See Also Today's Bahrain Live Coverage: Will High-Profile Activists Receive Court Verdicts Today? br>
Jordan Feature: The Government's Threat to Internet Freedom (Tarawneh) br>
Bahrain Opinion: You Can Imprison the 13 Activists. You Cannot Imprison Their Ideas. br>
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 1600 Killed in the Deadliest Week br>
2034 GMT: Syria. A second video claiming to show the jet downed in Idlib:
The Blogger Brown Moses adds this context:
The man talking to the camera in the video is Jamaal Maaruf, the leader of Shuhada Jebel al-Zawiya Battalion (thanks for Asher Berman for that ID, who explains that the battalion has been attacking Abu Dhuhur air base for 6 days, and the jets are being used to attack civilians.
According to Brown Moses, the jet in question appears to be a Mig 21, based on pictures he has posted on his analysis.
2015 GMT: Syria. The LCC reports that the Free Syrian Army has engaged the Syrian military near a major airforce base near Al Bukamal and the Iraqi border (map):
Fierce clashes between the Free Syrian Army and regime forces resumed near Al-Hamdan airport. Sounds of explosions and gunfire from heavy and medium-grade weapons were heard in the area.
What's interesting about this report is that it isn't coming from the combatants, but the residents of the city. This means that the fighting must be fairly significant. It also confirms FSA reports that they have been working towards an attack on the air base.
These bases are the hub of Assad's military power. Even if they do not fall, the fact that there may be heavy fighting near them is a sign that the FSA is confident enough to attack hardened positions away from the cities.
2000 GMT: Syria. Back from a break to find that activists are claiming the Free Syrian Army shot a MIG fighter out of the sky in the Jabal Zawiyah region near Idlib and Hama provinces:
An activist notes that the previous fighter jet that was reportedly shot down had a different serial number on its tail than this one does. The footage also looks much different than the previous footage, and the pilot looks different as well.
This footage has been posted by many prominent Twitter accounts, but should still be considered unconfirmed - but probable.
1645 GMT: Syria. Few areas of the country have seen more fighting than Douma, an extremely large and important suburb just northeast of Damascus. Today, the LCC, an activist network, says more bodies have been discovered there:
17 unidentified bodies were found in the hospital of the city, the bodies were handcuffed and field-executed and have started to decay and smell in the hospital as they have been discarded there for a while.
LCC also posts this video, uploaded by a Youtube account focused on Douma, which claims to show activists loading the bodies into a truck:
1624 GMT: Egypt. Former Mubarak Culture Minister, Farouq Hosni, has been charged with corruption after an investigation failed to find 18 million Egyptian pounds that were missing from the government's books. Officials also launched new investigations of Former President Mubarak, his wife, and two of his sons.
31 in Damascus and its suburbs (including 10 field executions in Mudamieh Sham, and 10 martyrs discovered in Daraya), 15 in Hama, 10 in Daraa, 8 in Aleppo, 6 in Deir Ezzor, 5 in Idlib, 4 in Homs and 3 in Latakia.
See our note on the LCC's casualty figures.
While the numbers are slightly inflated because of the discovery of bodies in Damascus, they also reflect a dramatic uptick since our last entry only a few hours ago. Also, notice that Hama and Daraa provinces are responsible for the largest amount of fresh casualties, reflecting the intensification in those provinces that we've seen over the last week of so.
1344 GMT: Syria. The Free Syrian Army is still on the advance in Idlib province. Accounts associated with the FSA announced a series of battles in Ariha, Idlib province, over the weekend. Now, several videos claim to show the shattered remnants of an Assad military checkpoint in the town:
Yet other videos claim to show houses destroyed by military shelling.
1302 GMT: Tunisia. Islamists have raided the last bar in the town of Sidi Bouzid, destroying bottles of alcohol and harassing patrons and staff, even reportedly beating someone who tried to film the events:
Around 50 activists burst into the bar in the Hotel Horchani in the center of town, customers and staff told AFP.
