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An oil tanker cruises towards the Strait of Hormuz off the shores of Khasab in Oman. Photo: Getty Images

The crews of two oil tankers were evacuated and the U.S. Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet told AP it's assisting after a "reported attack" on the vessels near the strategic Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

Details: The Bermuda-based Frontline Ltd. said its vessel Front Altair was on fire, per the Wall Street Journal. BSM Ship Management, which manages the other vessel, Kokuka Courageous, said in a statement that one crewman was "slightly injured" in the incident. International Tanker Management, which manages Front Altair, issued a statement saying it's "urging nations to defuse tension" after the "attacks."

What we know: The 5th Fleet said in a statement on its website it received two separate distress calls at 6:12 a.m. and 7:00 a.m Bahrain time. The U.K. Maritime Trade Operations, operated by the British Navy, issued an alert earlier Thursday saying it was assisting with an unspecified incident in the region.

  • Japan’s Trade Ministry said the oil tankers had "Japan-related cargo" as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was wrapping up a high-stakes visit in Iran, which sought to ease tensions between Tehran and Washington, according to AP.
  • Iran’s state-run news agency IRNA said its navy had rescued 44 crew members from the tankers "which were hit by explosions."
  • Oil prices jumped 4% to more than $62 a barrel at one point after the latest incident was reported, according to CNBC.

The big picture: The reported attacks come a month after Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers sustained "significant damage" in sabotage attacks off the United Arab Emirates coast. BIMCO Head of Maritime Security Jakob P. Larsen said in the company's statement "the tension in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf is now as high as it gets without being an actual armed conflict."

The state of play, per the New York Times: "The attacks escalated tensions in an already tense region, where Iran has long been at odds with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and they are backing opposite sides in the civil war in Yemen. Relations between the United States — allied with the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia — and Iran have also worsened."

Go deeper: Saudi Arabia: 2 oil tankers damaged in sabotage attacks near UAE

Go deeper

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Apple's quarterly sales top $100 billion for first time

Credit: Apple

Spurred by strong sales of the latest iPhones, Apple reported it took in a record $111 billion in revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31, as the company crushed expectations.

Why it matters: The move showed even a pandemic didn't dull demand for Apple's latest smartphones.