Syrian authorities are to lift a five-year ban on Facebook in a move seen as an apparent "appeasement" measure, aimed at staving off unrest in the country following recent political developments in Egypt and Tunisia. In a rare and candid interview, President Bashar al-Assad told Wall Street Journal last week that he would push through political reforms this year aimed at initiating municipal elections, granting more power to non-governmental organisations and establishing a new media law.
Palestinians hold elections in July
Jerusalem: Wary of the turmoil in the Arab world, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced that it would be holding local municipal polls in the West Bank and Gaza on July 9. The uprising in Egypt evidently forced PA to fast track the process to prevent similar occurrences there.