Chang Choon didn't get much sleep as he prepared to travel to North Korea this week to see his brother and sister for the first time in more than six decades. But the anticipation of what he called the wish of a lifetime was shattered after North Korea abruptly cancelled planned reunions for families separated by the Korean War.

The Kremlin on Sunday accused Washington of trying to sabotage a U.S.-Russian agreement for Syrian leader Bashar Assad to surrender his chemical arsenal. “Our U.S. partners are beginning to blackmail us," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday in an interview with the First Channel, a state-owned television network.

Sri Lankans in the north vote on Saturday in provincial elections for the first time in 25 years. During the country's long civil war, the region served as the base for separatist rebels belonging to the Tamil Tigers.

Russia’s diplomatic intervention in the Syria crisis has received much praise from politicians and media outlets around the world. In a sense, the praise is deserved: by finally pushing the Assad regime into negotiations, Russia has halted – at least for the time being – a universally undesired military action.

September 19, 2013

So is America "war-weary"? Commentators beyond counting assure us that is the case. But who is war-weary, and precisely what does that mean? A little precision in our use of words goes a long way. Let's ask that notable gentleman from Prussia, Carl von Clausewitz.

CNN food and travel host Anthony Bourdain's excellent hour-long special on Israel-Palestine, in he which he explores both sides of the green line, begins with a line that could not ring truer for me. "It's easily the most contentious piece of real estate in the world. And there's no hope – none – of ever talking about it without pissing somebody, if not everybody, off," he says of Israel-Palestine and particularly Jerusalem.

US religious and social leader Jesse Jackson urged Colombia on Tuesday to end its almost half a century armed conflict through reconciliation. Jackson was in the South American country to take part in a summit of Afro-descendant leaders held in the Caribbean port city of Cartagena. “I promote reconciliation. I some cases, when you can’t pick one side or the other, one should be siding with reconciliation,” the reverend said during a speech.

Mexico saw the highest number of reported kidnappings in the first half of 2013 since at least 1997, according to a national civil society organization, a figure that reflects the increasing diversification of criminal activities in the country. According to a report from the National Citizen Observatory (ONC), there were 757 reports of kidnappings recorded between January and June this year, the highest number for any semester in the time period 1997 to 2013.