Bearded men then raided the reception and the upstairs rooms of the hotel, the last in Sidi Bouzid to serve alcohol, some of them shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest) and “Al-Saharab haram” (drinking is a sin).
1224 GMT: Syria. According to the activist network, bodies are still being found from last week's massacres in the suburbs west of Damascus, in Darayya and Moudamyeh. These new discoveries have helped push today's LCC body count to 42:
21 were martyred in Damascus Suburbs (including 10 that were field-executed in Mouadamiyeh and 10 martyrs who were found in Daraya), 5 in Aleppo, 4 in Daraa, 3 in Hama, and 3 in Homs, 3 in Lattakia 2 in Idlib, and 1 in Deir Ezzor.
So far, the number of dead is comparatively small, but it is very early, the LCC figures are always a lagging indicator - and 42 would have been the average daily total of fatalities just a few short months ago.
James Miller takes over today's live coverage. Thanks to Scott Lucas for getting us through to the afternoon.
Zataari refugee camp, opened by the Jordanian government at the end of July to house 500 people, has swollen to a population of more than 26,000. Two-thirds of them are children, of whom around 5,000 are under the age of four. Five hundred are "unaccompanied minors" --- youngsters who made the perilous journey without their parents, and who are now dealing with the pain of separation along with new privations and the traumas they left behind.
Official expectations are that Jordan's refugee population will grow by up to 10,000 a week. The Jordanian government says there are a further 140,000 Syrian refugees crammed into towns and villages close to the border....
At Zataari, conditions are wretched despite sterling efforts by humanitarian organisations. Sand and dust whipped up by the wind sweeping across the nine-square-kilometre site cause respiratory problems. Newly erected tents are swiftly coated in a layer of sand, turning their colour from white to brown within a day or two. Sand is in children's hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, under fingernails; eyes are rimmed red; voices hoarse.
Only 40% of the camp has electricity. There is one latrine per 50 refugees. For now, the desert sun beats down on the exposed ground for 12 hours a day, but within weeks night temperatures will plummet and winter will bring driving rain and freezing winds.
The Jordanian army maintains a heavy presence inside and outside the camp. Refugees are not allowed to leave without special permits. Less than two weeks ago, a protest by camp inmates over conditions and frustration at the tight security was quelled by teargas fired by soldiers.
1157 GMT: Syria. The head of the opposition Syrian National Council, Abdel Basset Sayda, has said that a Marshall Plan-style recovery programme will be needed when the Assad regime is removed from power.
Sayda, addressing Syrian opposition representatives and diplomats in Berlin, that the regime has devastated public finances and institutions to the point where Syria cannot rely on oil revenues and taxes in the short term for rebuilding: "In the aftermath of the destruction...we are convinced Syria needs a Marshall-style plan to ensure it stands again on solid financial and economic ground."
Sayda warned, "Without real comprehensive development we will open up the opportunity for the growth of all kinds of extremism in the region."
1149 GMT: Egypt. A Presidential spokesman has denied reports that military officers, imprisoned for taking part in an anti-Supreme Council of the Armed Forces protest on 8 April 2011, will be released.
The wife of one of the officers had said Monday that the men would be released soon.
"The issue of the 8 April officers is under consideration. No decision has been taken," Yasser Ali told State news agency MENA.
More than 20 officers were arrested during a "million-person demonstration" in Cairo's Tahrir Square, protesting the military rulers who had taken over from ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
1144 GMT: Syria. A military has said that Russia considered evacuating military personnel from its naval base at Tartous this summer but decided the situation was stable enough not to warrant the move.
"Plans for a long-distance mission by a detachment of Russian navy ships foresaw the possibility of evacuating Russian specialists from Syria," the source said.
In a mission in early August, large landing ships docked at the Tartous supply maintenance facility where they fuelled up and took on supplies but "did not take any personnel or equipment on board"
1140 GMT: Syria. Reuters, citing "several fleeing reservists and a serving army officer", reports that the regime has called up thousands of former soldiers from the reserves to active army service in the last two months.
"We have two choices: Stay and kill fellow Syrians, or desert, and be on the run from military courts," said a legal assistant summoned for duty in Damascus.
