Good Friday – Non-Orthodox Christians are observing Good Friday, the solemn commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI will lead a "Way of the Cross" ceremony at 3:15 p.m. ET at the Colosseum in Rome, followed by Mass at the Vatican at 5 p.m. ET.
A prosecutor and a public defender in Richmond, Virginia, will put on a mock trial with Jesus facing capital punishment. The audience will be the jury in the sentencing phase and decide his fate.
Meanwhile, a pastor looks at the connections and possible conflicts between Earth Day and Good Friday.
Earth Day – Friday also is Earth Day, an observance meant to draw attention to environmental issues, including energy conservation. Here's a list of 10 simple things you can do to go easy on your world.
Sen. John Ensign – The political worlds of Washington and Nevada are responding to Republican Sen. John Ensign's announcement Thursday that he will resign May 3. Ensign previously had said he would not run for re-election in 2012 following revelations that he had an affair with a female aide who was the wife of another top aide, and that his parents subsequently gave money to the aides' family. Political watchers are speculating over whom Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican, will appoint to complete Ensign's term.
Lohan hearing – Lindsay Lohan returns to court Friday for a preliminary hearing that will decide if her necklace theft case will go to trial. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephanie Sautner also is scheduled to consider whether Lohan violated her probation for a 2007 drunken driving conviction by being charged with the felony.
Libya – Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, made a surprise visit Friday to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi. McCain, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has argued that the U.S. should step up efforts to end Moammar Gadhafi's nearly 42-year rule. Large explosions and the sound of jets over Tripoli on Thursday night indicated NATO likely has increased the intensity of its airstrikes on Gadhafi's key command and control military sites.
Middle East – The protest movement that has roiled the Arab world since January seems to gain steam on Fridays as protesters hit the streets after weekly Muslim prayer services. Demonstrations were seen breaking out in Damascus and Daraa, Syria, and violence was reported in Yemen. Meanwhile, a third human rights group accused Bahraini authorities of raiding hospitals and torturing doctors and patients in an effort to quell protests there.
Texas fires – Thousands of firefighters will try to seize the upper hand against nearly two dozen wildfires that have burned 1 million acres in hot, dry Texas. The fires claimed the life of a second firefighter, Elias Jaquez, on Thursday, officials said.