MIDEAST UNREST

Syria's Assad to Release Political Prisoners

Two weeks after sacking his government in an attempt to stem protests, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has formed a new cabinet and called for the release of all prisoners except those with criminal records, presumably meaning a release of political prisoners. Meanwhile, the army will be allowed to enter Baniyas, a town that’s seen especially heated protests along with allegations of torture at the hands of the government. The announcements are the fruit of a deal cut between Assad and protesters.