World Condemns Syria’s Crackdown

The Syrian government's violent crackdown on protesters on Thursday has drawn an international rebuke. A White House spokesman said, "We strongly condemn the Syrian government's attempts to repress and intimidate demonstrators,” while U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to urge “maximum restraint.” Government forces had fired on protesters in several cities, including Deraa, where witnesses say up to 20 people were killed. In Damascus, activists reported 4,000 continued to protest overnight and said that around midnight security forces stormed their sit-in, beat them with clubs, and arrested 200 people. At dawn on Saturday, the authorities released 70 political prisoners in an effort to appease protesters.