1725 GMT: Palestine. An image of today's Hamas rally in Nablus in the West Bank, an impresssive turnout in an area overseen by rival party Fatah:
Entries in Sheikh Ali Salman (17)
Police arrest Said Yousuf Almuhafda of the Bahrain Center of Human Rights on Friday
On 19 September, at the United Nations Human Rights Council, officials of the Bahrain Government made much of their purported commitment to human rights. The subsequent weeks tell a different story:
23 September 2012: Pro-government newspaper AlWatan publishes pictures of the activists and opposition figures who attended the UN Human Rights Council UPR in Geneva, with their faces circled in red. The paper accused them of being on a "mission to defame and ruin the reputation of Bahrain". The red circling recalled the period at the height of last years violence where Bahrain state television broadcast images of opposition activists with their faces similarly circled in red, seen by many as inciting violence against them.
The aftermath of the downing of a Syrian jet fighter near Aleppo on Saturday
1959 GMT: Bahrain. Five medics whose convictions were recently upheld have gone on hunger strike, according to their lawyers.
The five were among 20 medical staff who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms by a military court last year after they gave medical treatment to demonstrators. The sentences were reduced this summer; however, after they were reaffirmed by an appeal court last month, the five medics were detained.
Calling their action "The Lost Justice", the medics repeated that the authorities used "harsh and systematic torture" during their detention, which "caused injuries and disabilities whose traces remain on [their] bodies.
Ever since the start of the mass protests in February 2011, the US Government's hope has been that the opposition could reach a deal with the regime, notably through the "moderate" Crown Prince Salman, over "reform".
That hope was dashed in March 2011 with the regime crackdown, backed by a Saudi-led military force, on the demonstrations and the subsequent polarisation of support and opposition to the monarchy and the Government. However, after the publication of the Bahraini Independent Commission of Inquiry's report in November, with its call for significant change, Washington returned to the strategy.
There have some discussions between the regime "moderates" and representatives of the largest opposition society Al Wefaq this year. These have been halting in any progress, but Alex Delmar Morgan, US officials, and an Al Wefaq member try to give the initiative a boost in The Wall Street Journal....
The moment on Friday when Bahraini security forces fired on a demonstration and injured protesters, including the head of the opposition Al Wefaq society
Given its current verses, at some point the regime song about supposed enemies at its gates will become the noise of absurdity. In the past week, a 4-year old boy has been shot and blinded by security forces, whilst an 11-year old was put on trial for protesting. And, on Friday, the "seditious threat" became the police attack on marchers, including opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman, who were armed with flowers.
Western observers often tempers their criticism of police brutality with evidence of opposition provocation in the form of Molotov cocktails; this time, video plainly shows the peaceful intent of the protest. Moreover, as the largest legal opposition party, Salman's Al Wefaq has the ear of the US State Department, who will likely view this development with concern, fear that it could lead to the society's disengagement from the reform process.
2016 GMT: Syria. The discussion continues (see last 2 updates) - Hama Echo offers another blog post that has analyzed videos coming from this artillery site. However, according to the analysis, the second video we've posted is older than the 1st one that claims to have been taken today.
The blog post also analyses what weapons appear to be used, and where those weapons appear to be located. The post focuses on comparing the videos of this camp to the ordinance that has reportedly been used against the city of Homs in the past. It's complicated, but a good read.
Our conclusion? The two videos taken together serve as fairly convincing evidence that shabiha are conducting military operations inside the artillery camp, and are being directly trained by the Syrian military. The evidence is compelling, but not indisputable. The blogger Bjørn H Jespersen offers compelling evidence that the videos show an artillery base in El Waer, Homs, with mortars firing in the direction of the populated city.
Funeral march for activist Salah Abbas Habib, slain by security forces, 26 April
You can criticize Husain for several sins of omission — like the scant attention he gives to the excessive use of tear gas in Bahraini villages, the ongoing torture of detainees, the near-complete impunity enjoyed by members of the security forces. He criticizes the "language of Shiite sectarianism," but says nothing about the state-sponsored sectarianism directed against the Shia community.
The central issue with his analysis, though, is the framing, and the focus on Sheikh Isa Qassim. It's true that Qassim can mobilize large numbers of people: his endorsement was one reason for the huge turnout during the March 9 protest on Budaiya highway. But don't confuse that with ideological influence; the protesters carried signs calling for democratic reforms, not vilayet-e-fiqh. In four trips to Bahrain since the uprising began, and hundreds of interviews with opposition members, I have never met one who endorsed theocracy.
Footage from today's funeral in Bahrain of 57-year-old Salma Abdul Muhsen of Barbar --- activists claim she died from tear gas inhalation last night
See also Syria 1st-Hand: With the Monitors in Zabadani "A City Under Siege" br>
Syria Interview: Activist "LeShaque" on Social Media and the Syrian Revolution br>
Bahrain Propaganda 101: The Countess of Wessex, a New PR Firm, and a Former British Ambassador br>
Bahrain Document: A List of 56 People Killed Since 14 February 2011 br>
Saturday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A University Under Curfew
2045 GMT: Claimed footage of Bahraini police vehicles charging female protesters in Barbar, after today's funeral of Salma Abdul Muhsen:
2005 GMT: Claimed footage of a massive explosion in Insha'at in Homs Province today:
Bahraini police, after speaking to activist Nabeel Rajab, attack the protest march in Manama on Friday night
1930 GMT: Security camera footage showing the moment of yesterday's blast in Damascus has been obtained by the Al Alam News Network (and uploaded to YouTube via a third party). The commentators note that the explosion can be seen under the highway overpass, next to a car belonging to the security forces. See our liveblog yesterday for a map pinpointing the exact location of the blast.
2049 GMT: There are impressive videos pouring in, and along with eyewitness reports, they show that protests continue into the night across Syria. So far, one of our favorite videos shows a protest taking place, almost completely in the dark after power was cut, in Khirbat al Ghazalah, Daraa. But perhaps the best-lit video shows a large protest in Irbeen, an important suburb of Damascus, and is posted by the Coalition of Free Damascenes For Peaceful Change: