1. UKRAINE LAUNCHES OFFENSIVE IN EAST, UNREST SPREADS TO ODESSA
The government in Kiev launched an offensive Friday to try to dislodge separatists who control the eastern city of Slovyansk, and the acting president said there were many dead and wounded. Clashes broke out in the southern port of Odessa, leading to a fire in a building that police said killed 31 people.
2. OKLAHOMA'S EXECUTION OF A CONDEMNED INMATE IS BOTCHED
Clayton Lockett writhed and appeared to struggle Tuesday after a vein collapsed during the lethal injection. The execution, which was using a new drug combination for the first time, was halted but Lockett later died of a heart attack. Gov. Mary Fallin ordered a 14-day stay of execution for another inmate scheduled to die two hours after Lockett. The prison chief urged changes to the state's execution procedure.
3. U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FALLS TO 6.3 PERCENT, LOWEST IN 5½ YEARS
The Labor Department said Friday that employers added a robust 288,000 jobs in April, the most in two years. It was the strongest evidence to date that the economy is picking up after a brutal winter slowed growth. But the unemployment rate drop occurred because the number of people working or seeking work fell sharply.
4. SINN FEIN LEADER GERRY ADAMS QUESTIONED ABOUT 1972 IRA KILLING
Northern Ireland police arrested him Wednesday for questioning in the death of Jean McConville, a Belfast widow once branded a British army spy. Adams denies any role in the IRA. But IRA veterans told a Boston College-commissioned oral history project he was the outlawed group's Belfast commander in 1972 and ordered her killing.
5. NBA BANS LA CLIPPERS OWNER DONALD STERLING FOR LIFE AFTER RACIST COMMENTS
In his action Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million — the maximum allowed — and urged other team owners to force him to sell the franchise. If three-fourths of the other 29 owners agree, Sterling will have to sell the team he has owned since 1981.
6. SEVERE WEATHER ACROSS MIDWEST AND SOUTH KILLS AT LEAST 37 PEOPLE
The violent storms, tornadoes and heavy rain started Sunday in Oklahoma and Arkansas, and spread to the Atlantic. Flooding was reported Wednesday in the Gulf Coast area, with nearly 2 feet of rain drenching two counties in Florida.
7. LANDSLIDE IN AFGHANISTAN KILLS AT LEAST 350, HUNDREDS MORE MISSING
Days of heavy rain triggered Friday's disaster in the remote, northeastern village of Hobo Barik, where residents looked on helplessly and the governor appealed for shovels to dig through the mass of mud. More than 2,000 people were missing as the landslide flattened every home in its path.
8. ACTOR BOB HOSKINS DIES OF PNEUMONIA AT AGE 71
The versatile character actor had a varied career with roles in the 1986 noir drama "Mona Lisa," for which he was nominated for a best-actor Academy Award, the gangster drama "The Long Good Friday," and the animated fantasy "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" The London-raised Hoskins, who died Wednesday, specialized in tough guys with a soft center. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and retired from acting in 2012.
9. TORONTO MAYOR BEGINS LEAVE OF ABSENCE FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Rob Ford had stayed in office despite admitting last year he used crack cocaine in a "drunken stupor" after police said they obtained a video that appears to show him smoking the drug. Now new video has emerged, showing him taking a drag from a pipe April 26. Ford said he will take an immediate leave of absence from office and his campaign for re-election on Oct. 27.
10. TENTATIVE CEASE-FIRE REACHED IN SYRIAN CITY OF HOMS
Isolated and battered after months of bombardment and blockades, rebels agreed Friday to a truce that would allow hundreds of fighters to evacuate their last bastions in Homs. They handed over to President Bashar Assad's forces a strategic but largely destroyed city once hailed as the capital of the revolution. The deal reached on Syria's third-largest city follows military gains by the regime in the civil war.