It was strange watching Bashar giggle and crack jokes, in his long awaited speech; when he should have asked for a moment of silence for the souls of his country men slaughtered by the police in Deraa, just days ago. Instead of claiming foreign plots bent on dividing Syria, he should have acknowledged the right peaceful demands for reform and political freedom. He did announce a number of steps to be taken in the direction of reform; it , however, remains to be seen if these will indeed materialize or get placed on the shelf to collect dust.
15 police officers killed in Colombia helicopter crash (Reuters)
from the article: Assad: Syria protests aim to enforce an 'Israeli agenda'