Apr 24, 2019

Saudi Arabia beheads 37 citizens convicted of terrorism

Photo: Billal Bensalem/NurPhoto/Getty Images

In the largest mass execution since 2016, Saudi Arabia publicly beheaded 37 citizens for alleged links to terrorism, reports CBS News.

Why this matters: The executed citizens were mostly Shia Muslims, a religious minority in Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia. This will likely add to the growing tensions between the Gulf state and Iran, the predominantly Shia power in the region. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has been trying to curb Iran's influence in the Middle East since his rise to power.

What they're saying: Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad, Javad Zarif, publicly criticized both the Saudi royal family and the Trump administration over the executions. However, Iran has executed more people than any country other than China over the past several years, according to Amnesty International.

Details: The official Saudi Press Agency said the condemned men were "aiming at destabilizing security, spreading sedition and chaos, and harming the homeland."

Go deeper: Saudi Crown Prince: Iran's supreme leader "makes Hitler look good"

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South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures as coronavirus cases jump

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy step up emergency measures in their countries amid rising case numbers on Sunday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,462 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korea increased the infectious disease alert to red, the highest possible, as its case numbers jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures, with several towns in the north effectively placed in lockdown, as it confirmed two deaths and infections rose to 79.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).