A suspected breach in the core of a reactor at the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant could mean more serious radioactive contamination, Japanese officials revealed Friday, as the prime minister called the country's ongoing fight to stabalize the plant "very grave and serious." A somber Prime Minister Naoto Kan sounded a pessimistic note at a briefing hours after nuclear safety officials announced what could be a major setback in the urgent mission to stop the plant from leaking radiation, two weeks after a devastating earthquake and tsunami disabled it.
BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — France declared Libya's airspace "under control" on Friday, after NATO agreed to take control of the no-fly zone in a compromise that appeared to set up dual command centers. Moammar Gadhafi drew a rare rebuke from the African Union, which called for a transitional government and elections. Coalition warplanes struck Gadhafi's forces outside the strategic city of Ajdabiya, the gateway to the rebel-held east, hitting an artillery battery and armored vehicles.
PARACHINAR, Pakistan (AP) — Gunmen attacked a minibus carrying mostly Shiite Muslims and killed eight people on Friday in a stretch of northwestern Pakistan that has seen a recent peace deal between rival Sunni and Shiite tribes, a government official said. The gunmen who carried out the ambush in the Bagan area of the Kurram tribal region also kidnapped 18 people from the bus, said Javid Khan, a local administrator. The attack was the latest blow to the peace deal, which was meant to end a four-year conflict that cost hundreds of lives, but has failed to extinguish violence in the area.
SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Facing growing calls for his resignation, Yemen's longtime ruler told tens of thousands of supporters Friday that he's ready to leave power but he doesn't trust his opposition, whom he called "drug dealers." Ali Abdullah Saleh spoke in a rare appearance before a cheering crowd outside his presidential palace in the Yemeni capital Friday on a day of dueling demonstrations.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew a little faster at the end of 2010 than the government had previously estimated, boosted by more inventory building and business investment in plants and equipment. But rising oil prices will likely limit growth this year.
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) — A powerful earthquake that toppled homes in northeastern Myanmar has killed more than 70 people, and there were fears Friday the toll would mount as conditions in more remote areas became known. The Thursday night quake, measured at a magnitude 6.8 by the U.S. Geological Survey, was centered just north of the town Tachileik in the mountains along the Thai border. It was felt hundreds of miles (kilometers) away in the Thai capital Bangkok and Vietnamese capital Hanoi.
LONDON (AP) — OMG! The exclamatory online abbreviation has won the approval of the Oxford English Dictionary. The term — short for "Oh my God" — is one of dozens of new entries in the authoritative reference book's latest online update.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Target Corp. is suing a San Diego pro-gay marriage group to get it to stop canvassing outside its San Diego County stores, alleging its activists are driving away customers. Rights advocates say the trial between Target and Canvass For A Cause that begins Friday could further strain relations with the gay and lesbian community after controversy over its $150,000 donation to a business group backing a Minnesota Republican candidate opposed to gay marriage.
GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) — Elizabeth Taylor's funeral started late — just the way the screen legend wanted it. Her family held a brief private service Thursday at a Southern California cemetery famous for being the final resting place of Hollywood celebrities, including her good friend Michael Jackson.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Derrick Williams carried Arizona in the first half, keeping the Wildcats in the game against Duke. His teammates returned the favor in the final 20 minutes with an offensive barrage that stunned the defending national champions. Williams scored 25 of his career-high 32 points in the first half of Arizona's 93-77 victory Thursday night, helping the Wildcats reach the final eight for the first time since 2005.