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US–Russian diplomacy has ended America's threat of force against Syria, at least for the moment. But it requires Syria's Bashar al-Assad to declare and destroy his chemical weapons faster than that's ever been done before. If he refuses, what are America's options? Is Syria any closer to ending its increasingly brutal civil war? Also, rescues continue in Colorado's thousand-year flood. On Today's Talking Point, AMC's Breaking Bad has just two episodes left after five seasons of playing to a large and loyal audience. Is there any satisfying way to construct the last chapter? 

Banner image: US Secretary of State John Kerry walks next to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) before delivering opening remarks to the media prior to their meeting to discuss the ongoing crisis in Syria, in Geneva September 12, 2013. Photo: Larry Downing/Reuters

Making News Rescues Continue in Colorado's Thousand-Year Flood 7 MIN, 45 SEC

Hundreds of people are still unaccounted for in Northeastern Colorado, where massive flooding has devastated communities from the mountains down onto the plains. Nathan Heffel, who reports for public radio station KUNC in Greeley, Colorado, updates the situation.

Nathan Heffel, KUNC (@heffeln)

Main Topic Is US-Russian Diplomacy Prolonging Syria's Civil War? 35 MIN, 10 SEC

When the US was threatening force against Syria, fighting by both the government and the rebels dropped off.  Now it's increasing again. And there's no guarantee that Bashar al-Assad will get rid of his chemical weapons according to the ambitious timetable set by the US and Russia. What if he doesn't?  Will the US attack then, despite Russia's opposition?  If Assad does meet the deadlines, will that mean peace for the Syrian people? We look at these and other questions about a short-term lull in what's really a long-term crisis.

Page Fortna, Columbia University
Nikolas Gvosdev, US Naval War College / The National Interest (@NavalWarCollege)
Stewart Patrick, Council on Foreign Relations; author of “The Sovereignty Wars: Reconciling America with the World” (@StewartMPatrick)
Amr Al-Azm, Shawnee State University (@alazmamr)

Today's Talking Point How to End a Modern Drama like AMC's 'Breaking Bad'? 8 MIN, 5 SEC

Spoiler alert for those who've never watched Breaking Bad, the AMC TV series that started five seasons ago. Episode one: chemistry teacher Walter White discovers he has cancer with only two years left to live. To provide security for his wife and a son with cerebral palsy he begins making and selling methamphetamine. As he descends into the Albuquerque drug trade, segments explore the questionable morality of the anti-hero. With just two episodes remaining, here's the question: is there any way to write a satisfying ending? Matt Zoller Sietz is TV critic for New York magazine, editor in chief of RogerEbert.com and author of The Wes Anderson Collection.

Matt Zoller Seitz, New York magazine / RogerEbert.com (@mattzollerseitz)

The Wes Anderson Collection

Matt Zoller Seitz

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