Assad forms panel to study lifting emergency law

DAMASCUS - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ordered the formation of a legal committee to look into lifting a decades old emergency law, the Syrian news agency said on Thursday.
Lifting the law, in force since 1963, has been a central demand of protesters who have held two weeks of demonstratations, in which more than 60 people have been killed.
In his first public remarks since the wave of protests, Assad on Wednesday did not make any reference to lifting the law, which Syrians officials had earlier said he would, without giving a timeframe.