Good morning. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. U.S. drone strike policy questioned after American killed
The U.S. government's use of drone strikes came under mounting pressure on Friday as Pakistan joined a chorus of criticism over the policy following the accidental killings of two al Qaeda hostages: U.S. aid worker Warren Weinstein and Italian national Giovanni Lo Porto. The men were inadvertently killed in a CIA drone strike in January near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the deaths highlight the risk and unintended consequences of the use of drone technology that the country has been highlighting for a long time. Read more in NEWS.
2. Italian terror raid busts al Qaeda-inspired cell
Italian police mounted a vast counterterrorism operation Friday against a terror network with ties to Osama bin Laden. Officers had dismantled a "very well-structured terrorist network" mainly composed of Pakistani nationals who had been operating out of Italy's Mediterranean island of Sardinia since 2005, officials told NBC News. Officials also suspect the network planned — but never carried out — an attack against Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in 2010. Read more in NEWS.
3. David Petraeus avoids jail, gets probation for leaking secrets
The former CIA director, whose shining career in public service came crashing down after an affair with his biographer, received two years probation and a $100,000 fine Thursday for leaking military secrets."I now look forward to moving on with the next phase of my life and to continuing to serve our great nation as a private citizen," a disgraced Petraeus said outside the courthouse after his sentencing. The 62-year-old retired general pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor count of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. Read more in NEWS.
4. Senate confirms Loretta Lynch as attorney general
The former federal prosecutor from New York was confirmed Thursday as attorney general, the first black woman in American history to hold the country's top law enforcement post. The Senate approved her on a 56-43 vote to succeed Eric Holder after an unusually lengthy confirmation delay. President Barack Obama said the Justice Department would benefit from Lynch's experience as a "a tough, independent, and well-respected prosecutor." Read more in POLITICS.
5. Threat of tornadoes, large hail intensifies in South
The harsh weather that slammed the South this week is expected to get worse on Friday, upping the chances of tornadoes and severe storms from the Gulf Coast states into the central Plains. The South and parts of the Plains have been hammered by large hail, severe thunderstorms, at least one confirmed tornado and heavy rainfall over the past few days. The bad bout of weather is expected to intensify with the potential of "very large" hail, damaging winds and twisters, forecasters say. Read more in NEWS.
6. Baltimore man who died in police custody lacked seat belt
While it's still not known how Freddie Gray came to suffer a fatal spine injury when he was arrested by Baltimore police this month, a new detail has emerged: He was not only handcuffed and put in leg irons, but left without a seat belt during his trip to the station, a police union's lawyer said. Unbelted detainees have been paralyzed and even killed by rough rides in what used to be called "paddy wagons." It even has a name: "nickel rides," referring to cheap amusement park thrills. Read more in NEWS.
7. Apple Watch ships early for pre-orders
Gadget geeks can get excited a little earlier than expected. Apple's much-hyped wristwear is being delivered Friday to those who were among the first to place orders online. But customers who place new orders are still facing a wait of several weeks. Apple hasn't said how many watches have been sold since it began taking orders for the Apple Watch earlier this month, and for those who'd prefer to buy one in a physical store, they'll have to wait until June. Read more in TECH.
He calls himself “a humble kid from the Bronx,” but crooner Romeo Santos is a global sensation. The 33-year-old sells out stadiums with his spin on traditional Dominican music about love and heartache. His hit video “Indecent Proposal” has more than 600 million views on YouTube — enough to make Beyoncé jealous.