World roundup: March 15 2023
Stories from North Korea, Russia, Ecuador, and elsewhere
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited Russia on Wednesday for some one-on-one time with his patron, Vladimir Putin, presumably to discuss the eventual (I guess) rebuilding of war- and earthquake-torn Syria as well as the prospects for improving relations between the Syrian and Turkish governments. Moscow has been trying to achieve the latter for some time now, in large part because settling that particular beef would go a long way toward freeing up Russian military assets that are still tied down in Syria. They’ve made some progress but the forthcoming Turkish election probably puts at least a temporary freeze on the process. As to the former, it’s unclear what resources Russia could possibly devote to Syrian reconstruction at this point, and increasingly it seems like that process will depend on Assad’s ability to patch things up with Gulf Arab states like the UAE and Saudi Arabia.