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In Switzerland today, preliminary Syrian peace talks produced a chorus of dissonant voices, a fitting start to a process that may fall well short of ending the civil war. We hear what's at stake for the US, Russia and the Middle East region, and whether there's any relief in sight for the victims of brutal violence on a massive scale. Also, the world's wealthy converge on Davos, Switzerland. On today's Talking Point, will Internet TV mean the end of cable?

Banner image: Syrian refugees watch the Geneva II peace conference on television at the port city of Sidon, southern Lebanon January 22, 2014. Photo: Ali Hashisho/Reuters

Making News World's Wealthy Converge on Davos 7 MIN, 27 SEC

The annual World Economic Forum is underway once again at the picturesque mountaintop resort of Davos in Switzerland. One topic on the agenda for heads of state and top business leaders, including some of the world's wealthiest people, is income inequality. Hans Nichols, correspondent for Bloomberg TV, joins us from Davos.

Hans Nichols, Bloomberg Television (@HansNichols)

Main Topic A War of Words about Peace in Syria 35 MIN, 55 SEC

In Montreaux Switzerland today, Syrian peace talks got under way, preliminary to the so-called Geneva II process scheduled for Friday. Nobody thinks the conference will lead to peace. Even optimists call it a "possible first step" to ending three years of appalling civil war. President al Assad has gained strength by giving up chemical weapons and fighting extremists, despite charges that he's a war criminal. Will the US have no choice but to deal with him, rather than ending his rule-if only to gain a temporary ceasefire for humanitarian reasons? We look at today's angry start of a process that might — or might not — lead to changing unacceptable conditions on the ground.

Laura Rozen, Al-Monitor (@lrozen)
Richard Gowan, New York University / European Council on Foreign Relations (@RichardGowan1)
Jeremy Shapiro, Brookings Institution (@JyShapiro)
Randa Slim, Middle East Institute (@rmslim)

Today's Talking Point Internet TV Is Coming Soon, but Is Everyone Ready? 7 MIN, 4 SEC

Despite development of new technology, television broadcasters fought long and hard against the introduction of cable. Now, there's competition to deliver TV service directly using the Internet. Will cable companies be fighting back? Sony, Verizon, Apple and Amazon are all working on TV services that would take advantage of the Internet. One might actually launch this year. That's according to Zach Seward, senior editor of the online news service Quartz.

Zach Seward, Quartz (@zseward)

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