Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Jun 13, 2011 2:00 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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SYRIA

Syrians stream across the border into neighboring Turkey, finding sanctuary in refugee camps ringed by barbed wire and offering a frightening picture of life back home where a deadly crackdown on dissent is fueling a popular revolt. Turkey's prime minister accuses Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime of "savagery," but also says he would reach out to the Syrian leader to help solve the crisis. Still, many of the 6,000 refugees in Turkey say they expect their government to inflict only more violence and pain.

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YEMEN

Yemen's acting president agrees with opposition parties to begin discussions on how to transfer power from the country's embattled president. The agreement provides for the opposition and President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling party to open a dialogue to find a way to ease Saleh out of office in accordance with proposals put forward by Yemen's Gulf neighbors. Saleh has publicly accepted the proposals in the past, but has avoided implementing them. Saleh is being treated in Saudi Arabia for wounds he suffered in a rocket attack on his compound.

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LIBYA

Libyan rebels break out toward Tripoli from the opposition-held port of Misrata 140 miles to the east, cracking a government siege as fighters across the country mount a resurgence in their four-month-old revolt against Moammar Gadhafi. The rebels gain a diplomatic boost as well when the visiting the German foreign minister says the nascent opposition government is "the legitimate representative of the Libyan people." Guido Westerwelle was visiting Benghazi, the capital of the rebel-held east of the country, to open a liaison office and hand over medical supplies. Germany has refused to participate in NATO airstrikes in Libya and withheld its support for the U.N. resolution that allowed the attacks.

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EGYPT

Friends and relatives of a U.S.-born Israeli arrested in Egypt on spy charges say he is a law student in Atlanta with an avid interest in the Mideast _ and not a Mossad agent out to sabotage Egypt's revolution, as Egyptian authorities claim. His mother says he arrived in Cairo only in May, countering implications that he was involved in protests as early as February. The arrest of 27-year-old Ilan Grapel sets off new fears in Israel that relations with Egypt will sour now that its longtime president, Hosni Mubarak, has been deposed.

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LEBANON

Hezbollah and its allies rise to a position of unprecedented dominance in Lebanon's government, giving patrons Syria and Iran greater sway in the Middle East. Lebanon's prime minister announces a new Cabinet dominated by the militant group and its allies, after five months without a functioning government. The feat caps Hezbollah's steady rise over decades from resistance force against Israel to Lebanon's most powerful military and political power. Opponents of Hezbollah _ which the U.S. considers a terrorist organization _ say having Hezbollah in control of Lebanon's government could lead to international isolation. The group's most ardent supporters are Iran and Syria, which dominated Lebanon for 29 years.

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BAHRAIN

A special security tribunal begins trials of 34 doctors and nurses accused of backing Shiite-led protests for greater rights and taking part in alleged anti-state plots at the country's main public hospital. The mass trial is part of a surge of cases coming before the security court set up by Bahrain's Sunni rulers, who are appealing for talks with opposition groups even while moving ahead with trials that have come under sharp criticism from rights groups.