A car bomb in Tessalit in Mali on Friday (see 0750 GMT) (Photo: AFP)
President Moncef Marzouki asked Larayedh of the Ennadha Party, the leading faction in the ruling coaltion, to form a Government on Friday.
Outgoing Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resigned on Tuesday because Ennahda rejected his plan for an apolitical technocrat Cabinet to prepare for elections.
Opposition secularists accuse Larayedh of leading a Ministry of Interior which has failed to curb Islamist violence.
About 3000 demonstrators marched on Tunis' main street Habib Bourguiba raising banners hostile to the Ennahda party and Larayedh and chanting, "Larayedh out" and "The people want to bring down the regime".
Meanwhile, Larayedh has tried to assemble a new Cabinet. Fights are expected over the posts of Justice and Foreign Ministers, which independents are demanding for their preferred candidates.
1625 GMT: Palestine. Officials of Hamas and Fatah, the leading factions in Palestine, have clashed in a Saturday symposium organized by the Palestine Liberation Organization. Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik, a Hamas representative, and Fatah's speaker in the PLC, Azzam al-Ahmad, clashed over the success of recent reconciliation efforts,=. Al-Ahmad said that agreement had come "very close", but Dweik asserted that "no tangible breakthrough" had been made.
Al-Ahmad said Fatah, which is the leading party in the West Bank government had begun as as armed resistance faction but was now coordinating on security with Israel. Dweik responded by lauding the resistance achievements of Hamas, which oversees Gaza, noting the group's ability to launch rockets at Israel in fighting last November.
At that point Hamas officials withdrew from the meeting.
Afterwards, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Assaf said that "Dweik has offended the Palestinian people, their history, their martyrs and their security services while trying to justify the coup and the killings in the Gaza Strip."
Meanwhile, the union of West Bank teachers has decided to escalate protests against the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority over the ongoing financial crisis, rendering the Government unable to pay civil servants' salaries.
1618 GMT: Egypt. Russia's largest independent natural gas producer, Novatek, is ending its production in Egypt because of the country's political instability and the deteriorating security conditions.
"This is just another missed investment opportunity for Egypt; the country has witnessed the withdrawal of major investments since the January 2011 uprising," said Anatoliy Chomachka, a diplomatic representative at the Russian Embassy in Cairo.
Novatek began exploratory drilling at Al-Arish offshore prospect in Egypt at the end of 2009 and announced it would pump almost $40 million in drilling activities up until 2012.
Members of the Coptic Christian minority had objected to the election dates, in four stages from 27-28 April to June, as some voting would be held during Easter celebrations.
"The president answered the requests of the Coptic members and will issue a statement changing the dates of the elections," Ahmed Fahmy, the speaker of the Shura Council, told lawmakers.
1313 GMT: Yemen. The Mansoura district in Aden today, with scenes of destruction and sounds of firing:
1213 GMT: Yemen. Two people were killed and nine others were wounded in clashes between Yemeni security forces and separatists in the south of the country today.The clashes followed separatist demonstrations in Mukalla, Ghayl ba Wazir, and Aden, capital of the former state of south Yemen which merged with the north in 1990.
At least six people were shot dead during protests on Thursday.
1142 GMT: UAE. Brian Whitaker writes more about the cancellation of a conference by the London School of Economics, to be held in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, after an LSE academic was refused entry at Dubai Airport and had to return to Britain:
The conference, entitled "The New Middle East: Transition in the Arab World", listed several prominent Middle East specialists in its programme, including Prof Fawaz Gerges (LSE), Prof Juan Cole (University of Michigan), Prof Roger Owen (Harvard) and Prof William Quandt (University of Virginia).
The speaker who was refused admission to the UAE, Dr Kristian Ulrichsen of LSE, had been due to speak on "Bahrain’s Uprising: Domestic Implications and Regional and International Perspectives".
Yesterday, Ulrichsen tweeted: "I am being held on arrival at Dubai International Airport. My passport has been taken & I have been separated from my #LSE colleagues."
An hour later he tweeted that he was being put on a plane back to London. In subsequent tweets he said the only reason given was that his name appeared on a "blacklist" but he also said "orders" had had come through at the last minute to drop his paper from the conference.
Last year Ulrichsen published a critical paper on "Bahrain's aborted revolution" which ended by saying: "Officials throughout the region will be observing how cracking down so hard has saved the Al-Khalifa [Bahrain's ruling family], at least for now. But their survival has come at a very high price economically and politically, and has shattered social cohesion in a country polarised as never before.
"With a ruling family determined to swim against the tide of the Arab Spring, uninterested in meaningful political compromise and reliant on foreign protection as the guarantor of regime security, ruling elites will be absorbing lessons from the Al-Khalifa’s crushing of opposition at the expense of their domestic and international credibility."
Since being turned back from the UAE, Ulrichsen has also been subjected to a series of abusive tweets from an Emirati Twitter user, Jalal Bin Thaneya.
The conference was to have been a joint venture between the LSE and the American University of Sharjah.
1136 GMT: Egypt. Mohamed ElBaradei, a leading figure in the opposition National Salvation Front, has called for a boycott of Parliamentary elections which start in April, saying he refused to take part in "an act of deception".
President Morsi decreed the elections, to be held in four stages from April to June, on Thursday.
ElBaradei noted that he had called in 2010 for a similar boycott of polls held under President Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled months later.
"Today I repeat my call, (I) will not be part of an act of deception," ElBaradei said on his Twitter account.
1023 GMT: Egypt. Amnesty International has criticised a move by authorities to prohibit contact between national NGOs and foreign organisations without prior permission from security bodies, calling it "a new low for freedom of association".
In a letter to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, Egypt’s Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs stated that no “local entity” is permitted to engage with “international entities” in any way without the permission of the “security bodies”, referring to instructions issued by the Prime Minister.
The Egyptian Government has restricted NGOs through rules on registration and obtaining foreign funding. Drafts of new laws seen by Amnesty International tighten the restrictions even more, in some cases severely limiting the ability of NGOs to conduct fact-finding visits and other essential activities.
In July 2011, the Egyptian government launched an investigation into the foreign funding of NGOs, leading to a series of raids on both international and local civil society groups in December of that year.
Following the raids, 43 staff members of international organizations were put on trial on charges of operating without official registration and obtaining foreign funding without the authorities’ permission.
The LSE expressed concern abour restrictions that "threatened academic freedom".
Dr Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, co-director of the Kuwait programme at LSE, was scheduled to speak at the conference, which is examining the causes of the Arab Spring and its ongoing impact in the region and beyond. He was separated by immigration authorities from his colleagues, who confiscated his passport before sending him back to London.
A "well-placed source" told the BBC that pressure had come from "very senior" UAE government officials.
0750 GMT: Mali. The Chadian military has said that at least 13 of its soldiers and 65 insurgents have been killed in fighting in northern Mali, the heaviest casualties since a French-Malian offensive retook towns and cities in the area this month.
Chad, one of the African countries which have provided forces after insurgents withdrew from urban areas into the desert and mountains, has deployed 1,800 soldiers in the northern city of Kidal.
A statement from the army general staff, read on State radio, said fighting began Friday morning in the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains near the border with Algeria: "The provisional toll is ... on the enemy's side, five vehicles destroyed and 65 terrorists killed. We deplore the deaths of 13 of our valiant soldiers."
Meanwhile, two suicide car bombers targeted ethnic Tuareg forces in the northern town of Tessalit, killing three people
Taureg groups, which have sought greater autonomy, have been in conflict with armed factions such as the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa.
The Taureg MNLA blamed Friday's car bomb attacks on the MUJAO.