Syria, Ecuador, South Africa.
Today's three stories you should know.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad travelled to the United Arab Emirates today as relations between his government and other Arab countries continue to thaw. UAE’s President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan met with Assad and his wife Asma, according to Syrian state media. Sympathy following last month’s Turkey-Syria earthquake appears to have sped up a rapprochement that was already well underway more than 10 years after Syria was expelled from the Arab League over its civil war. The war has now ebbed to a near standstill and, with the support of Russian and Iranian forces, Assad’s government is back in control of most of the country.
More from AP here.
At least 15 people have been killed and more than 400 injured after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake hit Ecuador and northern Peru. Authorities said they were working to assess damage and humanitarian needs while rescuers began searching through rubble for survivors. Footage shared on social media showed panicked residents fleeing from their houses as the ground shook. "We will continue working all weekend," President Guillermo Lasso said in a video on Twitter. "All the ministries are active and have the financial resources to urgently attend to this emergency."
More from Reuters here.
A South African accountant who was an investigator on high-profile corruption cases has been shot dead along with his son in Johannesburg. Cloete Murray, 50, was the liquidator for Bosasa, a company alleged to have been involved in several government contract scandals. He was also working as a liquidator for firms linked to the powerful Gupta brothers, who have been implicated in a bribery scandal. Police said they will investigate whether there is a link between Murray’s work and his murder.
More from BBC here.