An Egyptian panel boycotted by Christians and liberals on Friday adopted a draft constitution with an Islamist bent that activists are unhappy with.
The Arab League has met for talks to extend its observer mission to Syria, with Riyadh 'pulling its observers' as Damascus has not kept its promises.
Egypt's judiciary has decided to free blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, who has spent the past two months in custody for inciting violence.
Egyptian media on Monday accused "anti-revolutionaries" of trying to trigger sectarian conflict.
Sectarian clashes killed at least 13 people in Cairo on Wednesday as old regime diehards attacked pro-democracy protesters.
Iraq clamped a raft of draconian new security rules on its war-torn capital on Wednesday amid mystery over the whereabouts of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whom United States officials say has fled to Iran. US defence officials claimed that the anti-American cleric had travelled to Tehran two or three weeks ago.
The last phase of the turbulent trial of Saddam Hussein on charges of crimes against humanity resumed on Monday with a boycott by the deposed Iraqi leader and key members of the defence team. The Iraqi high tribunal said it would continue to hear the defence's closing arguments with or without Saddam or his lawyers.
A daytime gun battle in the capital between Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite militiamen prompted the Iraqi government to tighten the Baghdad curfew on Friday as 22 people died in two bombings. The street fighting on Haifa Street on Baghdad's west side broke out after militiamen loyal to Shi'ite radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr's Mehdi Army came under attack from Sunni Arab gunmen.
Many people were feared dead on Friday when an Egyptian ferry with about 1Â 400 on board, including many Muslim pilgrims, sank in the Red Sea during a crossing from Saudi Arabia to Egypt. Twenty bodies were recovered amid fears of a much higher death toll, while survivors were battling for their lives in lifeboats in heavy seas.
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, which control one in five parliamentary seats after spectacular gains in recent polls, says it is ready to break a long-standing taboo and engage in contacts with Washington, which welcomed the results of Egypt's month-long parliamentary polls.