World Bulletin/News Desk
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree to form a new government on Saturday, shaking up many cabinet posts but keeping the heads of the interior, defence and foreign ministries, state television reported.
The reappointment of Defence Minister Daoud Rajha will quash widespread rumours, previously denied by the government, that he had been assassinated by rebels who are struggling to bring down President Bashar al-Assad's rule.
The 16-month uprising, which has faced a brutal government crackdown, is increasingly being termed a civil war by foreign observers. Assad argues he is pursuing reforms even as he fights a revolt he says is led by foreign-backed militants.
But critics say Assad's appointment of Riyad Hijab as prime minister earlier in June was a sign the president was turning to hardline loyalists. Hijab formed the new government given Assad's approval, Syria TV said on Saturday.
Hijab, a former agriculture minister, is a committed member of Assad's Baath Party, which has ruled Syria for nearly four decades since his father Hafez al-Assad took power in 1970.
Most of the top government posts were given to Baathist loyalists. Critics consider the cabinet to be largely symbolic and say power in Syria remains in the hands of Assad and his close inner circle of family and security force elites.
The new cabinet follows a May 7 parliamentary election which Assad said was part of the path to reform but the opposition boycotted as a sham, insisting the president must step down.
Other than Rajha, the ministers to retain their post were Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar and Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.
Several new ministries were created in the new cabinet.
The moderate Qadri Jamil, a centrist who has said he is speaking both to the government and to rebels, was appointed minister of internal commerce and consumer protection. The post is newly formed and likely to be mostly ceremonial.
'The Ukrainian government has decided to institute the state of emergency in Donetsk and Luhansk,' announced PM Yatsenyuk.
Kurdish populated Syrian city entirely under control of anti-ISIL forces, Syrian Observatory of Human Rights and opposition commander said.
Ghannouchi claimed that that new cabinet "does not mean the aspirations of Tunisians".
With Israeli authorities preventing the ministers from meeting in the West Bank, communication could not continue between the Palestinian ministries.
Russian president claims NATO is using the Ukrainian military as a 'foreign legion' to contain Russia
The embassy has closed its doors till further notice after deadly clashes
Netanyahu says Iran's nuke program 'main threat' to Israel
The militants attacked Monguno on Sunday and are still controlling it
The sports minister had been the leader of a group before being appointed to current position, with his wife and daughter both present when the abduction took place.
Senegal had closed its border with Guinea in August 2014 to prevent the spread of the disease.
A Greek F16 fighter jet crashes at Albacete airbase in central Spain
Berlin had stopped selling arms to Riyadh, citing government sources as saying the kingdom was "too unstable" for it to take deliveries of weapons.
The device, approximately two feet (61 cm) in diameter, was spotted flying at a low altitude at 3:08 am EST (0808 GMT) before it crashed on the southeast side of White House grounds.
This is the second such attack in the past one week in the country’s commercial capital, Karachi city.
In recent months, there has been a spate of tit-for-tat attacks between Jewish and Arab residents of Israel.
Dozens of armed, masked men in unmarked military clothing surrounded the headquarters of the ATR channel.