1. ABANDON SHIP

    Syria Defections on Rise

    An image grab taken from Syrian state TV shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad addressing the parliament in Damascus on June 3, 2012. Assad paid tribute to civilian and military "martyrs" of the violence in Syria, saying their blood was not shed in vain. AFP PHOTO/SYRIAN TV
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    When the Syrian uprising launched in March 2011, most analysts believed that President Bashar al-Assad’s cadre would remain loyal and defend the regime. Now, though officials and diplomats are given strict loyalty tests before being appointed to their posts, Al Jazeera is reporting that high-level defections from al-Assad’s regime are on the rise. A new interactive chart on the news service’s website reveals that defections now number 38, including senior military and security officials, cabinet members, parliament members, and diplomats.  Still, the overwhelming majority of government representatives have remained loyal.

    Read it at Al Jazeera