Morning News Briefs and Tuesday's Forecast

Posted: March 18, 2014

Winchester-Area Weather: Partly cloudy today with a high near 40. Becoming cloudy overnight and a low of 32. A light wintry mix is possible Wednesday morning, then rain showers in the afternoon and a high of 43. Foggy to partly cloudy Wednesday night and a low of 37. Clear and 53 on Thursday. Near 60 on Friday and Saturday.

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press for Tuesday, March 18, 2014
After Crimea, world anxious about next Putin move
MOSCOW (AP) — With Crimea in Russia's pocket, the world anxiously awaits Vladimir Putin's next move. Beyond the prize of the Black Sea peninsula, a picture is emerging of what the Russian president ultimately wants from his power play: broad autonomy for Ukraine's Russian-speaking regions and guarantees that Ukraine will never realize the Kremlin's worst nightmare — joining NATO.

Putin approves draft bill for annexation of Crimea
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday approved a draft bill for the annexation of Crimea, one of a flurry of steps to formally take over the Black Sea peninsula. Crimea on Sunday voted overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and seek to join Russia. The West and Ukraine described the referendum which was announced two weeks ago as illegitimate.

China finds no terror link to its nationals on jet
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Checks into the background of the Chinese citizens on board the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner have uncovered no links to terrorism, the Chinese ambassador in Kuala Lumpur said Tuesday. The remarks will dampen rule out speculation that Uighur Muslim separatists in far western Xinjiang province might have been involved with the disappearance of the Boeing 777 and its 239 passengers and crew early on March 8.

Why do airplane transponders have an 'off switch?'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ever since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared, a fascinated public has asked: Why can somebody in the cockpit shut off the transponder? It turns out there are several legitimate reasons why a pilot might want to shut off this key form of communication that allows air traffic controllers to identify and track airplanes.

Illinois voters to pick GOP governor nominee
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois voters will choose a Republican on Tuesday to try to win back the governor's office in a race that already has drawn intense interest from labor unions worried that the leading candidate could weaken them in the same way GOP governors have in other states across the Midwest. At the front of the four-person pack is Bruce Rauner, a multimillionaire venture capitalist who has said he would model his governorship after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. Rauner faces three longtime lawmakers for the nomination: state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

2nd day of sentencing in Army general sex case
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AP) — Lawyers for an Army general who admitted to emotionally harming a subordinate during an affair will argue Tuesday he shouldn't face jail time for a crime that civilians wouldn't be prosecuted for. A judge on Monday accepted a plea deal that included the dropping of sexual assault charges against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair in exchange for him admitting to other violations of military law. Now, his lawyers are seeking a lenient sentence by downplaying the seriousness of those charges and calling witnesses to discuss the character of the former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne.

Immigrant activists push to stop deportations
DENVER (AP) — President Barack Obama's surprise announcement last week that his administration would change its deportation policy to become more "humane" shows how the immigration battle has narrowed after months of congressional deadlock. As recently as last year, immigrant rights activists, along with an unusually broad coalition of business, labor and religious groups, were united in their demand that Congress pass a sweeping bill to both remove the threat of deportation from many of the 11 million people here illegally and eventually make them citizens. But now activists just want to stop deportations.

States looking at $0 community college tuition
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Nothing sparks consumer demand like the word "free," and politicians in some states have proposed the idea of providing that incentive to get young people to attend community college. Amid worries that U.S. youth are losing a global skills race, supporters of a no-tuition policy see expanding access to community college as way to boost educational attainment so the emerging workforces in their states look good to employers.

NYC night court becomes must-see tourist stop
NEW YORK (AP) — Jenny Baumann's itinerary for her first trip to New York City: Rockefeller Center. The Empire State Building. Central Park. Night court. In a city synonymous with theaters and nightlife, the 26-year-old from Munich was perched on a scarred wooden bench in a utilitarian room in lower Manhattan on a recent evening, straining to decode — sometimes even to hear — the methodical hubbub of arraignments in one of the nation's busiest courts.

Designer Scott, girlfriend of Jagger, found dead
NEW YORK (AP) — L'Wren Scott, who left her small-town Utah home as a teenager to become a model in Paris, then a top Hollywood stylist and finally a high-end fashion designer best known as the longtime girlfriend of Mick Jagger, has died in what was being investigated as an apparent suicide. Scott was found dead in her Manhattan apartment at 10 a.m. Monday; no note was found and there was no sign of foul play, police said. The designer had texted her assistant 90 minutes earlier and asked her to come to her apartment but didn't say why. She was found kneeling with a scarf wrapped around her neck that had been tied to the handle of a French door, police said.