Apr 25, 2019

Sri Lanka defense secretary resigns after Easter Sunday suicide bombings

Security outside St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo three days after the Easter Sunday attack. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka's defense secretary has resigned at the request of President Maithripala Sirisena amid concerns that the government did not act on intelligence-based warnings before the Easter Sunday suicide bombings, the AP reports.

Between the lines: Indian intelligence officials warned the government of a pending attack as early as April 4, with one police official sending a memo to Sri Lankan security agencies on April 11 alerting them to the threat of suicide bombings at churches, the New York Times has reported. Officials are also warning of a possible new attack by the same terrorist group targeting Sufi shrines, according to a letter obtained by the Times. The U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka issued a warning Thursday to avoid "places of worship" this weekend.

Go deeper: Sri Lanka minister says bombings were in retaliation for New Zealand attacks

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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.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korean President Moon Jae-in increased the country's infectious disease alert to red, the highest level, as the number of cases there jumped to 602 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures Sunday, with several towns in northern Italy effectively in lockdown as it confirmed two deaths and infections rose to 79.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour 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 2 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).