- Toronto mayor denies he smokes crack cocaine
TORONTO (AP) — Toronto Mayor Rob Ford denied that he smokes crack cocaine and said he is not an addict, breaking a week of silence over reports of a video purportedly showing him using the drug. Critics were not appeased, with one city councilor questioning whether the mayor told "the whole truth" and another calling on him to resign.
- Syrian regime OKs peace talks amid skepticism
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's government has agreed to attend a U.S.-Russian-brokered peace conference, according to Moscow. While this development might seem at first glance to be a step toward ending the civil war, strong skepticism persists on both sides.
- Syria targeted Israeli jeep going to rebel village
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Syria said it targeted an Israeli vehicle that crossed a ceasefire line into its territory earlier this week because it was heading toward a village with a large rebel presence.
- NKorean envoy delivers letter to China's president
BEIJING (AP) — A top North Korean envoy has delivered a letter from leader Kim Jong Un to Chinese President Xi Jinping and told him Pyongyang would take steps to rejoin stalled nuclear disarmament talks, in an apparent victory for Beijing's efforts to coax its unruly ally into lowering tensions.
- Barrick fined $16m for Pascua-Lama violations
VALLENAR, Chile (AP) — Chile's environmental regulator blocked Barrick Gold Corp.'s $8.5 billion Pascua-Lama project on Friday and imposed its maximum fine on the world's largest gold miner, citing "very serious" violations of its environmental permit as well as a failure by the company to accurately describe what it had done wrong.
- Gas cylinder blast on Pakistan school bus kills 17
ISLAMABAD (AP) — At least 17 children were burned to death in eastern Pakistan on Saturday when a faulty gas cylinder exploded on the bus taking them to school, police said.
- US: Czech slaying suspect killed relatives
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — An American man killed his uncle, aunt and cousins in the Czech Republic and then flew to the United States, where he was arrested at an airport, authorities said Friday.
- Kerry's focus on peace talks, not settlements
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Israel's government on Friday to prevent further settlement construction where possible to help revitalize Middle East peace hopes, but stressed that the Jewish state and Palestinians alike should remain focused on the larger goal of restarting direct negotiations.
- UK-bound Pakistan plane diverted, 2 men arrested
LONDON (AP) — Britain scrambled fighter jets Friday to intercept a commercial airliner carrying more than 300 people from Pakistan, diverting it to an isolated runway at an airport on the outskirts of London and arresting two British passengers who allegedly threatened to destroy the plane.
- Afghan Taliban attack aid group, 2 guards killed
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — In the latest militant strike on the Afghan capital, Taliban gunmen backed by a suicide car bomber attacked an international aid group's compound on Friday, killing two guards and setting off an hours-long street battle with police in the heart of Kabul .