Must-Reads from Around the World

In today's required reading: another massacre in Syria, Japan plans to buy disputed South China Sea islands and communal violence rears its head again in Indonesia.

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New Low — Boston-based Global Post reports from Daraya, in Syria, on “what appears to be the single worst atrocity of the 17-month uprising: the killing of between 300 and 600 people, most of them civilians, in a four-day assault on the opposition stronghold…” The online outlet wrote the barrage was led by the forces of Maher Assad, the president’s brother, according to the opposition. “The Assad regime wants to kill every Sunni in Daraya,” one man said.

Risky Business — Japan’s Kyodo news network reports Sunday the Japanese government is in “serious behind-the-scene talks” with the family that owns islands in the South China Sea whose sovereignty is contested by China and Taiwan. The Japan Times, which carries the report, says the government will bid $25 million for the territory, known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and Diaoyu Islands in China, and wants to bring them “under state control as early as September.”

Indonesian Intolerance — The Jakarta Globe reports two people were killed and five injured in an attack Sunday on a group of Shia students and teachers in East Java. “[The community] has been the target of violent attacks and incidents of intimidation in the past,” it wrote. The paper notes U.S.-based Human Rights Watch recently called on the government to amend or repeal the country’s notorious blasphemy law, which has been used a further tool of persecution.

Will It Only Get Worse?— The latest bad news out of Afghanistan? Insurgents in a Taliban-heavy area of the country burst in on a local wedding and beheaded over a dozen of its guests. Earlier, our Tony Karon explained why the grim situation there won’t occupy the American airwaves during the final months of the presidential election campaign: no one has a solution.