Ruling Coalition punished in voting
Britain's ruling coalition sustained punishing losses in local elections, with final results released Friday showing both the Conservatives and their partner Liberal Democrats giving up hundreds of seats in a stinging rebuke to the two-year-old government of Prime Minister David Cameron.
The results showed the opposition Labor Party gaining 823 seats in Thursday's vote in what analysts saw as a protest vote against the Conservatives' tough austerity drive.
The Conservatives, however, won a major consolation prize — the re-election of London's eccentric mayor, Boris Johnson. The Conservative defeated his Labour challenger, Ken Livingstone, who had formerly held the job.
Activists say 37 killed despite cease-fire
Activists in Syria reported at least 37 people killed across the country Friday as security forces fired at several antigovernment demonstrations and continued shelling cities.
Protesters calling for the ouster for President Bashar Assad came out across Syria, and many were met with gunfire, which activists say is evidence that the government is violating the 3-week-old United Nations-backed cease-fire.
23 people killed in Mexican border city
The bodies of 23 people were found hanging from a bridge or decapitated and dumped near city hall Friday in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, where drug cartels are fighting a bloody and escalating turf war.
The city across the border from Laredo, Texas, has recently been torn by a renewed turf war between the Zetas cartel, a gang of former Mexican special-forces soldiers, and the powerful Sinaloa cartel.
U.S. issues new fracking rules
The Interior Department issued a long-awaited update to rules for oil and gas development on federal lands on Friday, striking a middle ground on regulation of the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing that disappointed industry and some environmentalists.
The proposed update to oil and gas rules calls for companies to disclose chemicals within 30 days of the hydraulic fracturing of an oil or gas well. Earlier versions of the rules had mandated that companies disclose chemicals to regulators before they fractured a well.
Washington: TransCanada, the company behind the disputed Keystone XL pipeline, submitted a new application for the project to the State Department on Friday, as expected. The company will route the pipeline around the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region of Nebraska.