ENGLAND

Thousands without power

Thousands of people were left without electricity as winter storm Gertrude lashes northern Britain with snow, rain and wind gusts of more than 100 miles an hour. The Met Office weather service says 60 to 70 miles per hour winds are expected over large areas of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Around 10,000 homes were left without power in Scotland and Northern Ireland. A ferry from Rotterdam failed to dock in the English port of Hull because of high winds.

Yemen

Suicide bomber kills seven

A suicide car bomber struck a checkpoint in the southern Yemen city of Aden, killing seven, security officials said. The Islamic State affiliate in Yemen claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack in a statement posted by the group’s supporters on Twitter. It was not possible to verify the claim. Officials said eight people were injured.

Mexico

Mexico City gets new status

Mexico City is getting a little closer to statehood. The Federal District has long been considered an administrative district run by the central government.But the city of 8.85 million is getting more independence under a measure signed into law by President Enrique Pena Nieto. The capital will lose the designation “federal district.”

IRAN

Drone flown over U.S. carrier

Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and published video of the encounter Friday, the latest in a series of edgy naval incidents between the two countries in the Persian Gulf after the recent nuclear deal. The U.S. Navy stressed it knew the drone was unarmed and the flyover didn’t interrupt U.S. operations in the war against the Islamic State group.

SWITZERLAND

Peace talks off to shaky start

Peace talks aimed at ending Syria’s five-year civil war got off to a shaky and chaotic start Friday in Geneva, with the main opposition group at first boycotting the session, then later agreeing to meet with U.N. officials — while still insisting it would not negotiate. That small commitment by the group known as the Higher Negotiating Committee came just minutes before U.N. special envoy Staffan de Mistura met with a delegation representing the government of President Bashar Assad. The developments gave a glimmer of hope that peace efforts in Syria might actually get off the ground.

Compiled from wire reports