Syrian leader replaces interior minister

Syria's official news agency reports that President Bashar Assad has replaced the interior minister in a Cabinet reshuffle. The agency gave no explanation for Thursday's reshuffle that also included replacement of the ministers of justice, health, local administration and presidential affairs and the creation of an environment ministry. A presidential decree carried by the agency says Assad appointed Said Mohammad Sammour, a general in the intelligence services in charge of security in the Damascus area, to replace Gen. Bassam Abdul-Majeed at Interior. It's the second major reshuffle of the Cabinet since 2006, when 14 of the 32 ministers were replaced. Last year, Assad replaced five ministers in another reshuffle.