U.S. pressures Iraq to isolate Iran — The United States’ attempts to isolate Iran, including by punishing Iraqi militias and politicians who are supported by Iranian officials, has deepened tensions not only between Washington and Baghdad but also within the Trump administration. U.S. military and intelligence officials said the increasing pressure on Iraq risks infuriating its parliament, which could limit the movements of the 5,200 U.S. troops based in Iraq. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is leading the push for Iraq to confront its fellow Shiite-majority neighbor. He arrived in the Middle East on Tuesday to speak with officials in Kuwait, Israel and Lebanon about containing Iran.
New Zealand PM to avoid using suspect’s name — The man accused of carrying out the attack that killed 50 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, is expected to represent himself in court, but the country’s prime minister said Tuesday that she wants to do everything possible to deny him the attention he craves. “He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in an address to Parliament. “But he will, when I speak, be nameless. And to others I implore you, speak the names of those who were lost, rather than the name of the man who took them.”
Pope rejects resignation of French cardinal — Pope Francis has rejected the resignation of a French cardinal, the Vatican announced Tuesday, despite the cardinal’s conviction this month for covering up decades-old allegations of sexual abuse by a priest in his diocese. A French court found Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, guilty March 7 of failing to report abuse to authorities and imposed a six-month suspended sentence. Barbarin, 68, promptly offered to resign, though he is appealing the verdict. He met with Pope Francis on Monday to hand in his resignation, but both the cardinal and a Vatican spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, said the pope had not accepted it.
Cyclone rescuers struggle to reach victims — Rescue workers struggled Tuesday to reach areas devastated by a huge cyclone in Mozambique, as heavy rains swelled rivers and further isolated flooded communities in what aid agencies called the worst natural disaster in southern Africa in two decades. In central Mozambique, the area hit hardest by Cyclone Idai, overflowing rivers created “an inland ocean” where countless people were still marooned, a United Nations official said. Rescue workers reported seeing people on rooftops and in trees days after the storm struck. In areas near the rivers, homes were submerged, with water rising near the tops of telephone poles.
Forces in Syria arrest suspects in attack — U.S.-backed forces in northern Syria have captured a group suspected of organizing a bomb attack that killed four Americans and a number of allied Syrian militia fighters in January, a spokesman for the local forces said Tuesday. Mustafa Bali wrote on Twitter that his group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, had used “technical surveillance” to find and arrest the suspects. The bombing, on Jan. 16, was the deadliest attack on Americans in Syria since Washington began a military campaign against the jihadis of the Islamic State group in 2014, and it occurred in an area the United States had considered safe.
President of Kazakhstan resigns — After 30 years in power, the aging president of Kazakhstan jolted the oil-rich former Soviet republic and the region Tuesday with the surprise announcement he was resigning. Nursultan Nazarbayev, 78, the last surviving president in Central Asia to have steered his country to independence after the Soviet Union collapsed, stepped away from running daily affairs, but maintained considerable authority over the sprawling country sandwiched between Russia and China. While Kazakhs welcomed the announcement as the potential start of a new era, analysts surmised the Kremlin would see it in a negative light by drawing attention to the nearly 20-year-old leadership of President Vladimir Putin.
Kushner firm flouted rules, endangered tenants — A New York City councilman accused the Kushner family real estate company on Tuesday of putting tenants in danger by allowing several of its buildings to avoid safety inspections. New York Oversight Committee Chair Ritchie Torres said his investigation showed that the firm once run by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has been renting apartments to hundreds of tenants in nine buildings with certificates of occupancy that expired months or years ago. Torres also said that the company has been trying to push low-paying tenants out of its buildings and didn’t want the regulatory scrutiny that comes with inspections required to renew the certificates.
Study: Smoking strong pot daily raises psychosis risk — Smoking high-potency marijuana every day could increase the chances of developing psychosis by nearly five times, according to the biggest-ever study to examine the impact of pot on psychotic disorder rates. The research adds to previous studies that have found links between marijuana and mental health problems, but still does not definitively pinpoint marijuana as the cause. Psychotic disorders — in which people lose touch with reality — are typically triggered by factors including genetics and the environment.
Floodwaters threaten crop, livestock losses — Farmer Jeff Jorgenson knows he probably won’t plant this year. The rising water that has damaged hundreds of Midwest homes and been blamed for three deaths has also taken a heavy toll on agriculture, inundating thousands of acres, threatening stockpiled grain and killing livestock. In Fremont County, Iowa, alone, Jorgenson estimates that more than a million bushels of corn and nearly half a million bushels of soybeans have been lost after water overwhelmed grain bins.