Iranian sailors dead after 'friendly fire' incident; India, UK ease restrictions, but Brazil struggles as hot spot

The World
A warship sails in the Sea of Oman along side a smaller ship and a landmass shown in the distance.

A warship sails in the Sea of Oman during the first day of joint Iran, Russia and China naval war games in Chabahar port, at the Sea of Oman, Iran, 2019.

Mohsen Ataei/Fars news agency/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via Reuters

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In a "friendly fire" incident, an Iranian missile struck its own support vessel during a training exercise in the Gulf of Oman, reportedly killing at least 19 sailors and wounding 15 others, state media said. The report underscores the severity of the incident, and raises questions about professionalism in the Iranian army.

Iran is also pursuing unconditional talks on prisoner swaps with the United States, saying that it fears Iranian inmates held in the US are at risk for contracting the coronavirus. But a US official says an offer has not yet been put on the table. 

And: This Afghan general fought the Taliban for years. Now he has joined them.

Alleged Iranian drownings of Afghan migrants spark tensions

Earlier this month, a group of about 50 Afghan men and boys, some as young as 11, reportedly entered Iran via a border crossing in northwest Afghanistan. Not long into their journey, survivors say, they were stopped by Iranian border guards who beat them and threw them into a nearby river. Now, 45 are dead, and their families want answers. 

India, UK ease restrictions, but Brazil struggles as hot spot

India is set to gradually restart rail service, planning to operate several hundred special trains for migrant workers — many of whom have been walking hundreds of miles to get to their hometowns, some dying of exhaustion on the way. Several thousand train coaches will also be used as mobile coronavirus wards. 

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson's directive to return to work was met with confusion. But in Scotland, the "stay at home" message remains. 

And while much of the world looks to start opening up, Brazil is becoming a hot spot that can't seem to shut down. President Jair Bolsonaro has scoffed at the pandemic, exacerbating already deep divisions in society.  

And: South Korea struggles to contain new outbreak amid anti-gay backlash

Also: Supreme Court asks MHA to look into restoration of 4G internet in Kashmir, says need balance of security and rights

Russia sends student to COVID-19 wards, 'war crimes' documented in Syria

As Russia struggles to deal with the coronavirus in its antiquated health care system, medical students are being sent to COVID-19 wards to complete requisite training. "This is not volunteering by choice. Coronavirus is dangerous, and they should give people a choice," said one fourth-year student. 

And, actions taken by the Russia-backed Syrian government in the Syrian civil war amount to war crimes, according to Amnesty International. The human rights organization documents at least 18 attacks on civilian infrastructure, including hospitals.  

From The World: Coronavirus postponed Russia’s Victory Day. That could be a problem for Putin.

And: Fiona Hill: Putin has become ‘wild card’ for Russia's political system

Cyberattacks focus on stealing coronavirus-related information

US security officials are preparing to issue a warning that China is working to steal American research to combat the novel coronavirus. A surge of cyberattacks have been reported around the world, as states redirect hackers to home in on virus-related information

And, the US will impose new visa restrictions on journalists from China, as tensions over media continue to mount between the two countries. 

And: As coronavirus spreads in Egypt, Sissi sees opportunity to tighten his grip

Also: Vital Kamerhe, top aide to DRC president, on trial for corruption

Catholic Twitter debates Trump’s handling of coronavirus pandemic

US President Donald Trump wants the Catholic vote. On a conference call with several hundred Catholic educators and many prominent bishops, Trump reportedly described himself as the “best [president] in the history of the Catholic Church.”

In reality, there’s a growing rift within the church on support for the president. A number of prominent Catholics are criticizing Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic — and many have been vocal on Twitter.

And: Trump is culpable in deaths of Americans, says Noam Chomsky

Coronavirus pandemic wilts global flower industry

Mother's Day is a big day for moms — and a huge business day for the flower industry. But this year, with florists closed and countless special events canceled worldwide, things were a little different.

The coronavirus pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the $8.5 billion global industry in cut flowers. It’s affected businesses and people at every stage of the global supply chain, from lily fields in Colombia to tulip auctions in the Netherlands.

Morning meme

Another weekend gone with no raves to speak of? Party people, rejoice. One company is working on a club-safe suit to refresh your nightlife style. 

In case you missed it

Listen: Brazil emerging as a new epicenter of the coronavirus

Three workers are shown wearing white medical protective clothing and masks while carrying a wooden coffing in a small alley.

Workers, wearing protective clothing, carry the coffin of Vandir da Costa, from his house amid the coronavirus outbreak, in Manaus, Brazil May 7, 2020.


Bruno Kelly/Reuters

Brazil has become one of the global epicenters of the coronavirus pandemic, recently surpassing China in the number of reported cases. And, black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die with coronavirus as white people in England and Wales, according to UK government officials. Also, the Puerto Rican indie pop duo Buscabulla have released their debut album "Regresa."

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