of its vehicles spontaneously catching fire since 2013. The company insists that its electric cars are still safer than petrol-powered ones.

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The World Jewish Congress has condemned as anti-Semitic a tradition upheld by a small Polish town, which involves beating and burning an effigy of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus Christ.

A video showing this year’s celebration of a dubious local tradition in Poland was published by a local news website and drew international attention. The World Jewish Congress has condemned it in a statement on Sunday.

“Jews are deeply disturbed by this ghastly revival of medieval anti-Semitism that led to unimaginable violence and suffering,” CEO Robert Singer said. “We can only hope that the Church and other institutions will do their best to overcome these frightful prejudices which are a blot on Poland’s good name.”

The peculiar rite of “judaszki” or “trial of Judas” is kept by the town of Pruchnik in southeastern Poland, which has a population of about 3,500. With its roots traced back to at least 18th century, the rite is conducted on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

A straw-filled effigy of Judas, which is made as a caricature of a Jewish person with a long nose, is hanged on Thursday next to the local church and stays there overnight. On Friday, a mock trial is held, after which locals drag the effigy along the streets as children run after it and beat it with long sticks representing the 30 silver pieces. The effigy is then cut open and burned down while its remains are thrown into the local Mleczka River.

The tradition used to be honored in other parts of Poland, but the Catholic Church eventually banned it because it tended to trigger anti-Jewish violence, according to a travel guide published by the Polish Tourist Organization. The version held in Pruchnik is the only event which remains.

Folk traditions tinged in anti-Semitism also survive in western parts of neighboring Ukraine, which used to be part of Poland. Traditional nativity scenes there often include a Jewish caricature, usually shown trying to make a profit from the Holy family.

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An international network helped to perpetrate the bloody Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, the nation’s health minister said. The series of coordinated bombings killed 290 people and left hundreds injured.

“We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country,” Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Rajitha Senaratne said on Monday.

He stated that there was “an international network,” without which the attacks “could not have succeeded.”

Suicide bombers set off explosives in several hotels and Catholic churches in different parts of Sri Lanka. An apartment complex was also targeted, and a bomb found near Colombo International Airport was defused.

A total of 24 people were arrested in connection with the attack. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombings, but Senaratne said that the attackers belonged to Islamist group National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ). All of the suicide bombers were Sri Lankan nationals, the minister said.

The government, meanwhile, extended a curfew in the country’s largest city, Colombo, and is set to declare a nationwide emergency, the official said.

Overall, 290 people were killed in the attacks, and hundreds more were injured.

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Iran and Pakistan to create a joint ‘reaction force’ on the border between the two countries, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said.

The announcement came during a two-day visit to Iran by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the first of his tenure.

Iran and Pakistan share a 959km land border. Tehran has been complaining for years about recurring attacks by Pakistani militants on Iranian security forces, with the latest episode reported in February.

The future force, which was announced by the two leaders during a joint media conference after a meeting, is intended to boost border security and foster bilateral ties.

The remote border area has many mountains and is difficult to control. Extremist groups, based on both sides of the border, have been causing trouble for Iranians for quite some time, but Pakistani authorities see them as a problem as well, Vladimir Sazhin, senior research fellow at Russia’s Institute for Oriental Studies, told RT. So it’s quite natural for the two nations to coordinate their efforts in this area.

“Both sides would benefit from it,” he said. “I don’t expect it to be a separate force per se but rather a mechanism for sharing intelligence on what is happening in the area… Iranian border forces won’t tolerate a Pakistani command and Pakistani forces won’t tolerate an Iranian command. It will be a consultative body, I believe.”

Iran and Pakistan have a good foundation of past cooperation to build upon in boosting border security, said Dr. Khuram Iqbal, a terrorism expert and an assistant professor at the National Defense University in Islamabad.

“Both countries have the will to act jointly to deal with the issue of cross-border terrorism. It has happened in the past. When militant organizations conducted attacks inside Iran, Iran shared actionable intelligence with Pakistan. Pakistan acted swiftly and helped Iran to nab the culprits,” he told RT.

