A new effort to enhance New York subway security was announced by the Transportation Security Administration this week.
Transportation safety officers with security experience from area airports began assisting the New York Police Department with random screening of passengers' bags this Wednesday, according to police Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne.
"About a dozen TSA personnel with expertise in explosives detection are joining NYPD officers who have been screening bags for bombs in the New York subway system for the last three years," Browne said in a statement.
Seven people - including six police officers - were killed Friday in a noon shootout in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Three others were wounded, the city's mayor said.
Mayor Jose Reyes Ferriz told CNN that five of the dead were federal police officers and one was a female city officer. The seventh was a civilian.
Another federal officer was gravely wounded, he said, and a city officer was wounded but not with life-threatening injuries. A civilian was hit by shrapnel but those injuries were not serious, he added.
A Utah judge signed a death warrant Friday allowing the state to execute Ronnie Lee Gardner using a five-man firing squad, a spokeswoman for the Utah's state court system told CNN.
Before signing the death warrant, Third District Judge Robin Reese asked Gardner if he wanted to be executed by the method he had chosen previously, spokeswoman Nancy Volmer said.
"I would like the firing squad, please," Gardner replied.
The guilty plea of New York taxi driver Zarein Ahmedzay on several terrorism charges Friday brings what intelligence officials called the biggest terrorist plot since September 11 one step closer to resolution.
In February, Ahmedzay pleaded not guilty to making false statements, but in a Brooklyn court on Friday, he admitted conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction against targets in the United States.
Ten years ago, Ahmedzay was a school friend of fellow Afghan immigrant Najibullah Zazi. They attended Flushing High School in New York.
Zazi has admitted the conspiracy and in a court appearance in February confessed that he and others planned a series of suicide bomb attacks on the New York subway in September.
The case has shed light on the growing number of â€śhome-grown jihadistâ€ť plots. One of the most serious is Chicago, Illinois, resident David Headley, who admitted scouting targets in Mumbai, India, for the November 2008 attacks by Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar e Taiba and plotting to attack the offices of the Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005.
Zarein Ahmedzay pleaded guilty Friday to terrorism charges stemming from his role in an al-Qaeda plot to "conduct coordinated suicide bombings" on New Yorkâ€™s subway system in September 2009, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Prosecutors say Ahmedzay and another man, Adis Medunjanin, conspired with Najibullah Zazi on the attack in mid-September 2009.
Ahmedzay, 25, pleaded guilty to the following charges: Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass of destruction in the U.S.; conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country; and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, namely al Qaeda. Ahmedzay faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Ahmedzay listened intently in court and swiveled from side to side in his chair as the judge made sure he understood what entering a guilty plea meant. He responded that everything was clear to him and then stood up to make a statement detailing his role in the terror plot.
Hereâ€™s a quick glance at the collective consciousness of the Web on Friday:
Archie: Archie just got a little more this-century. When was the last time he was the topic of watercooler and Web conversation? A long time ago, that's for sure. But Riverdale High School, the stomping ground of comic book legend Archie Andrews, is opening its doors to its first openly gay student - and for that, it is getting a lot of attention. Kevin Keller will be the new student to join Archie, Jughead, Veronica, Betty and Reggie.
Tim Tebow (and the NFL draft): Last night was one of the wildest NFL drafts in recent history, according to many sports writers and bloggers, and Web users and sports fans couldn't agree more. Nearly half of today's Google trends center around the draft, especially quarterback Tim Tebow's selection in the first round by the Denver Broncos. And although some sports writers may have been surprised, it seems Bronco (or Tebow) fans are thrilled. The trend "Tim Tebow broncos jersey" is just as high today on Google as anything negative.
