Saturday night in the Damascus suburb of Douma, after the visit of United Nations observers (see 0855 GMT)
2050 GMT: Syria. A protest in Talbiseh tonight:
"You are getting stronger each passing day," Erdogan said. "Your victory is not far....Bashar [President Assad] is losing blood each passing day,""
About 23,000 Syrians are estimated to now be in Turkish camps, having fled since the start of the uprising in March 2011.
1515 GMT: Syria. A mass protest at the funeral of Ali Arnous, killed by security forces, in the Tal area of Damascus:
1425 GMT: Egypt. Looks like Egyptian military prosecutors are preparing to arrest some high-profile figures over this week's violence that took the lives of 12 people, almost all of them protesters, outside the Ministry of Defence:
Some suspects arrested in relation to the Abbasseya clashes that took place near the Defense Ministry last week accused public figures of inciting the violence, Al-Arabiya satellite TV station said, quoting prominent military judicial sources.
The sources told Al-Arabiya that the instigators included 59 people, including disqualified presidential candidate Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, activist Nawara Negm, and Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the brother of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
The sources said a copy of the list of instigators was sent to Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi [the head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces] so he can approve the decision to arrest them.
At least 12 people were killed, including an army recruit, and hundreds wounded near the Defense Ministry last week as the armed forces and unidentified armed men clashed with protesters opposed to the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.
1340 GMT: Egypt. Two contrasting views of the fortunes of the Muslim Brotherhood....
Sultan al-Qassemi sees the Brotherhood as the big winner from an initiative to ease recent Egyptian-Saudi tension:
Relations between the two states stagnated before spiraling following the arrest in Saudi Arabia of an Egyptian human rights lawyer, Ahmed al-Gizawy.....Even though Gizawy remains in Saudi custody and the future of his detention is unknown, [last week's mission for which the Egyptian delegation was formed was a major success for the Brotherhood. The visit succeeded in securing the return of the Saudi ambassador, and more importantly for the Brotherhood, the visit broke the ice between it and the Arab state most skeptical of its rise.
Saad al-Katatny, the current speaker of Egypt’s parliament, led the high-level delegation to Riyadh and was filmed sitting prominently next to the Saudi king. Katatny is a major Brotherhood leader, having been a member of its Guidance Bureau and the secretary general of its Freedom and Justice Party, which this year won 47 percent of seats in Egypt's lower house of Parliament.....The delegation also included Ahmed Fahmy, the speaker of Egypt’s upper house, also a Brotherhood member, as well as senior officials from various Egyptian parties including the Wafd and Nour parties, in addition to politicians, media personalities and academics....
Attendees from the Saudi side were King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Defense Minister Prince Salman and Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, as well as the speaker of the Saudi Shura Council. The Saudi information minister and the withdrawn ambassador also attended. Equally if not more significant is who was absent. Saudi Crown Prince and Interior Minister Nayef (who returned to Saudi Arabia from the US on 11 April) did not attend. The crown prince is known for his animosity toward and distrust of the Brotherhood.
However, Issandr El Amrani sees problems for the Brotherhood at home with the Presidential campaign of former Brotherhood leader Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, "Aboul Fotouh Drives Wedge in MB":
[This is] the most important think about Aboul Fotouh's candidacy: he is bringing to the fore the contradictions inside the MB, forcing a debate with the hardliner leadership controlled by [Khairat] al-Shater and his allies, and eroding at a traditional of strict obedience that no longer makes sense when the movement is not banned or persecuted.
"Our delegation visited the two journalists in Damascus on Saturday. They are in good health but it appears their release will take time," said Huseyin Oruc.
Freelance cameraman Hamit Coskun and Adem Ozkose from the Istanbul-based newspaper Milat traveled to Idlib near the Turkish border in March as regime forces tried to push out insurgents. The pair were reportedly handed over to Syrian intelligence by a pro-regime militia in March.
The two journalists are "in the hands of the regime," said Oruc: "We are carrying out humanitarian diplomacy for their release."
Ozkose was able to call home on Saturday, speaking for about three minutes, for the first time in two months.
1200 GMT: Syria. A rally in Idlib Province today:
And in Daraa Province:
A [regime] officer told the lead monitor, Moroccan Colonel Ahmed Himmiche, that the tank, whose cannon was clearly visible, was in fact an armored personnel carrier, a more lightly armed vehicle.
"It carries soldiers and wounded," he said. "If you want, I can take it out of Douma right now," he said.
"No, no, it's fine," Himmiche replied.
0903 GMT: Syria. Residents and activists report overnight fighting in Deir Ez Zor in the northeast, with insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades attacking tank positions in response to an army offensive against several towns and villages in the province.
"The fighting subsided early in the morning. We do not have a death toll because no one is daring to go into the streets," said Ghaith Abdelsalam, an opposition activist. At least five army tanks had been deployed on each street leading to the roundabout, a flashpoint for the fighting, he added.
0855 GMT: Syria. Reuters posts a first-hand account pointing to continued tension:
United Nations cease-fire monitors, in the Syrian town of Douma on Saturday, saw that the army had not withdrawn tanks in line with a truce agreement and were confronted by residents who complained that the UN observers were just "watching us die".
A Reuters team that accompanied a two-car UN convoy saw checkpoints on every street corner and a heavy army presence in Douma, at one time known as a stronghold for the armed opposition but now back under government control.
The town of around 500,000 people near the capital Damascus has been a focus of the 14-month revolt against President Bashar Assad.
At the entrance to the town, soldiers in full army fatigues were posted at a large checkpoint, some positioned behind sandbags. Along the streets, anti-Assad graffiti had been obscured with black paint, but some remained.
"Down with Bashar. No to sectarianism. Long live the Free Army," read slogans, referring to the Free Syrian Army, a motley collection of army defectors and armed civilians fighting to topple Assad.
"Assad's army is traitorous," it said in Arabic, adding in English: "We will not be put down."
There was pro-government graffiti too. "If you are not one of Assad's soldiers, they you don't deserve life," a scribble on one wall read.
"We are the sons of Hafez," read another, referring to Assad's late father who ruled Syria for 30 years.
Initially scheduled for September 2011 but postponed after President Assad announced a "reform process", the ballot claims 7,195 candidates standing for 250 seats.
But how much credibility will the vote earn? AFP/Now Lebanon feature reaction from Homs, hit hard by regime attack. There is campaigning in the central Hadara neighborhood, with a large Alawite community, of which Assad is a member, but in nearby Bayada, there was no enthusiasm to participate.
"What elections are you talking about? There are no elections here. Can't you see?" said a 27-year-old carpenter, Abu Shaker. "I am against it as long as we can't return to our homes." he said while stacking his van with belongings he managed to salvage from his home.
Analysts are also sceptical of any significance for the election, the first since the adoption in February by referendum of a new Constitution that formally ended the exclusive hold on power by the ruling Baath Party.
"The elections are a step in a void and will not lead to any change in the political landscape and security of Syria," Oraib al-Rantawi, director of the Amman-based Al-Quds Center for Political Studies, said. He called them "media propaganda....amid a lack of security, continued killings and violence... while (many) are detained, suffering or displaced".