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Syria has been beset by protests similar to those that have brought down other governments in the region. President Bashar al-Assad came to power after his father's death in 2000, with promises of reform that have yet to materialize. Guest host Sara Terry considers the impact of protest movements there. Can the regime there hold on to power? What would regime change mean for a country long regarded as one of the most important players in the Middle East? Also, it's that time of year again. Batter up!

Banner image: Thousands of Syrians rally to show their support for President Bashar al-Assad (portrait), who is facing unprecedented domestic pressure amid a wave of dissent, in Damascus on March 29, 2011. Photo: Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Libyan Foreign Minister Defects, CIA inside Libya 7 MIN, 47 SEC

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today that the cost of America's engagement with Libya is currently about $550 million. Testifying on Capitol Hill, he said the US would maintain pressure on Gadhafi's regime but vowed "there will be no American boots on the ground." David Sanger is chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times and author of The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power.

David Sanger, National Security Correspondent for the New York Times (@SangerNYT)

The Inheritance

David E. Sanger

Main Topic Will Syria Be Swept Up by the Winds of Change? 34 MIN, 49 SEC

All eyes are on Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad is determined to hold on to power despite the resignation of his cabinet and with protests expected again tomorrow after Friday prayers. In a major speech to the nation yesterday, Assad disappointed expectations that he would repeal repressive emergency laws that have been in place for nearly 50 years. The US has been fairly moderate in its comments on Syria and its violent crackdown on protesters. Israel and Syria are considered the "best" of enemies, with no violence on their shared border for decades. Will Assad respond with another bloody crackdown? But will he be able to hold off the kind of protests that have unseated other leaders in the Arab world? What would a new regime in Syria look like?

Ammar Abdulhamid, Tharwa Foundation
Joshua Landis, University of Oklahoma (@joshua_landis)
Robert Malley, International Crisis Group (@Rob_Malley)
Michael Young, Daily Star
Michael Singh, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Reporter's Notebook Take Me out to the Ballgame, a 2011 Baseball Preview 8 MIN, 24 SEC

Joe DiMaggio got it right when he said, "You look forward to it like a birthday party when you're a kid." He's talking about opening day of Major League Baseball season, of course, which is here once again, with fans descending on ball parks all across the country. Jon Heyman is senior writer at Sports Illustrated.

Jon Heyman, Sports Illustrated

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