Siege in Libya
Libya's third-largest city, Misrata, continued to be the scene of intensive, close-quarters fighting Monday between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and the city's anti-Gadhafi rebels. The government has promised to allow the United Nations to visit the besieged western city, but it was not clear whether troops would stop shelling the city long enough to allow food, aid and medicine to go in and civilians to escape. The siege began in late February, and Misrata is the only city partly held by rebels in western Libya.
Clashes in Syria
Clashes in Syria between protesters and the government intensified Monday and early today as security forces fired on a crowd of thousands of demonstrators in the central square of the city of Homs, witnesses said. The crowd had gathered to protest a crackdown by security forces, who activists say killed 14 demonstrators Sunday. The protests amounted to a rejection of concessions outlined by President Bashar Assad on Saturday, notably lifting the state of emergency by the end of this week.
New Yemeni party
Several top figures who defected from the camp of embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh set up their opposition party Monday in another blow to the longtime ruler who has clung to power despite near-daily protests demanding his ouster. Representatives from the opposition held talks in the Saudi capital Sunday with the foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to discuss the council's proposal under which Saleh would transfer power to his deputy.