Friday's protest rally in Bahrain
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2235 GMT: We're taking a Saturday night break --- back at 0600 GMT on Sunday with the latest news from North Africa and the Middle East.
1718 GMT: Iraq. A Bahraini activist is reporting that human rights defender Said Yousif and former MP Sayed Hadi Al Mosawi, detained earlier today during a march in Manama (see 1525 and 1607 GMT), have been released.
1700 GMT: Iraq. Wladimir van Wilgenburg passes on reports of closed-door meetings today in Erbil in Kurdistan between Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani, Iraqiyya Party leader Iyad Allawi, and leading Shia politician Moqtada al-Sadr to discuss political tension over the national government.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, embroiled in a number of disputes with other prominent politicians, was not present.
Van Wilgenburg evaluates that the session indicates that Talabani's opinion might not be that different from that of Barzani, despite earlier reports of points of disagreement. In contrast, Sadr met with al-Maliki in Iran before heading to Kurdistan, and a Sadrist spokesperson said they would not discuss withdrawing confidence from the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Iraqiyya list member Salih al-Mutlaq, despite his opposition to al-Maliki, criticized Barzani's call for a referendum in September for Kurdish independence.