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Vox Sentences: “A very big mistake!”

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Iran’s attack on a US drone points to the possibility of violence; India faces a water crisis.

Iran shoots down US drone, further escalating tensions

Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/MCT via Getty Images
  • Iran shot down a US drone on Thursday, increasing the risk of potential war between the two countries. [AP / Nasser Karimi and Jon Gambrell]
  • This is the first attack on the US during the past few months of tension — but the two countries’ accounts of the incident are very different. While Iran claims it targeted the drone because it was in Iranian airspace, the US said the drone was flying in international airspace. [Politico / Quint Forgey, Burgess Everett, Eliana Johnson, and Connor O’Brien]
  • The unmanned, unarmed drone flies at high altitudes, which usually makes it difficult to take out. Iran’s message is clear: It is ready to defend itself against what it sees as Western aggression, and has the capability to do so. [USA Today / John Bacon]
  • President Donald Trump said Iran “made a very big mistake” by shooting down a US drone, which could have been read as his intent to retaliate against Tehran. The president later clarified, saying, “I find it hard to believe it was intentional.” [BBC]
  • Trump has also made it clear that the episode would have been far more serious if an American pilot had been injured in the event. [NYT / Helene Cooper, Michael D. Shear, and Thomas Gibbons-Neff]
  • Following the attack, Trump’s top national security aides have been summoned to the White House to talk about Iran. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged them to proceed with caution. [CBS News]
  • It doesn’t help that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton are Iran hawks. Many are saying that they might be setting the scene for war. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • Both the Trump administration and Iran have said they don’t want a war. Yet recent events — alleged Iranian attacks on oil tankers, the US sending more troops to the Middle East, the drone attack — could increase the chances of conflict. [CNN / Stephen Collinson]

A water crisis hits India

  • A delay in monsoon rains and record-high temperatures are leading to major water shortages in India. [BBC]
  • Chennai, India’s sixth-largest city, with nearly 5 million residents, has been hit hardest by the water crisis. The four reservoirs that supply the city’s water are nearly dry, with only a few pockets of water left. [CNN / Paul P. Murphy and Gianluca Mezzofiore]
  • The city’s residents have resorted to using well water, which is usually not clean enough to drink, and water delivered by trucks. Many, however, cannot even afford water, whose price has jumped since the beginning of the shortage. [CBS News / Arshad R. Zargar]
  • More than 550 people were arrested Wednesday in the city of Coimbatore as they protested outside the municipal government headquarters, accusing officials of negligence and mismanagement. [CNN / Jessie Yeung and Swati Gupta]
  • The future of India’s water supply is grim: The country predicts that 21 cities, including Chennai and the capital, New Delhi, will run out of groundwater by 2020, ultimately affecting about 100 million people. [First Post / Bhasker Tripathi]
  • Part of the water shortage is caused by climate change: The monsoon season has been growing weaker in South Asia, and rainfall has been below average in the region for the past five years. [Al Jazeera]
  • India’s heat waves have also been growing more intense in the past decade. This year, the temperature has reached 123 degrees Fahrenheit, claiming at least 36 lives since May. [NYT / Mujib Mashal]
  • The government has created a new Ministry of Water Power on Thursday to tackle the water crisis. As Indian President Ram Nath Kovind has acknowledged, water shortages will be one of India’s biggest challenges of the 21st century. [AP]


  • Chemotherapy is hard — especially for children, who don’t often have the words to communicate their experiences and emotions. Health professionals think this robotic duck could help. [Washington Post / Peter Holley]
  • Many people have been grumbling about capitalism taking over Pride Month. Elle’s R. Eric Thomas says he’s embracing it anyway. [Elle / R. Eric Thomas]
  • For the first time ever, marine biologists have recorded the mating call of the rare male eastern North Pacific right whale — it’s estimated that fewer than 30 of the species remain. [CNN / Amy Woodyatt]
  • On the Norwegian island of Sommaroey, the sun doesn’t set for 69 days in the summer. Residents want to go “time-free” during this period with more flexible school and working hours. [AP]
  • At age 100, Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins took up running. At 103, she ran the 100-meter dash. [NYT / Sarah Mervosh]


“Iran made a very big mistake!” [President Donald Trump on Iran’s attack on a US drone]

Watch this: When white supremacists overthrew a government

The hidden history of an American coup. [YouTube / Ranjani Chakraborty]

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