Egypt extends mubarak's detention
Few Egyptians expected a day when Hosni Mubarak would be under arrest. Now they get to see at least 15 more days of it, the prosecutor general said Friday, and investigators are questioning a widening slice of the former president's inner circle. But as the inquiry broadens, Mubarak, who is being confined to a pyramid-shaped hospital in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, is winning broader sympathy, too. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Egyptians led by hard-line Islamists escalated their protests against the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor in southern Egypt, deepening mistrust between religious communities during the bumpy aftermath of Egypt's revolution.
Protesters march across capital
A sea of hundreds of thousands of antigovernment protesters swelled along a five-lane boulevard reaching across Yemen's capital Friday in the largest of two months of demonstrations, as the government tried to halt military defections by arresting dozens of officers. The size of the demonstrations calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster have grown despite a crackdown that has killed nearly 130 protesters. Besides military figures, those abandoning the president have included ruling party members, lawmakers, Cabinet ministers, top diplomats and even Saleh's own tribe. Still, the president of 32 years has clung to power in the fragile country on Arabia's southern edge, in large part because he still has the support of the best military units.
Tensions rising in Iran, Saudi Arabia
A month after a brutal crackdown on Shiite protesters there, Bahrain is exacerbating tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran, dragging relations between the Persian Gulf rivals to their lowest level in at least a decade. On Friday, a large crowd of students rallied outside the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, chanting "Death to al-Saud" protesting the suppression of antigovernment demonstrations in Bahrain. The latest protests capped a week of tension in which Iranian youths hurled firebombs at the Saudi Embassy while Riyadh threatened to withdraw its diplomats.
Weeks to decide on U.S. withdrawal
The United States' senior military official warned the Iraqi government on Friday that it had only a few weeks to decide whether U.S. forces would remain after the end of the year. Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there were "irrevocable logistics and operational decisions" that had to be made by the United States before the withdrawal.