One better-publicized example is the capturing of the commander of the Jundallah group, Abdolmalek Rigi, in 2010. He was arrested by Pakistani authorities and handed over to Iran, Iqbal said. Another more recent example was the rescue of five abducted Iranian border guards by Pakistani forces last year. The Pakistanis acted on intelligence provided by Iran, the expert said.

In addition to local insurgency, the border area also serves as a major conduit for trafficking of various sorts, said Iftikhar Lodhi, assistant professor at Nazarbayev University’s Graduate School of Public Policy. Some of it is purely criminal in nature, dealing in drugs or humans. Some has political component in the sense that the area is used by militants to travel between Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan.

“Any effective control of the border would require a highly significant amount of human and financial resources which both countries can’t afford,” he said.

The February suicide bombing attack killed 27 members of the Revolutionary Guards in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province. Rouhani last month demanded decisive actions from Pakistan to crack down on “anti-Iranian terrorists” on its territory.

The Sunni jihadist group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which Tehran accused of perpetrating the bombing against its armed forces, is blamed by Pakistan for targeting its troops in its own Balochistan province last week. The attackers killed 14 members of the security forces. Pakistani officials said the group’s base of support extends into the Iranian border territory where the militants have “training and logistic camps”.

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Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky has secured an impressive victory against incumbent president Petro Poroshenko in Sunday’s run-off, the first official results confirm.

The 41-year-old showman secured over 73 percent of the vote, the Central Election Commission’s latest data shows, with 75 percent of the ballots counted. Poroshenko only managed to rake up a bit over 24 percent of support in the second round of the presidential race, as Ukrainians overwhelmingly turned away from his policies, which have perpetuated the war in Donbass and plunged millions into poverty.

While the final results of the election might not be announced until April 30, the outgoing president has already conceded defeat, consenting to a peaceful transition of power in the country.

In his victory speech, Zelensky promised to ‘reboot’ the Minsk process but at the same time to launch a ‘powerful information war’ to eventually achieve a long-lasting peace in the east of the county. The comedian, who made a name for himself through a parody of corrupt officials, promised to introduce new faces to key government positions.

A number of countries, including the US, have already welcomed the victory of the so-called ‘servant of the people’, while Russia showed cautious optimism about the newcomer, stressing that Zelensky has a chance to show “understanding of the need to unite the people, not on the basis of force, but on the basis of a national agenda.”

At least 290 people were killed in a series of blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, updated casualty figures confirm. The government plans to hold a security council meeting to assess the threat level in the country.

In addition, around 500 people received various injuries when eight coordinated blasts struck churches and hotels in the country, as thousands celebrated Easter Sunday, police said on Monday morning, updating the body count from 207 to 290 victims.

At least 32 foreigners were among those killed. They included American, British, Turkish, Indian, Chinese, Danish, Dutch and Portuguese nationals.

So far security forces have identified and detained 24 suspects allegedly connected with the bombings, which targeted three churches and four luxury hotels. The eighth blast went off inside a house during a security operation later in the afternoon. Three police officers were killed in that explosion. A ninth bomb, apparently targeting Colombo’s international airport, was destroyed in a controlled explosion later in the day.

Even though a curfew, introduced in the wake of the unprecedented terror spree, was lifted on Monday, tight security measures remained in place, with armed military personnel deployed. So far there have been no claims of responsibility for the attacks.

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Indian and Russian warships have arrived at Chinese shores to take part in celebrations and a parade, marking the 70th anniversary of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy and showcasing the forces of a dozen naval powers.

A stealth guided-missile destroyer of the Indian Navy, INS Kolkata, accompanied by tanker INS Shakti, reached the port city of Qingdao on Sunday to take part in the four-day celebration commemorating the founding of the Chinese Navy.

“We bring to you one of the best ships that we have made. It is the pride of the nation and the navy, and we are very happy to be here,” Captain Aditya Hara told reporters.

The most modern Russian frigate, the Admiral Gorshkov, equipped with Caliber cruise missiles, also made a triumphant entry to the Chinese port, firing a 21-gun salute. 

