Protests continue in Yemen as revolutionaries demand decisiveness

U.S. House for continuing to finance Libya war but rejects military participation

Gaddafi likely to retire in Sirte if given guarantees

Million-man march to rescue Egypt revolution

Adly trial delay causes clashes

Ali Abdullah Saleh hasn't been seen in public since he was wounded in a bomb blast at his palace in early June but as protests in his country swell to demand the departure of his two sons, Saleh himself is now vowing to return.

Ahmed al-Sufi, Saleh's press secretary gave a statement this week in advance of the President's promised appearance that seemed partly an effort to excuse him for not appearing sooner: "He will appear within the next 48 hours despite our fear that the burns on his features and on different parts of his body will be an obstacle given that his appearance will not be as the media expects it."

The statement did not outline what future role the President, who made is career in the military and came to power in 1978, sees for himself upon return.

Neither did Sufi comment on the proposed plan by the Gulf Cooperation Council whereby Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour would take over from Saleh to form a new government. Regardless, this plan might not be enough to calm protestors whose ranks continue to grow.

Reuters quotes one man protesting against Saleh's sons Sunday: "The position of the United States and Saudi Arabia is against our revolution ...we want a transition council to be set up and for the remainders of the regime to leave."

According to the Associated Press (AP), hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered in Sanaa, Ibb, Taiz, and other cities demanding that Saleh's sons, who are both military commanders and have been key supporters of the embattled President, also leave the country.

If the proposed plan by the Gulf Council isn't backed by the people it may well behoove the council to find a solution that does and is tolerable to all parties, who have different but not necessarily competing interests: while Yemenis demand a complete regime change, Saudi Arabia is most concerned with regional unrest threatening oil concerns and the United States fears a power vacuum that will leave room for Al-Qaeda to emerge as Yemen's most powerful regional powerbroker.

In perhaps the best indicator of international worry over the political situation, even the U.N. Security Council was able to overcome smaller disagreements and issue a statement of "grave concern" regarding a security situation which has been steadily worsening since February, when the protests began.

Since December when the so-called Arab Spring began, popular revolutions have also ousted governments in Tunisia and Egypt, led to civil uprisings Bahrain and Syria, and an sparked an ongoing civil war in Libya.

On Yemen, the U.S. House of Representatives last week overwhelmingly rejected a measure giving President Barack Obama the authority to continue the U.S. military operation against Libya, a major repudiation of the commander in chief.

The vote was 295-123, with Obama losing the support of 70 of his Democrats one day after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had made a last-minute plea for the mission.

While the congressional action had no immediate effect on American involvement in the NATO-led mission, it was an embarrassment to a sitting president and certain to have reverberations in Tripoli and NATO capitals.

The vote marked the first time since 1999 that either House has voted against a military operation. The last time was over President Bill Clinton's authority in the Bosnian war.

The House planned a second vote on legislation to cut off money for the operation.

House Republican leaders pushed for the vote, with rank-and-file members saying the president broke the law by failing to seek congressional approval for the 3-month-old war.

"The president has operated in what we now know is called the zone of twilight as to whether or not he even needs our approval," said Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla. "So what are we left with?"

Some Democrats accused the GOP of playing politics with national security. They said the vote would send a message to Gaddafi.

Rep. Adam Smith of Washington, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, said the vote would essentially "stop the mission in Libya and empower Muammar Gaddafi."

The defeated resolution mirrors a Senate measure sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., that Obama has indicated he would welcome. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider the resolution on Tuesday.

The second vote to eliminate money for the Libya operation would make an exception for search and rescue efforts, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, aerial refueling and operational planning to continue the NATO effort in Libya.

That measure has no chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

House Republicans and Democrats are furious with Obama for failing to seek congressional authorization as required under the War Powers Resolution. The 1973 law, often ignored by Republican and Democratic presidents, says the commander in chief must seek congressional consent for military actions within 60 days. That deadline has long passed.

Obama stirred congressional unrest last week when he told lawmakers he didn't need authorization because the operation was not full-blown hostilities. NATO commands the Libya operation, but the United States still plays a significant support role that includes aerial refueling of warplanes and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance work as well as drone attacks and bombings.

A New York Times report that said Obama overruled some of his legal advisers further incensed members of Congress.

In a last-ditch effort Thursday, Clinton met with rank-and-file Democrats to explain the mission and discuss the implications if the House votes to cut off funds. The administration requested the closed-door meeting.

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., said Clinton apologized for not coming to Congress earlier. But he said she warned about the implications of a House vote to cut off money.

"The secretary expressed her deep concern that you're probably not on the right track when Gaddafi supports your efforts," Walz said.

Rep. Howard Berman of California, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said such a vote "ensures the failure of the whole mission."

Earlier this week Clinton said lawmakers were free to raise questions, but she asked, "Are you on Gaddafi's side, or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been bringing them support?"

