Obama, Putin meet amid rising tensions

More than 150 world leaders gathered in New York City for the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, each with different diplomatic priorities and interests.

 Russia knows that soft power requires hard power. Given the mutually hurting stalemate in Syria, the only way to convince Assad that the terms of peace will not be against his interests was to back him up militarily. 

I [Giorgos Moutafis] have documented violence, despair and helplessness with my lens more times than I can possibly remember. But I have honestly never seen anything like that before: terrified and beleaguered people trying to cross the borders, children screaming and crying and families being separated between the two countries. 

From music diplomacy in the Middle East to sports and culinary exchanges in the Americas.

This is Conflict Café, a month-long pop-up restaurant that uses food as a vehicle for dialogue on conflict and peace building. Organized by London-based peace building charity International Alert, each week of the pop-up brings a new chef and cuisine from the many regions in which the organization works. 

Malek Jandali wants to use what he calls the “soft power” of his art to bring about a solution [to the effects of war]. A classical composer and part-time Atlanta resident, Jandali wants to use music to unite, and he plans to do that in an unusual way.

Natasha Rastegari speaks to a family seeking refuge in Iraq. 

The big question is how effectively he can apply his accumulated soft power to make a difference on the world stage. [...] But the pope's most audacious foreign-policy move has been a crusade against worldwide income inequality and environmental degradation, including man-made climate change.