Here’s the biggest news you missed this weekend

India’s COVID-19 situation remains dire

The COVID-19 crisis in India continues to rage, as the nation of roughly 1.4 billion people set the global record for virus cases in a single day with more than 400,000 new infections reported Saturday. The true number of infections, however, is likely much higher than that, at least one expert says. Based on modeling from a previous surge in India, Dr. Prabhat Jha of the University of Toronto estimates the country’s actual COVID-19 caseloads could be as much as 10 times higher than the official numbers being released. On top of a skyrocketing case count, COVID-19 deaths in India have spiked sharply and vaccine rollout is still in its early stages, with less than 2% of the nation fully vaccinated. The new high in daily cases comes as President Joe Biden’s administration plans to restrict travel from the U.S. to India beginning Tuesday for virus concerns.

  • A second wave of COVID-19 is overwhelming India right now.Here’s what we know.

A relative of a person who died of COVID-19 mourns at a crematorium in Jammu, in Jammu, India, Friday, April 30, 2021. (Photo: Channi Anand, AP)

North Korea warns US after Biden takes hostile stance

North Korea on Sunday warned the United States will face “a very grave situation” because President Joe Biden “made a big blunder” in his recent speech by calling the country a security threat and revealing his intent to maintain a hostile policy against it. Last week, Biden, in his first address to Congress, called North Korea’s and Iran’s nuclear programs “serious threats” to American and world security and said he’ll work with allies to address those problems through diplomacy and stern deterrence. Kwon Jong Gun, a senior North Korean Foreign Ministry official, said the nation “will be compelled to press for corresponding measures,” though he didn’t specify what steps North Korea would take. His statement could be seen as an effort to apply pressure on the Biden administration as it’s shaping up its North Korea policy.

US denies Iran TV report that countries had prisoner swap deal

The United States on Sunday immediately denied a report by Iranian state-run television that deals had been reached for the Islamic Republic to release U.S. and British prisoners in exchange for Tehran receiving billions of dollars. It wasn’t immediately clear if the report represented a move by the hard-liners running the Iranian broadcaster to disrupt negotiations with the West amid talks in Vienna on Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal. It also wasn’t known if there had been any ongoing negotiations with the West over frozen funds and prisoner exchanges, both of which accompanied the 2015 atomic accord. Iranian state TV reported that “four Iranian prisoners are to be released and $7 billion are to be received by Iran in exchange for releasing four American spies,” a claim that State Department spokesman Ned Price swiftly denied was true.

Real quick

  • At least 2 dead, 23 hospitalizedafter boat overturns off San Diego coast, authorities say.
  • The NFL draft wrapped up on Saturday. Here’s how each team fared, according to USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis.
  • Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis, known for her roles in movies like “Steel Magnolias” and “Moonstruck,” has died. She was 89. 
  • Minnesota attorney general requests severe sentence for Derek Chauvin in George Floyd murder.
  • Wisconsin casino shootingleaves 3 dead, including suspect.
  • Andrew Brown Jr.’s familycontinues to wait for video of killing ahead of Monday funeral.
  • Ousted Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch part of Rudy Giuliani federal inquiry, lawyer says.
  • California is reopening, but COVID-19 shutdowns leave the state scarred.

Medina Spirit wins Kentucky Derby

Medina Spirit won the 147th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, giving trainer Bob Baffert his record-setting seventh victory. Jockey John Velazquez rode Medina Spirit, with 12-1 odds, to a win in the first leg of the Triple Crown. Baffert and Velazquez teamed to win the Derby for the second consecutive year, as Authentic won last year’s race that was delayed until Labor Day weekend because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Baffert downplayed his horse’s chances earlier this week, at one point calling Medina Spirit “a cut below those top horses.” But after the race, Baffert said, “He’s an overachiever. His heart is bigger than his body.” An announced crowd of 51,838 at Churchill Downs saw Medina Spirit take home the victory.

  • Opinion: Bob Baffert’s record seventh Kentucky Derby win shows why you should never bet against him.

John Velazquez, aboard Medina Spirit, leads the field down the stretch. (Photo: Michael Clevenger and O'Neil Arnold/Courier Journal)

Splashdown! SpaceX safely returns 4 astronauts to Earth in night landing

Four astronauts safely splashed down off the Florida coast early Sunday, wrapping up their six-month mission to the International Space Station. Victor Glover, Mike Hopkins, Soichi Noguchi, and Shannon Walker were lowered into the Gulf of Mexico by four main parachutes at 2:57 a.m. EDT. SpaceX boats stationed near Panama City quickly swarmed the capsule, named Resilience, and prepped for recovery. After transport to Panama City via helicopter, the crew will fly to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, for a short quarantine period and more detailed medical checkouts. They will receive COVID-19 vaccine doses, too. The mission marked the first long-duration flight for SpaceX and the company’s second with astronauts.

Astronauts in the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule safely splashed down to Earth, wrapping up their six-month mission to the International Space Station.


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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press.

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