In Syria a third day of protests has been marred by violence. The police have opened fire on demonstrators using tear gas and live rounds. Reports say that one person is dead and around 100 others have been injured. Protesters want an end to 48 years of emergency law.
In Deraa, the government has attempted to ease tensions by offering to release 15 schoolchildren who were arrested for scrawling opposition graffiti on a wall. This is a rare instance of the Syrian authorities bowing to pressure from the street.
The country has been ruled by the Baath Party headed up by president Basher al-Assad since a coup in 1963. All opposition parties are banned.
In Deraa on Friday, the authorities opened fire on unarmed protesters, killing four people.
At the funerals of two protesters yesterday, opposition activists met with officials and handed them a list of demands, including the release of political prisoners, and the dismantling of the secret police.