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    Syrian president fails to lift emergency laws

    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

    President Bashar al-Assad has defied expectations on Wednesday that he would lift Syria's decades-old emergency law after nearly two weeks of protests that have presented the gravest challenge to his 11-year rule.

    Addressing the nation for the first time since the start of the unprecedented wave of protests, inspired by uprisings across the Arab world, Assad said he supported reform but offered no new commitment to change Syria's one-party political system.

    Al Jazeera's correspondents have more on this developing story.