NATO says it is ramping up its airstrikes on military targets in western Libya, where rebel forces have claimed a string of advances through territory still largely under Moammar Gadhafi's control. Meanwhile, the African Union has called on member states to disregard a warrant for Gadhafi's arrest issued by the International Criminal Court against the Libyan leader. This could enable Gadhafi to travel freely on the continent.
About 50 Yemeni soldiers are missing after fierce clashes with the al-Qaida-linked group Ansar al-Sharia in the southern city of Zinjibar, a military official says. Government forces do not appear to have the will to fight the militants, raising fears that al-Qaida is making significant gains. Amid continued calls for his ouster, President Ali Abdullah Saleh remains bedridden in Saudi Arabia, according to a Yemeni official.
Riot police in Bahrain have fired tear gas at anti-government protesters who oppose reconciliation talks between the Gulf kingdom's Sunni rulers and the Shiite-led opposition. Bahrain's biggest Shiite party, Al Wefaq, is taking part in the government-led talks in the capital, Manama. About 300 delegates from various political parties and government-linked groups are attending the meetings.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has dismissed the governor of the key central city of Hama in apparent political payback after hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the largest demonstration yet against Assad's regime. Activists say the governor was believed to be leaning toward the protesters after he reportedly urged security forces to avoid another bloodbath. Last month, at least 65 people were killed in Hama last month.