The festivities will culminate with a PLA Navy grand parade on April 23, that will feature around two dozen vessels from over 10 countries, including Japan, Australia, and the Philippines. However, Pakistan, a close Chinese ally yet an arch foe of New Delhi, reportedly will not have its vessels participate.

Beijing plans to debut some of its newest vessels, in an apparent show of growing naval power and amid ongoing Sino-American tensions in the Indo-Pacific. Overall, 32 Chinese warships, including an aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and the latest nuclear submarines, will take part.

China also hopes to use the occasion to foster discussions on the freedom of navigation and other maritime security issues with ‘major naval leaders,’ as delegations from more than 60 countries are expected to attend.

“With its growth, the PLA Navy has provided the world with more and more security products,” Chinese Navy deputy commander Qiu Yanpeng stated.

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A bomb went off near a church in Sri Lanka as it was being defused, a witness has claimed. But local media say that it was a controlled explosion by police, following the horrific attacks that killed 290 people.

A van apparently blew up when a police unit tried to defuse the explosives after cordoning off the area.

Local media, however, reported that it was a controlled explosion near St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Colombo, and that the police cordoned off the area before detonating the device. Local reports suggested that there were no casualties.

Footage from the scene shows a white van parked in the middle of the road, before suddenly exploding.

In another video, officers in fatigues are creating a barrier around the van. A bomb-disposal unit, firefighters and news crews are also present. The van is later seen engulfed in flames, with no signs of casualties around it.

St. Anthony’s church is one of the three Christian places of worship attacked during a series of coordinated bombings on Easter Sunday. Four hotels and an apartment complex were also targeted that day. Another bomb was later discovered near the Colombo International Airport and defused.

Overall, 290 people were killed during the attacks, and hundreds more were injured. 

A total of 24 people were subsequently arrested in connection with the bombings, but so far no group has claimed responsibility. Some government officials said that the perpetrators were local Islamist extremists, aided by an “international network.”

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At least eight people have been killed in the northern Philippines after an earthquake destroyed several buildings there, a local official said, adding that dozens could be trapped under the rubble.

The 6.0 magnitude tremor hit on Monday about 55 km NW of the Philippines capital Manila, according to the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC). Its focus is estimated to be 40km deep. The US Geological Survey (USGS) initially said the magnitude of the quake was 6.3 but later scaled it down to 6.1.

The province of Pampanga was the worst-hit one, its governor, Lilia Pineda told Reuters, adding that eight people died in the quake.

Three people were crushed when a building collapsed in the town of Porac, Pineda said. Two other victims, an elderly woman and her grandchild, were killed in a building collapse in the town of Lubao. She did not provide any details about three more victims, though.

Some 20 people were injured as a result of the disaster while dozens allegedly remain trapped under the rubble after a four-story building went down, crushing a supermarket located on the ground floor, the governor said.

“They can be heard crying in pain,” Pineda told Reuters by phone. “It won’t be easy to rescue them.”

The governor added that the tremor caused a blackout, hampering the response and rescue efforts in her province. The official said that the neighboring province of Zambales was affected as well, with reports of a church collapsing in the town of Castillejos.

In the capital, the train system was suspended after the quake to ensure that it was safe for operation, according to local media. However, no reports of damage emerged from Manila in the immediate aftermath.

Pampanga’s international airport at Clark, a former US military base, was closed following the quake, which damaged some buildings there, including the check-in areas. All flights to and from the airport were canceled.

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Israeli soldiers shot a handcuffed and blindfolded Palestinian teenager who was attempting to flee after being detained for suspected stone-throwing in the West Bank on Thursday.

The minor was detained by the Israeli forces after he had been shot, but was later evacuated by Palestinians to receive medical treatment at Beit Jala near Bethlehem. He appears to have been shot in the groin area.

A witness told Haaretz news agency that the boy is 15 years old.

Video taken at the scene shows Israeli soldiers clashing with a group of Palestinians as they attempted to help the wounded teen.

A spokesperson for the Israeli military said in a statement there had been “massive stone-throwing” near military forces and civilians and confirmed the incident with the teen “who tried to flee after his arrest” and who was “shot in the lower body.” The statement said the incident will be investigated.

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