World roundup: December 17 2021
Stories from India, Ukraine, Chile, and more
We’re wrapping up a little earlier than usual this evening because of a family commitment. Anything I miss will be covered in Sunday’s roundup. Thanks for reading!
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
The International Energy Agency says that global coal-fired electricity generation is set to hit an all-time high this year, obviously bad news from a climate-change perspective. India and China are driving most of the increase. The global recovery from COVID boosted demand for energy overall and rising natural gas prices particularly boosted demand for coal.
A Houthi attack in northern Yemen’s Hajjah province on Thursday killed at least 14 Sudanese mercenaries fighting on behalf of the Yemeni government and Saudi Arabia. There are still a few thousand Sudanese fighters in Yemen, though their numbers are substantially reduced from what they were earlier in the war.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Houthi officials have asked the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, which still has the country under an air and sea blockade, to allow Iranian “ambassador” Hassan Irloo to leave Yemen. Irloo is an officer with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who was brought into northern Yemen last year ostensibly as Tehran’s ambassador to the Houthis. In reality he’s been working as a military adviser, but his presence may have become a political liability for the Houthis by highlighting their ties to Iran. The WSJ report says the Saudis are asking for a prisoner release in exchange for letting Irloo fly out of Sanaa and will only let him leave on a non-Iranian (which likely means Omani or possibly Iraqi) flight.