Morning News Briefs and Monday's Forecast

Posted: April 7, 2014

Winchester-Area Weather: Wet and cool today. Cloudy skies and rainy today with about a half an inch of rain possible. Highs only the in the mid-40s. Foggy tonight and a chance of showers after midnight and temperatures aren't expected to fall much from the daytime high. Then it clears off and warms up on Tuesday with a high of 62. Partly cloudy and 58 on Wednesday. Thursday looks as if it might be the big winner for the week with sunny skies and a high of 67.

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press for Monday, April 7, 2014
Malaysia official hopeful about lost jet search
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysia's defense minister says he is "cautiously hopeful" that there will be positive developments in the next few days, "if not hours," in the search for the missing airliner. Hishamuddin Hussein made the comments Monday during a press conference in light of news about underwater sounds detected by ships searching the southern Indian Ocean. At least some of the sounds are consistent with pings from aircraft black boxes.

Legendary star Mickey Rooney dies at 93
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mickey Rooney's approach to life was simple: "Let's put on a show!" He spent nine decades doing it, on the big screen, on television, on stage and in his extravagant personal life. A superstar in his youth, Rooney was Hollywood's top box-office draw in the late 1930s to early 1940s. He epitomized the "show" part of show business, even if the business end sometimes failed him amid money troubles and a seesaw of career tailspins and revivals.

Afghan election hailed as Taliban threat remains
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghans and the international community hailed its presidential election as a triumph of democracy over violence Sunday, despite complaints about ballot shortages and sporadic fraud after millions of people braved a Taliban threat to vote for a new president. But some cautioned against declaring a premature defeat of the Islamic militants. Securing the vote was a test for Afghan government forces as they prepare to take full responsibility for their own security as the U.S. and allied forces end their combat mission at the end of this year. The consensus was that they largely passed, though there was sporadic violence.

Rwanda commemorates 20 years since genocide
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Rwanda is commemorating the 20th anniversary of its devastating genocide in which machete and gunfire attacks killed more than 1 million people. President Paul Kagame and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon together lit a flame at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre on Monday in memory of those killed.

Ukraine says Russia fomenting eastern unrest
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine's prime minister accused Russia on Monday of sowing unrest in his country's eastern provinces as a pretext for dispatching troops across the border. Speaking at an emergency Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Russia was behind seizures of several government buildings in eastern regions that have for weeks seen a spike in secessionist sentiment.

Pistorius trial resumes, defense opens case
PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — The defense in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial opened its case on Monday, calling a pathologist in an effort to cast doubt on the prosecution's assertion that girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp ate no more than two hours before the double-amputee runner killed her. The testimony by Prof. Jan Botha was critical to the defense because Pistorius has claimed the couple was in his bedroom by 10 p.m. on Feb. 13, 2013, and any indication that they were awake much later could undermine the Olympian's account of the sequence of events. Pistorius fatally shot Steenkamp after 3 a.m. the next morning, saying he mistook her for an intruder in his home. The prosecution has argued that he intentionally killed her after an argument.

Another jet-search unknown: How much it's costing
BANGKOK (AP) — It's not a question most governments involved in the hunt for the Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 care to answer: How much has the far-flung, month-long search cost? The U.S. bill alone has run into the millions of dollars, and some countries such as China have devoted more ships and planes to the effort than the Americans have. Australia is spending more than half a million dollars a day on just one of the ships it has in the Indian Ocean.

India begins world's largest election
GAUHATI, India (AP) — India started the world's largest election Monday, with voters in the remote northeast making their way past lush rice paddies and over rickety bamboo bridges to reach the polls. Most parties were campaigning on promises of economic growth. The country's 814 million electorate will vote in stages over the next five weeks — a staggered approach made necessary by India's vast size — to choose representatives to its 543-seat lower house of parliament.

First women joining Palestinian commando unit
JERICHO, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian women in combat fatigues and headscarves rappelled down a six-story tower, fired assault rifles at imaginary terrorists and in a drill straight out of the movies bundled a would-be VIP into a car and sped off after a shooting. The 22 future commandos are trailblazers in a still largely male-dominated society, set to become the first female members of the Presidential Guards, a Palestinian elite force of 2,600 men. Their inclusion is the result of gradual changes in the West Bank in recent years.