Bahrain's King Shuffles Cabinet in Response to Protests

King Hamad named on Saturday new ministers of cabinet affairs, energy, health and housing.

All had previously held senior government positions. Bahrain's Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, the king's uncle, also retained the post he has held for four decades.

President Barack Obama is praising the king of Bahrain for overhauling his cabinet and making a "commitment to reform."

After two weeks of anti-government protests, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa ousted four cabinet members Saturday, including two members of the royal family.

"I welcome the announcement by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa about making important changes to the cabinet and restating his commitment to reform," Obama said in a statement.

The king reshuffled the cabinet in a further attempt to appease the Shi'ite opposition that has staged days of protests against the Sunni-led government, government sources said.