1. High Stakes

    Russia to Syria: Hand Over Your Weapons

    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem (L) gives a press conference with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on September 9, 2013 following a meeting in Moscow. Muallem is in Russia for talks with the top global ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as expectations grow of military action against the regime. Russia has vehemently opposed US-led strikes against the Assad regime, warning it could destabilize the whole Middle East, and President Vladimir Putin has vowed to help Syria if it was hit.                      AFP PHOTO / YURI KADOBNOV        (Photo credit should read YURI KADOBNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

    Yuri Kadobnov/AFP/Getty

    Progress? Russia has backed Secretary of State John Kerry’s challenge to Syria to put its chemical weapons under international control in order to avoid a U.S. strike—and Syria's foreign minister reportedly "welcomes" the idea. The White House and State Dept., however, are treading cautiously, calling the news a "positive development" but one that doesn't rule out military action. "We've been highly skeptical to date," national security adviser Ben Rhodes told MSNBC. "They have not even declared their chemical weapons stockpiles."

    Read it at Politico