Five days of riots last week in a town in Tunisia's impoverished interior wounded hundreds of people and deepened the rift between the two most powerful forces in this North African country: the moderate Islamist ruling party and the main labor union.
Syrian troops shelled and raided opposition strongholds nationwide on Tuesday, activists said, prompting an urgent appeal by international envoy Kofi Annan to the Syrian regime to halt violence and give his truce plan a chance.
Fewer than half the leaders of the Arab world showed up at an Arab summit in Baghdad on Thursday, a snub to the Iraqi government that reflects how trenchantly the sectarian division between Sunnis and Shiites and the rivalry with neighboring Iran define the Middle East's politics today.
A moderate Islamist party that had been banned for decades in Tunisia appeared headed for victory Monday in the region's first elections of the Arab Spring.
Inspired by the scenes of euphoria in Libya, Syrian protesters poured into the streets Friday and shouted that President Bashar Assad's regime will be the next to unravel now that ousted Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi is dead.
Arab states that once were transfixed by the January revolt in Tunisia are more focused now on their internal crises than the historic elections Sunday in the tiny North African state.
A court Monday sentenced former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to 15½ years in prison for smuggling drugs, guns and archaeological artifacts, in the latest trial in absentia of the deposed autocrat.
Visiting Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf vowed that Cairo's possible ties with Iran will not undermine the security of oil-rich Arab states in the Gulf.
Before starting to build the foundations of a new republic, Tunisians first rapidly demolished reminders of the old one. First to go were all pictures of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali lingering in offices, on billboards and on lampposts.