The surprisingly heavy turnout for Egypt's first parliamentary elections since Hosni Mubarak's ouster boosts the ruling military, which points to the crowds of voters as proof of popular support for their democratic transition plan in the face of protesters demanding they surrender power. Long lines form at polling stations for a second day of voting. The head of the election commission proclaims that the turnout so far is "massive and unexpected," but he does not give figures.
Regional pressure mounts against President Bashar Assad's regime as Saudi Arabia urges its citizens to leave Syria, and Turkey says it could use Iraq as an alternative trade route. That would cut out Syria entirely as Damascus faces broad economic sanctions over its deadly crackdown on an 8-month-old uprising. Russia's foreign minister gives the regime a boost, warning against imposing ultimatums on Assad's government. Activists said at least 11 Syrians are killed by security forces in a series of raids and house searches.
The leader of an Islamist party that has never before participated in Morocco's governments is chosen by the king as the country's new head of government. The Justice and Development Party won the most votes in a national election prompted by the pro-democracy demonstrations that swept this North African kingdom of 32 million earlier this year as part of the regionwide Arab Spring.
Libya's new leaders admit that some prisoners held by revolutionary forces have been abused, but insist the mistreatment is not systematic and pledge to tackle the problem. This comes a day after the U.N. released a report a detailing alleged torture and ill treatment in lockups controlled by the forces that overthrew dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The report says Libyan revolutionaries still hold about 7,000 people, many of them sub-Saharan Africans who are in some cases accused or suspected of being mercenaries hired by Gadhafi.
Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis demonstrate across the country to demand that President Ali Abdullah Saleh face trial on charges ranging from corruption to deadly crackdowns on protests. The mass protests take place in the capital Sanaa, Taiz, Aden and other cities. Similar demonstrations have taken place since Saleh returned to Yemen Saturday night from the Saudi capital Riyadh after signing a power transfer deal.
A Bahrain court postpones the trial of 61 athletes and sports officials accused of links to anti-government protests. A defense attorney says the hearing is rescheduled for Jan. 4 because most of the defendants did not appear at proceedings. They include handball, basketball and volleyball players, along with referees and administrators for several sports. The charges include illegal assembly and inciting hatred against Bahrain's Sunni monarchy.
Kuwait's parliament speaker says there will be no new sessions for lawmakers until a new government is formed _ the latest twist in a tense political showdown in the Gulf nation. The announcement puts a freeze on all debate inside parliament, where opposition deputies have hammered the government over an alleged corruption scandal and sought to bring down the prime minister. On Monday, Kuwait's Cabinet resigned, but the country's ruler asked the ministers to stay on in a caretaker role until a new government is named.