Britain has come under criticism for inviting the king of Bahrain, whose Gulf state has engaged in a brutal crackdown on political dissent, to a lunch Friday celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.
Protesters hurled firebombs and riot police fired tear gas Friday, hours after Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone declared the Gulf nation safe to host a Grand Prix race next week.
A Senate Intelligence Committee member says a recent report on Bahrain's human rights abuses against protesters validates his opposition to a proposed $53 million arms sale to the island kingdom.
The head of a probe into Bahrain's recent unrest said he found "no evidence" that Iran gave material support to the kingdom's Shiite opposition during its 10-month uprising against the Sunni-dominated government.
Bahrain on Sunday released more than 100 prisoners, including two former opposition members of parliament, arrested during the Sunni government's crackdown on the predominantly Shiite protests inspired by the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.
The Syrian foreign minister this week warned the U.S. and French ambassadors that they will face severe travel restrictions if they leave Damascus again without government permission.
The Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain has had secret contacts with Israel's Mossad intelligence service, according to a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable.
Senior members of Bahrain's largest opposition party told The Washington Times on Thursday that they were cautiously optimistic about upcoming talks with the government after it took several confidence-building measures.
Bahrain's king ordered the release of some political prisoners Tuesday, conceding to another opposition demand as the embattled monarchy tries to engage protesters in talks aimed at ending an uprising that has entered its second week.