1. Cutting a Deal

    Assad May Be Offered Clemency

    In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad deliver a speech at Damascus University, Syria, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Assad said Tuesday he will not step down, insisting that he still has his people's support despite a 10-month-old uprising against him. In his fourth speech since the Syrian revolt began in March, Assad also lashed out at the Arab League and accused the Cairo-based bloc of failing to protect Arab interests. The president has made few public appearances since the anti-government uprising began in March, inspired by the revolutions sweeping the Arab world. The regime's crackdown on dissent has killed thousands and led to international isolation and sanctions(AP Photo/SANA) EDITORIAL USE ONLY

    SANA / AP Photos

    The United States and the U.K. are reportedly considering an offer that would give Syrian President Bashar al-Assad clemency as part of a diplomatic push for peace to be pushed in his war-torn country. The proposed initiative—which has not been signed off on—comes after President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron received encouragement at the G20 Summit from Russian President Vladimir Putin that al-Assad would be willing to accept such an offer. Britain reportedly is willing to discuss giving clemency to al-Assad if it would allow a transitional conference to be launched in Geneva. The gathering, which would be sponsored by the United Nations, would focus on a peaceful transition of power in Syria.

    Read it at The Guardian