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Syria’s leader to announce reforms

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is expected to unveil a series of reforms, including the end of the 50-year-old state of emergency, to try to defuse protests as thousands of people continue to confront troops.

He needs to convince Syrians that he is sincere in promising to dismantle the arbitrary powers of the ruling Ba'ath party.

In the week since the demonstrations first started, the government has spoken of reforms, but has allowed its forces to open fire repeatedly on marches and rallies, killing at least 61 people.

His aides have suggested that he will end emergency laws imposed since 1963, free thousands of political prisoners, allow freedom of expression in the media, and curb security powers.

Belfast Telegraph

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