Assad visits Moscow: The Syrian leader has made an unannounced trip to the Russian capital where he met with Vladimir Putin, the country’s president, and thanked him for his intervention in Syria’s civil war. Russia has launched airstrikes and missile strikes against Syrian rebels fighting Assad. The trip is Assad’s first one overseas since 2011. Update: More here
Paul Ryan’s bid for speaker: As Russell reported last night, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee will bow to the growing calls in his party that he run for House speaker. But he has a condition: He will agree to serve only if he has near-unanimous support.
EU cracks down on tax deals: Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, says a tax-avoidance deal Starbucks had with the Netherlands and a financing unit of Fiat Chrysler had with Luxembourg amounted to state aid. The two countries have been asked to retrieve about $34 million each from the two companies.
‘Clock’ teen to move to Qatar: Ahmed Mohamed, the Muslim high-schooler whose homemade clock became a national story because his teachers in Texas thought it resembled a bomb, is moving to Qatar with his family. He is getting a full scholarship to study there from a foundation that works with several American universities. Mohamed visited the White House this week for astronomy night. Last week, Mohamed, whose father has run for president in his native Sudan, met with that country’s leader, Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur.
And it’s Back to the Future day.