One army officer contacted in Homs said he believed that only half of those called up in recent months had reported for duty: "There is a shortage of men. A lot of fighters have been killed, and we have desertions."
1130 GMT: Syria. The United Nations agency for refugees has said that more than 103,400 Syrians fled the country in August, an amount almost equal to that of the previous 17 months of the uprising.
The agency said more than 235,300 refugees are now registered or awaiting registration.
The regime prevents food from reaching the liberated areas [under rebel control]. Residents are forced to smuggle products from neighborhood to neighborhood.
When I buy something, I have to go to several grocery stores and supermarkets before finding what I want: eggs, yogurt, rice, children’s milk are almost nonexistent. Markets are almost empty.
It is difficult to find gas canisters also....It's a real siege, collective punishment. If the regime could deprive us of air, it would."
0911 GMT: Syria. Shelling of Rastan near Homs this morning:
0844 GMT: Syria. The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, has met President Assad for 45 minutes, discussing "ICRC concerns over the humanitarian situation and [its] ability to respond to humanitarian needs".
The Red Cross said further meetings with Syrian officials are now taking place.
A bomb exploded underneath the pipe in Safir fields, in the Marib Province, east of the capital Sanaa, a local official said. Other bombs were defused after being discovered on other points of the pipeline in the same area.
Yemen LNG said on Saturday that the pipeline had been repaired after a bomb put it out of service in August. The 320-kilometre (200-mile) pipeline linking Marib province to Balhaf in the south of the country has been repeatedly sabotaged by insurgents.
0730 GMT: Syria. British Foreign Secretary William Hague told the House of Commons that he had authorised “limited contacts” with the Free Syrian Army: “The UK’s own Special Representative to the Syrian Opposition continues to meet oppositionist groups in the region."
[We have provided] an extra £5 million pounds in non-lethal practical assistance to help protect unarmed opposition groups and human rights activists in Syria. We have already trained over 60 Syrian activists in documenting human rights violations, and provided support including equipment for 100 Syrian citizen journalists to report on events in Syria. Activists who helped investigate the massacre in Houla for example were trained by the United Kingdom.
Hague announced that Britain was increasing its “bilateral support for the [Lebanese] government and armed forces as they grapple with insecurity caused by Syria’s conflict".
The Foreign Office has posted the full text of the statement.
0600 GMT: Egypt. Obama Administration officials have told the New York Times that they are nearing an agreement with Cairo on $1 billion of debt relief.
Washington is also supporting a $4.8 billion loan being negotiated between Egypt and the International Monetary Fund. Last week it dispatched the first of two official delegations to work out details of the proposed debt assistance, as well as $375 million in financing and loan guarantees for American financiers who invest in Egypt and a $60 million investment fund for Egyptian businesses.
The US effort appears to be spurred by its welcome for the economic policies of the Morsi Government, which took office in June:
American officials say they have been surprised by how open Mr. Morsi and his advisers have been to economic reforms, with a sharp focus on creating jobs.
“They sound like Republicans half the time,” one administration official said, referring to leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic movement turned political party that was long barred from office under the former president, Hosni Mubarak, a close American ally.
Hoping to capitalize on what they see as a ripening investment climate, the State Department and the United States Chamber of Commerce will take executives from nearly 50 American companies like Caterpillar and Xerox to Cairo beginning Sept. 8 as part of one of the largest trade delegations ever organized. The officials and executives will urge the government to make changes in taxation, bankruptcy and labor laws to improve the investment climate.
0510 GMT: Syria. The deaths of civilians are escalating.
The Local Coordination Committees report that 250 civilians were slain on Monday. Dozens died as regime warplanes shelled Al-Bab in Aleppo Province, while 43 bodies were reportedly found in Hirak in Daraa Province.
The LCC claimed 62 deaths in Aleppo Province, 60 in Daraa Province, 36 in Damascus and its suburbs, 32 in Lattakia Province, 24 in Hama Province, 17 in Idlib Province, 10 in Deir Ez Zor Province, and 9 in Homs Province.