In the Senate, backers of a resolution to authorize the operation wondered whether the administration had waited too long to address the concerns of House members.

"It's way late," said McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee. "This is one of the reasons why they're having this veritable uprising in the House, because of a lack of communication. And then the icing on the cake was probably for them when he (Obama) said that we're not engaged in hostilities. That obviously is foolishness."

He added, however, "That is not a reason to pass a resolution that would encourage Muammar Gaddafi to stay in power."

Earlier this month, the House voted 268-145 to rebuke Obama for failing to provide a "compelling rationale" for the Libyan mission and for launching U.S. military forces without congressional approval.

Cornered Colonel Gaddafi was put on the world’s “most wanted” list – heightening fears that he will fight to the death.

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for the “mad dog” Libyan leader, his son Saif and spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity.

Gaddafi is only the second sitting head of state to face an ICC warrant, the other being issued last year for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir over his campaign of genocide in Darfur.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo accused Gaddafi of the premeditated killing of opponents and the widespread and systematic use of “extreme and lethal violence” against protesters.

Securing arrests, however, has proved difficult. The ICC has no police force and relies on member states to enforce warrants.

It is feared the court ruling will simply trigger a renewed wave of reprisals as Gaddafi realizes he now has nothing to lose and little chance of fleeing.

Senior sources say military commanders are aware of most of Gaddafi’s movements, but have held back from bombing him directly to avoid civilian casualties.

Instead they hope his own inner-circle will turn on him and either hand him over for trial – or kill him.

The warrants came as British fighter jets, helicopters and warships joined a massive assault on Gaddafi’s beleaguered forces.

RAF jets destroyed several armored vehicles with Paveway missiles as HMS Liverpool helped Nato allies in an offshore bombardment of pro-Gaddafi troops in Zlitan and Misrata.

On Sunday Tornado jets hammered an artillery installation south west of Tripoli and Apache choppers launched a devastating assault from HMS Ocean.

The AH64 Apaches firing Hellfire missiles and 30mm chain-guns smashed checkpoints which had stopped rebel forces from advancing between Brega and Sirte.

As the conflict raged, it was revealed that Libyan defector Musa Kusa has been living a life of luxury, holed up in a penthouse apartment suite at the lavish Four Seasons hotel in Doha, Qatar.

Gaddafi’s former henchman, suspected of plotting the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, was allowed to leave the UK without facing charges after he fled to Britain in March.

In Cairo, hundreds of Egyptians angry with the delays in the trial of ex-interior minister Habib Adly clashed on Sunday with anti-riot police outside the courtroom, an AFP reporter witnessed.

Adly, once one of ousted leader Hosni Mubarak's most trusted ministers, and six other defendants are accused of ordering the shooting of protesters during an 18-day popular uprising that toppled Mubarak.

Sunday's session was postponed and a new hearing scheduled for July 25 pending a decision by the court of appeals on whether to allow more judges to attend the trial as requested by one of the defense lawyers.

The protesters, mainly relatives of people killed during the popular uprising that toppled Mubarak and his regime, threw rocks at police before Sunday's hearing started and after it was adjourned.

An official inquiry said at least 846 people died in the unrest, most of them from gunshot wounds.

A May 21 hearing was also postponed after a courtroom scuffle broke out.

Egypt's former Finance Minister Youssef Boutros Ghali has been given a 30-year jail sentence over corruption charges, court sources said.

The judges also ordered him to pay back 60m Egyptian pounds (£6.1m). He was convicted in absentia.

Last month Egypt's former tourism and interior ministers were given long jail sentences over similar charges.

Several officials from Hosni Mubarak's former regime are in detention. Mubarak was ousted in February.

He remains in detention in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, charged with ordering the killing of protesters during the widespread demonstrations that forced him out of office.

His two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are being held in Cairo's Tora prison and also face fraud charges.

At least 846 civilians were killed during 18 days of street protests. Most were shot in the head and chest.

The Cairo criminal court gave Ghali 15 years for squandering public money by using cars held in customs and 15 years for abusing his position to personally benefit from finance ministry funds.

In May, Egypt's former Tourism Minister Zuhair Garranah was jailed for five years for handing out tourism licenses illegally. Ex-Interior Minister Habib al-Adly was jailed for 12 years for money-laundering and profiteering.

Hosni Mubarak, 83, is being held in hospital after doctors said his heart condition put him at risk of a sudden attack, and could not be moved to prison.

The former leader is also being questioned over charges that he and his family made huge profits during the three decades he spent as Egyptian president.

He has already been fined $34m (£20m) for cutting off communications services during February's uprising.

His wife, who was being held on corruption charges, has been released on bail after handing over assets.

Suzanne Mubarak turned over a villa in a Cairo suburb and $3m (£1.9m) held in bank accounts in Egypt last month.