U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says China and Southeast Asian nations should resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea without threats or force. U.S. is making an effort to work more closely with Indonesia to help mediate those rival maritime claims.

The prime ministers of India and Pakistan agreed Sunday to restore cross-border calm after a spate of shootings threatened a decade-long ceasefire in the disputed Kashmir region. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif for more than an hour on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, to discuss a series of fatal clashes on their de facto Himalayan border.

A Bahraini court has sentenced 50 people to between five and 15 years in jail for setting up a group that organises anti-government protests, and that authorities say is working to topple the government by force, activists say. Bahrain has seen almost daily protests by members of the Shia Muslim majority since February 2011, when it crushed a Shia-led uprising demanding that the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty give up power.

Sudan is literally on fire. The past five days in Sudan were filled with blocked roads, gas stations on fire, and live ammunition at the funerals of dead protesters, and there have been multiple reports of live ammunition and heavy tear gas in multiple neighborhoods just this afternoon.

With the international world’s increasing negative views of China, its rising economic power, and a history of ethnic unrest, how will changes in internet censorship in Shanghai’s free trade zone affect China’s economic growth and the Chinese people? As a way to stimulate economic growth, China will lift internet censorship in the Shanghai free trade zone of a number of foreign websites which includes Facebook and Twitter.

The five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council have agreed on a resolution that will require Syria to give up its chemical weapons, but the text will not threaten the use of force for a failure to comply, officials said. The office of the American ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, announced the deal.

As our tour bus full of Christian pilgrims rolls out of Jerusalem, the Jewish guide reads a poetic description of the Israeli settlement Itamar, a place where, we are told, the fields are carpeted in scarlet poppies and blue pansies and the deer “run free … and skip from hill to dale.” Mid-poem, a woman snaps a photo of the Israeli-built cement separation wall just before we cross a checkpoint into the West Bank. Now we’re heading into the heart of the land where Palestinians want to build a state and Israeli settlers want to build Greater Israel.

September 25, 2013

This week on the Listening Post: Presidents, propaganda and channelling the media to get the message out: a look at the similarities and differences between Syria in 2013 and Iraq 10 years ago. As the crisis in Syria deepens, the diplomatic battle outside the country – being fought out in the global media – intensifies.