AP Morning News Brief and Wednesday's Weather

Posted: March 20, 2013

WINCHESTER-AREA WEATHER: Another breezy day, but cooler than Tuesday, with a high near 50 under partly cloudy skies. A 30 percent of scattered snow showers with no accumulation and a low of 27. Colder Thursday, a high of only 35.

Associated Press Morning News Brief
Obama set to plunge into roiling Mideast waters

JERUSALEM (AP) — President Barack Obama is plunging into the turbulent Middle East on a mission aimed primarily at assuring America's top ally in the region and its friends back home that it will not be forsaken amid bitter domestic political squabbles and budget crises in Washington. Obama arrives Wednesday in Israel for his first visit to the country — and only his second to the Middle East, outside of a quick jaunt to Iraq — since taking office. He will also be making his first trips as president to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan this week. But on an itinerary laden more with symbolism than substance, an Israel that is increasingly wary of developments in Syria and Iran is Obama's main focus.

Survey: Low-wage workers gloomy about future
WASHINGTON (AP) — America's lower-income workers have posted the biggest job gains since the deep 2007-09 recession — but few are bragging. As a workforce sector, those earning $35,000 or less annually are generally pessimistic about their finances and career prospects. Many see themselves as worse off now than during the recession, a two-part Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey of workers and employers shows.

Major computer crash in SKorea; hackers suspected
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Computer networks at major South Korean banks and top TV broadcasters crashed en masse Wednesday, paralyzing bank machines across the country and prompting speculation of a cyberattack by North Korea. Screens went blank at 2 p.m. (0500 GMT), with reports of skulls popping up on some computer screens, the state-run Korea Information Security Agency said — a strong indication that hackers planted a malicious code in South Korean systems. Some computers came back online more than 2 ½ hours later.

Cyprus works on Plan B to stave off bankruptcy
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The Cypriot government and the country's central bank were working Wednesday on an alternative proposal to stave off bankruptcy, a day after Parliament rejected an initial plan to raise billions of euros by seizing up to 10 percent of people's bank savings. Government spokesman Christos Stylianides said a meeting was underway at the central bank to discuss an alternative plan for raising funds, but also for reducing the 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) that must be found domestically.

Nevada town mourns Marines who died in explosion
HAWTHORNE, Nev. (AP) — Hundreds of residents in a rural community steeped in military history turned out to mourn the loss of at least seven Marines as investigators arrived at an ammunition depot to try to determine how a mortar shell exploded at the Nevada base and sent shrapnel flying into troops during a training exercise. Families with children clutching small American flags were among the nearly 300 people who attended the brief memorial service, where a trumpeter played taps at a city park as a giant American flag flew at half-staff across the street from the base at dusk.

Defiant teen gets life sentences in Ohio shooting
CHARDON, Ohio (AP) — Wearing a T-shirt with "killer" scrawled across it, a teenager cursed and gestured obscenely as he was given three life sentences Tuesday for shooting to death three students in an Ohio high school cafeteria. T.J. Lane, 18, had pleaded guilty last month to shooting at students in February 2012 at Chardon High School, east of Cleveland. Investigators have said he admitted to the shooting but said he didn't know why he did it.

Al-Qaida in Iraq claims deadly attacks
BAGHDAD (AP) — An al-Qaida affiliated group in Iraq has claimed responsibility for bloody attacks that killed dozens of people across the country a day earlier. In a statement posted Wednesday on a militant website, the Islamic State of Iraq, al-Qaida's Iraqi branch, said the Tuesday attacks were in revenge for the executions and "massacres" of convicted Sunni inmates held in Iraqi prisons

New soles for pope? Rome's Borgo's the go-to place
ROME (AP) — When a future pope needed new soles, he strolled to a shoe repair shop practically around the corner from the Vatican. When he was pope and nearing retirement, he had the same shoemaker craft a pair of comfy, calfskin slippers. Borgo, the sleepy, medieval neighborhood with a timeless feel right outside the Vatican's borders, has been at the service of pontiffs for centuries. From resoling to risotto, from light bulbs to linguine, Borgo is the go-to place for up-and-coming cardinals and sometimes even for popes.

Sanford advances in SC race, Colbert's sister wins
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Mark Sanford says he believes in "a God of second chances," and now the former South Carolina governor has taken the first step toward reviving a political career that was derailed by an extramarital affair. Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of political satirist Stephen Colbert, always dreamed of a career in politics — and now she has a chance to realize that dream.

With Heat rolling, Lakers recall their record run
Gail Goodrich knew Miami would beat Boston the other night. He knew even a 17-point deficit, the largest they had faced in six weeks, wouldn't stop LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.