BEIRUT

Truce still holds despite protests leading to six killed

Syrian forces used live fire, tear gas and clubs to beat back tens of thousands of protesters who took to the streets across the country Friday in powerful and often jubilant displays of defiance. But a U.N.-brokered truce largely held up without the widespread, bloody offensives that have pushed the nation toward civil war. Activists said security forces killed at least six people, a lower-than-usual toll.

NEWARK, N.J.

Mayor carries neighbor from burning house

In a smoky stairwell, with embers falling from the ceiling and his neighbor slung over his shoulder, Cory Booker called it his “proverbial come to Jesus moment.”

The mayor of New Jersey’s largest city was carrying out a constituent he had rushed into a burning home to save, first pushing aside security detail who tried to hold him back by his belt. He didn’t feel like a hero: “I felt terror,” he told reporters on Friday, speaking with a burned, bandaged right hand.

The governor called it a “brave move” and the fire director said the mayor was one of the most heroic men he’d ever met.

OKLAHOMA CITY

Weather officials issue strong warning of twisters

In an unusually early and strong warning, national weather forecasters cautioned Friday that conditions are ripe for violent tornadoes to rip through the nation from Texas to Minnesota this weekend.

As states across the middle of the country prepared for the worst, storms were already kicking off in Norman, Okla., where a twister whizzed by the nation’s tornado forecasting headquarters .

It was only the second time in U.S. history that the Storm Prediction Center issued a high-risk warning more than 24 hours in advance.

— From news service reports