— The value of Iran’s currency has fallen by 40 percent in the last week, a sign that international sanctions are taking their toll. Meanwhile, Iranian authorities re-opened access to Google services after blocking them last week.
— U.S. military and civilian officials acknowledge that they have all but written off what was once one of the cornerstones of their strategy to end the war in Afghanistan: battering the Taliban into a peace deal.
— Reuters reports: “ The death toll from militant attacks across Iraq doubled in September to 365, the highest toll for more than two years, with most of them killed in bomb attacks.”
— Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat in the country’s “hotly contested parliamentary race showed that a coalition backed by the billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili had edged out his party.”
— The New York Times reports: “Chaos continued to spread in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, on Monday, as rebels attacked the towering municipality building with rockets, sending civil servants fleeing from one of the few government buildings still functioning as dozens of soldiers worked to defend the city center.”