U.S. suspects use of chemical weapons
The State Department said the Syrian government might be renewing its use of chemical weapons, citing a suspected chlorine attack in northwest Syria, and maintaining that any use of such weapons would lead the U.S. and its allies to “respond quickly and appropriately.” The Trump administration said the suspected attack took place Sunday in the Idlib area, the final stronghold of rebels who have tried to topple the government of President Bashar Assad. Morgan Ortagus, a State Department spokeswoman, said the U.S. was continuing to investigate the suspected attack. Independent monitoring groups and foreign news organizations have not issued any notable reports of a chemical weapons attack Sunday. Ortagus did not specify what the United States might do to punish Assad.
Terror charge in mosque attack case
The Australian man accused of fatally shooting dozens of Muslim worshipers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, has been charged with carrying out a terrorist act, police said. Brenton H. Tarrant, 28, already faced 50 counts of murder and 40 counts of attempted murder after the massacre on March 15. An additional murder charge was lodged against him Tuesday, in relation to the death in Christchurch Hospital earlier this month of another man who was shot in the attack. If he is found guilty, both the murder and terrorism charges are punishable by life in prison.
House speaker to resign amid scandal
Tennessee’s embattled House Speaker Glen Casada plans to resign following a vote of no confidence by his Republican caucus amid a scandal over explicit text messages. Casada announced the decision just a day after shrugging off a secret ballot vote from his GOP caucus determining they no longer had confidence in his ability to lead the Tennessee House. Casada has been dogged by calls to resign since it was revealed he exchanged text messages containing sexually explicit language about women with his former chief of staff several years ago, among other controversies.