"As the only multilateral forum that unites, and is limited to, the most important advanced and emerging countries, the G20 must be allowed to address the other critical challenges confronting the world, including matters of peace and security. This is the emerging lesson of the St. Petersburg summit, where the question of what to do about Syria will dominate conversation, even if it is not on the formal agenda," writes CFR Senior Fellow Stewart M. Patrick.
"With U.S. missiles poised to strike at a key Russian ally, keeping the focus on the G-20's economic agenda may be a lost cause – about as likely as making Putin and Obama see eye to eye at the summit. And although the weather is forecast to be clear this week in St. Petersburg, the mood inside the Konstantin Palace will likely be as cold as a Russian winter," writes Simon Shuster for TIME.
"The U.S. is now debating a military campaign that marries the highest, most abstract idealism to the harshest, most unsettling pragmatism: Obama wants to punish Assad for violating the abstract norms of war even as he leaves Assad capable of continuing his massacre by more conventional means. This is why there is no enthusiasm for intervening in Syria," writes Ezra Klein for Bloomberg.
Bank of Japan Says Economy on Track for Recovery
The Bank of Japan said the economy is on a recovery track, a move that could see the implementation of a sales tax increase and a temporary pullback on monetary easing (WSJ). Consumer prices rose 0.7 percent in July, the fastest increase in four years.
CAMBODIA: The UN and Human Rights Watch criticized Cambodia for failing to pay its share of the cost for the Khmer Rouge tribunal (AP).
This CFR Backgrounder explains the origins and current struggles of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mali's New President Sworn In
Ibrahim Keita has been sworn in as Mali's new president (AllAfrica), a milestone in the country's return to constitutional rule after a military coup last year. French and West African troops regained control of areas taken over by al-Qaeda-linked militants in Mali earlier this year.
ZIMBABWE: Zimbabwe's chief prosecutor ordered the investigation of lawyers working for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai (News24) for contempt of court following the criticism of judges in a court filing related to the disputed reelection of Robert Mugabe.
Draghi Dampens Market Expectation for Rate Hike
Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central Bank, is trying to prevent investors from feeling too confident in the eurozone recovery in an effort to keep interest rates low (Bloomberg). After six quarters of contraction, the eurozone grew in the second quarter of 2013.