What We're Following This Afternoon

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

Brussels attacks, cont’d: The Belgian federal prosecutor has identified two of the men who carried out Tuesday’s attacks in Brussels. A third suspect is still on the run, the prosecutor said.

Jeb Bush endorses Ted Cruz: As Priscilla notes: “The former Florida governor’s endorsement is the latest show of confidence that the establishment is putting its weight behind the U.S. senator from Texas.” Still, Trump, who won Arizona, the big prize in last night’s contests, is the front-runner.

Flint water crisis, cont’d: The Flint Water Advisory Task Force, the governor’s panel that looked into the elevated levels of lead in the Michigan city’s water supply, has attributed the problem to “government failure, intransigence, unpreparedness, delay, inaction, and environmental injustice.” Here’s an excerpt:

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) failed in its fundamental responsibility to effectively enforce drinking water regulations. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) failed to adequately and promptly act to protect public health. Both agencies, but principally the MDEQ, stubbornly worked to discredit and dismiss others’ attempts to bring the issues of unsafe water, lead contamination, and increased cases of Legionellosis (Legionnaires’ disease) to light. With the City of Flint under emergency management, the Flint Water Department rushed unprepared into fulltime operation of the Flint Water Treatment Plant, drawing water from a highly corrosive source without the use of corrosion control. Though MDEQ was delegated primacy (authority to enforce federal law), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delayed enforcement of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), thereby prolonging the calamity. Neither the Governor nor the Governor’s office took steps to reverse poor decisions by MDEQ and state-appointed emergency managers until October 2015, in spite of mounting problems and suggestions to do so by senior staff members in the Governor’s office, in part because of continued reassurances from MDEQ that the water was safe. The significant consequences of these failures for Flint will be long-lasting. They have deeply affected Flint’s public health, its economic future, and residents’ trust in government.

You can read the full report here. Our most recent story on the Flint crisis is here.

News from the morning here