1. SYRIAN PEACE CONFERENCE CONVENES IN SWITZERLAND
Amid hostile rhetoric, representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition agreed to face each other Saturday for the first time to try to end the violence that has killed more than 130,000 since 2011. The opposition confirmed it would attend the talks less than 48 hours before the conference began Monday, and after the U.N. secretary-general rescinded his last-minute invitation to Iran.
2. BOMBINGS ROCK EGYPTIAN CAPITAL BEFORE THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF ARAB SPRING
One of the targets in the series of attacks Friday that killed six people was the main security headquarters in Cairo.
3. UNREST IN UKRAINE SPREADS FROM CAPITAL TO NEARLY HALF THE COUNTRY
After nearly two months of ignoring mass demonstrations calling for his ouster, President Viktor Yanukovych promised Friday to reshuffle his government and make other concessions. But a top opposition leader said nothing short of his resignation would do. Crowds angered by the deaths of two protesters this week in clashes with police besieged government buildings in cities in western Ukraine.
Bob McDonnell, once seen as a rising star in the GOP, and his wife, Maureen, were indicted Tuesday on federal charges accusing them of accepting tens of thousands of dollars in loans, shopping sprees, money for their daughter's wedding—and even a joyride in a Ferrari—from the former owner of a company that makes health supplements. At a court appearance Friday, both pleaded not guilty.
5. NJ GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE STARTS SECOND TERM AS INVESTIGATIONS RAMP UP
At his inauguration Tuesday, Christie did not mention the investigations of his administration that have led to the firing or departure of four top aides or associates. Federal subpoenas to the Christie for Governor organization and the Republican State Committee were disclosed Thursday, the same day his campaign said it had hired a Washington law firm in the case involving allegations of political payback.
6. DEFENSE SECRETARY ORDERS FULL REVIEW OF U.S. NUCLEAR FORCE
The high-level Pentagon concern came after disclosures about security lapses, poor discipline, weak morale and other problems that raised questions about nuclear security.
7. JUSTIN BIEBER ARRESTED, CHARGED WITH DUI
Police described the 19-year-old singer as bleary-eyed and smelling of alcohol when he was stopped. Officers said they saw him drag-racing before dawn Thursday on a residential street in Miami Beach, with his yellow Lamborghini traveling at nearly twice the speed limit. Police said he later admitted smoking marijuana, drinking and taking a prescription medication.
8. ONCE-ICEBOUND SCIENTISTS AND TOURISTS ARE BACK ON LAND IN AUSTRALIA
The expedition of 52 scientists and tourists, which arrived Wednesday in Australia, was freed from a ship trapped in Antarctic sea ice three weeks ago.
9. SUPER BOWL MATCHUP IS SET: DENVER VS. SEATTLE
Outspoken Seahawks' cornerback Richard Sherman is a key player in the NFL's No. 1 defense, taking on Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who runs the league's top offense. Manning will be vying to become the first starting QB to win titles with two franchises.
10. FAMED ENTERTAINMENT AND SPORTS ATTORNEY ED HOOKSTRATTEN DEAD AT 83
The lawyer, who died Wednesday, represented a galaxy of celebrities, including Johnny Carson, Elvis Presley, Vin Scully, Dick Enberg, Tom Brokaw and Bryant Gumbel.