Sudan's embattled leader bans rallies

Sudan's embattled president has banned unauthorized public gatherings and granted sweeping powers to the police after imposing a state of emergency in response to more than two months of protests against his rule.

The country's state-run SUNA news agency reported on Monday that President Omar al-Bashir issued decrees giving security forces powers to search buildings, restrict movements of people and public transportation, arrest individuals suspected of crimes related to the state of emergency and seize assets or property during investigations.

AL-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 coup, on Friday declared a state of emergency for a year, disbanded the federal government and replaced all state governors with senior army officers.

Protests erupted in December in Sudan, initially over price hikes. A heavy security crackdown has killed scores of protesters.