Itâ€™s Day 2 of the NFL Draft following a trade-filled opening night that saw Florida star Tim Tebow land with the Denver Broncos with the No. 25 pick of the first round. â€śHindsight being 20-20 and all that, Denver would seem to be an ideal spot for Tebow to serve his NFL apprenticeship,â€ť said SI.com's Don Banks. â€śFor one, the Broncos already have two quarterbacks in Kyle Orton and the newly acquired Brady Quinn (who might be the night's real loser, come to think of it). That should give Tebow time to work on his game without even being asked to serve as an NFL backup as a rookie, let alone a starter.â€ť
While Tebow is gone, Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy are among those who could be selected today when the draft resumes at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN and NFL Network. (Rounds 2 and 3 will take place on Friday night.) Other sports highlights (all times Eastern) include:
Celtics at Heat (7:30, ESPN)
Kevin Garnett is back for Boston after a one-game suspension for elbowing Quentin Richardson, which isnâ€™t good news for the Heat who lost the first two games of the series. Tonightâ€™s game in Miami is a must win for the home team. No team has ever rallied from an 0-3 deficit in NBA playoff history.
Belgian bishop Roger Joseph Vangheluwe has resigned after admitting to sexually abusing a child, a spokesman for the Brussels bishop said Friday.
President Obama criticized a controversial new immigration bill in Arizona on Friday, calling it "misguided."
"Our failure to act responsible at the federal level will only open the door to irresponsibility by others. That includes, for example, the recent efforts in Arizona which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe," the president said at a naturalization ceremony for members of the military.
A New York taxi driver accused of helping to plot a bombing of crowded subway trains is expected to enter a guilty plea Friday, an official said.
Taiwanese singer Lin Yu Chun first became an internet sensation when a video of him singing Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" hit YouTube, but his first performance in America on "Lopez Tonight!" may be what keeps him around for Web infamy even longer.
That is, because he performed alongside another clutch viral performer, William Shatner. And he handled it like a pro.
The pair joined forces for a performance of Bonnie Tyler's â€śTotal Eclipse of the Heart.â€ť And the result, well, if you've seen William Shatner, you know it wasn't typical.
Rescuers on Friday searched for the 11 people missing from the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico, and crews geared up for a major oil spill, even though there's no immediate evidence of a crude oil leak, a Coast Guard commander told CNN.
A Lebanese man sentenced to die for "sorcery" in Saudi Arabia remains on death row but may not be executed - at least not yet, the man's lawyer said.
Obama's mojo moment- As President Obama took the high road in his speech on Wall Street reform, congressional Democrats, smelling blood in the water as Republicans begin to cave, hammered what they called GOP â€śfalsehoodsâ€ť about the bill in an unusual news conference.
With the passing of health care reform and financial reform picking up steam, the White House appears to be on a legislative winning streak. What impact does that momentum have on the rest of Obamaâ€™s agenda this year â€” Supreme Court pick, climate change, immigration reform, womenâ€™s issues, GLBT issues â€” before he runs into political reality of everything coming to a standstill before the mid-terms. CNN's Ed Henry reports.
Obama naturalization - The president plans to speak to active-duty service members as they become U.S. citizens at a naturalization ceremony set to begin at 10 a.m. ET on Friday.
[Updated at 8:45 a.m.] The U.S. Geological Survey has downgraded the magnitude of an earthquake that struck Chile on Friday to 5.9.
The quake hit about 40 miles (65 km) south of Concepcion, Chile, the U.S. Geological Survey said Friday. It was 22 miles (35 km) deep, the USGS said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
It stuck in the same area as an 8.8-magnitude quake in February that triggered a tsunami, left 800,000 people homeless and caused $30 billion in damage.
Severe thunderstorms will develop later this morning and continue through the overnight hours across portions of the mid- and lower- Mississippi River Valley.
The Storm Prediction Center is forecasting a few strong tornadoes across the lower Mississippi River Valley this afternoon and tonight.
iReport: See severe weather in your area?S end photos and video (But please stay safe and take caution if you do.)
[Updated at 8:41 a.m.] At least 61 people have died and 112 have been wounded in Iraq bombings Friday, police said.
[Updated at 7:51 a.m.] A wave of bombings in Baghdad and Anbar province killed at least 43 people and wounded 96 others Friday, police said.
[Posted at 7:05 a.m.] Bombs killed nine people Friday in Iraq, officials said.