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Entries in Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa (9)


UAE (and Beyond) Live Coverage: 94 Activists Go on Trial

January protest on behalf of 94 detained activists in the UAE (Photo: AP)

See also Syria Live Coverage: The Regime's Shelling of Homs
Sunday's Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Minister of Finance Tries to Resign Amid Financial Crisis

1635 GMT: Yemen A suicide bomber today killed "at least 10 members of a pro-government militia".

A local commander told Reuters that 15 others were wounded, some seriously, in the attack which struck a local office of the Popular Committees in Lawdar, a town in the southern province of Abyan.

According to Reuters, the targeted militia had "helped the Yemeni army to drive al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants out of southern strongholds in a U.S.-backed campaign last year".

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Algeria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 81 Killed in Gas Plant Siege

See also Syria Live Coverage: The Battle for Idlib Begins?
Sunday's Algeria (and Beyond) Coverage: Gas Plant Siege Ends with 23 Hostages, 32 Attackers Killed

1652 GMT: Yemen. A US drone strike has killed two suspected insurgents and wounded three others, two of them seriously, according to security officials.

The airstrike, which hit a car east of the capital Sanaa, was the third in the same area since Saturday and the 25th in Yemen since 24 December.

On Saturday, two drone strikes killed eight people in Marib Province.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Insurgents Take Another Town in the North

Fighting in Harem in Syria. late October 2012

See also Yemen Feature: Covering Up the Civilian Deaths from a US Drone Attack
Bahrain Feature: Policeman Slaps Father Holding Infant --- The Video That Went Viral
Bahrain Opinion: "A Regime Trampling Human Rights" --- Detained Zainab AlKhawaja in The New York Times
Tuesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: 156 Killed as UN Envoy Brahimi Meets Assad

2145 GMT: Egypt. Having signed the approved Constitution, President Morsi used a televised speech tonight to declare "a free Constitution, not granted by a king, imposed by a president, or forced by a colonial power...[but] chosen by the people of Egypt to give to themselves".

The President said that he is planning for a Cabinet reshuffle of the Government of Prime Minister Hesham Qandil "to face all problems, large and small problems".

Morsy then called for unity through discussion, “Dialogue has become a necessity. I renew the call to all parties and political forces to participate in the national dialogue, which I personally sponsor, to complete the road map for this stage. Ahead of us are days of work, effort, diligence and production from everyone.”

Morsi promised "to do my best to boost the economy, which is facing huge challenges". He said he "will respect the law and the Constitution, safeguard the interests of the people fully, and preserve the nation and its territorial sovereignty."

2055 GMT: Syria. Minister of Interior Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar has returned to Damascus, after treatment in Lebanon for wounds sustained in an insurgent bombing near the Ministry earlier this month.

Al-Shaar was wounded in his shoulder, stomach and legs when an explosives-rigged car and two other bombs were detonated, killing at least five people.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Re-Focusing on the Conflict

The moment that crowds charged the US Embassy in Yemen on Thursday

See also Iran Propaganda Feature: Fars News Makes Up Interview with "Bahrain Opposition Leader
Thursday's Libya, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Extraordinary Death, "Everyday" Death
MENA Video Special: The Biggest and Most Important Protests are in Syria

2146 GMT: Syria. Earlier we reported that the Free Syrian Army conducted an offensive against Assad positions in the Saleh el Dine district of Aleppo. We also reported that there were rumors that the Assad military retreated after the battle. Now, we've found many videos showing fighters inside the district today, claiming that they have captured the entire area. But this may be the most compelling evidence.

The video below claims to show the district being shelled, an activity that would not be possible if Assad troops were still in the district. Another video shows fires burning there, reportedly the result of the shelling:

The key to winning any battle is to maintain the initiative. The Assad regime is failing to do that. The FSA is mixing up attacks in the east with assaults on the military airport, and really disrupted the pattern of battle last weekend when they briefly captured a major military base in the heart of the city. The center of the city has been shelled for four days, and now this turn of events suggests that, at least for the moment, the Assad regime is more content to sit back and shell opposition forces than fight them on the streets.

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Aleppo --- This Does Not Look Like Regime "Victory"

See also Syria Feature: The Death of An Activist in a Damascus Suburb
Syria Opinion: Turkey's Leaders Face The Conundrum of History
Tuesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Gathering Fight In and Around Aleppo

2020 GMT: Bahrain. Speaking before a Congressional committee enquiring into human rights in the kingdom, US Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner has called on the regime to take three steps to implement the "reform" sought by last November's report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry:

First, there are several hundred pending criminal cases related to the events of February and March 2011. Many individuals have been in detention for over a year. The government continues to prosecute 20 political activists and appeals cases are ongoing in the prosecution of respected medical professionals. In addition to the ongoing cases against doctors and nurses, we are discouraged by the Court of Appeals’ decision to issue a gag-order banning the media from reporting on trials for the 20 high-profile activists. We urge the Government of Bahrain to ensure fair and expeditious trials in appeals cases and to drop charges against all persons accused of offenses involving political expression and freedom of assembly....

