There's much speculation about Russia's motives for intervening in Syria. The root answer lies in the timing.
The Chinese Communist Party's decision to ease limits on family size makes mainland China a bit less restrictive but is a reminder of the party's pervasive role in society.
Pressure on mainland China over its claims to most of the strategic South China Sea went up a couple of notches this week. First, the U.S. sent a warship in its most direct challenge yet to Beijing's artificial island building. Then over Chinese objections, an international tribunal ruled it had jurisdiction in a case brought by the Philippines on maritime claims.
Even as President Barack Obama sent U.S. troops back to Iraq and ordered the military to stay in Afghanistan, he insisted Syria would remain off limits for American ground forces. Now the president has crossed his own red line.
As extremist violence and political uncertainty cast a shadow over Turkey, voters are looking for Sunday's parliamentary election to usher in stability. But in a deeply polarized country, the most likely result is more confusion.
Iran takes part in international talks on Syria for the first time this week, giving it a voice in the effort to find a resolution to the more than 4-year-old civil war that has so far defied even the slightest progress toward peace.
Surveys have repeatedly showed that up to 1 in 2 Taiwanese parents with children under the age of six use corporal punishment on their children, highlighting a common lack of parental education and an alarming tendency for parents to vent their personal stress and anxiety on their children.
Six years after the Great Recession ended, the world's major central banks still seem to be in crisis mode -- keeping interest rates near all-time lows to try to fuel economic growth.
Leave it to perpetually squabbling Northeast Asia to spice up that most vanilla of diplomatic activities: the meet-and-greet, photo-op-ridden international summit.
Another meeting in another luxury hotel in another European city oozing with diplomatic history. Such is the state of the international effort to revive a peace plan for Syria.