1. Pressure

    Obama Demands Syria Leader’s Ouster

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syria's President, Bashar Assad delivers a speech in Damascus, Syria, Monday, June 20, 2011. Syria's embattled president says "saboteurs" are trying to exploit legitimate demands for reform in the country. President Bashar Assad's speech Monday was only his third public address since the country's uprising began in March. What is happening today has nothing to do with reform, it has to do with vandalism," Assad told a crowd of supporters at Damascus University. (AP Photo/SANA) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

    SANA / AP Photo; Jewel Sama, AFP / Getty Images

    The Obama administration is ratcheting up the heat on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, issuing a written statement demanding that the embattled leader step down. The Syrian strongman has been leading a brutal crackdown on protesters, and is "imprisoning, torturing and slaughtering his own people," according to Obama's statement. The U.S. also announced new sanctions against the country. In tandem, British, French, and German leaders announced a simliar stance. An estimated 1,800 protesters are believed to have died during the crackdown.

    Read it at Associated Press