Second, we call on the Government of Bahrain to hold accountable those officials responsible for the violations described in the BICI report....

Third,...further efforts need to be made to enhance the professionalization of the police. Ongoing violence in the streets between police and protesters points to the need for professional, integrated police and security forces that reflect the diversity of the communities they serve and that adopt a community policing approach.

However, activists have noticed the limits in Posner's call for change --- for example, Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain has noted this exchange between Representative James McGovern and the Assistant Secretary of State:

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: 217 Die Amid Question, "Where's Bashar?"

Insurgents take over a post on the Turkish border on Thursday

See also Syria Opinion: "Insurgency, Not Diplomacy, Will End This Conflict"
Syria Feature: Alawites Flee to the Coast
Thursday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Regime is Shocked and Awed

2030 GMT: Syria. At least initially, the greatest threat that the Syrian crisis poses to the region has nothing to do with terrorism or chemical weapons or cross-border firefights, but has everything to do with the massive amounts of refugees flooding some countries, particularly Turkey and Lebanon, but also Iraq and Jordan. As fighting is heating up in Damascus, the amount of refugees in Lebanon has rapidly risen to an extraordinary number:

Between 8,500 and 30,000 Syrians have crossed into Lebanon in the last 48 hours, an agency spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, said at a news briefing in Geneva. The new flood adds to an exodus of more than 112,000 who have already registered as refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, and many thousands more who have fled but not registered. United Nations relief agencies say three-quarters of them are women and children, often arriving in a desperate state with no more than the clothes they are wearing. Internally, as many as a million people have been displaced, according to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

1942 GMT: Syria. The Free Syrian Army has engaged the Assad military in heavy fighting in the city of Zabadani, northwest of Damascus (map), for the second day in a row today...

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Bahrain Feature: The "Security" Web --- The Kingdom Talks with Saudi Arabia, Britain, and the US

Bahrain's Commander-in-Chief Hosts US CENTCOM CommandersWhilst meetings are part of every government's day, a series of encounters in the past week suggest that security and Saudi union is again very much on the mind of Bahrain --- and its allies.

The backdrop to this activity took place on Sunday, when the Bahrain Interior Minister, Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, visited his Saudi counterpart, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The Saudi Gazette reported, "The talks focused on the recent raids by the Bahraini security forces that resulted in the uncovering of 'terrorist hideouts' and seizure of materials used for manufacturing explosive devices." The Prince "lauded the cooperation between the two countries in security aspects".

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Bahrain Live Coverage: Regime on Human Rights "You Are Biased. P.S. We'll Sue You"

Protesting the detention of women, youth defy security forces to set up a burning-tyre barricade in Dar Kulaib (see 0719 GMT)

See also Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: After the Houla "Massacre", Another 60 Deaths
Saturday's Bahrain Live Coverage: UN Human Rights Council Sends Message to Regime

2024 GMT: Claimed footage of police shooting tear gas into a house in A'ali today:

Protesters help an old woman suffocating from tear gas:

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Hundreds Dead in Homs as Regime Strikes

Sounds of the overnight assault on Homs

See also Syria Snap Analysis: What the Massacre in Homs Means
Syria 1st-Hand Video: Inside Homs Before the Massacre
Syria Video Special: The Dead, Dying, and Injured in Homs
Friday's Egypt, Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Triple Feature of Protest

2140 GMT: Bahrainis have met in the forum of the "Bahrain Debate" to try and find a political accommodation.

Eyad Ebrahim, one of the organiser, said, Everybody is worried. We don't want to see violence on the streets, from police or civilians. We want people to be able to talk freely and express their opinions. We need to move beyond this social tension because even if we have a political problem, there is no need for the community to disintegrate."

"A fundamental solution to the political problem is needed to end the vicious circle," said Omar Al Shehabi, who heads the Gulf Centre for Policy Studies, citing unrest going back decades. "I don't know any home or family that has not been affected or had someone imprisoned. All parts of the population need to have a role in writing the constitution. The constitution of 2002 was written behind closed doors."

2116 GMT: Claimed footage of the regime troops captured by the Free Syrian Army in the Khalidiya and Bayada sections of Homs:

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