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Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Darkness in Homs

0915 GMT: A woman mourns over last night's deaths of at least 24 people in clashes around a Coptic Christian march in the Egyptian capital Cairo:

0905 GMT: In the United Arab Emirates, the families of five activists who are due back in court on charges of insulting senior officials have made a joint plea for their release.

The five activists --- Ahmed Mansoor, an engineer and blogger; Nasser bin Ghaith, an economist, university lecturer at Sorbonne Abu Dhabi and advocate for political reform; and online activists Fahad Salim Dalk, Ahmed Abdul-Khaleq, and Hassan Ali al-Khamis --- were arrested in April. Some of the defendant had signed a petition in March calling for political reforms, including direct elections and broadening the powers of the UAE legislature, the Federal National Council.

Mansoor faces additional charges of inciting others to break the law, calling for an election boycott, and calling for demonstrations. In March, e publicly supported a petition signed by more than 130 people advocating universal, direct elections for the FNC and legislative powers for the council.

0436 GMT: One of a set of photographs of Mehaza in Bahrain on Sunday:

An EA correspondent gives context: "Mehaza is one of the poorest villages in Bahrain. Four of the martyrs are from this village. Since the crackdown on Martyrs Square (Pearl Roundabout), the youth of Mehaza have been gathering on an almost daily basis on the streets and protesting against the Governmnent."

0435 GMT: Coverage of Egypt, where at least 24 people died last night in clashes around a march of mostly Coptic Christians in Cairo, is in a separate entry.

0430 GMT: We begin this morning with the story of a lack of news. There were unconfirmed reports throughout Sunday of an attack by the Syrian military upon the city of Homs --- something we have predicted for weeks, given the build-up of mass opposition in the country's third-largest city --- but an almost-complete cutoff of communications meant it was impossible to verify the claims.

What we have this morning is a video of darkness, with the claimed sounds of gunfire and shelling:

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