Morning News Briefs and Thursday's Forecast

Posted: April 18, 2013

WINCHESTER-AREA WEATHER: Overcast and 60 as the sun rises officially at 6:31 this morning. Mostly cloudy and a 30 percent chance of rain showers today with a high of 72. Sunset comes at 7:53 tonight. A low overnight of 61. Thunderstorms are likely during the day and evening on Friday. A high of 72 and a low of 48. The weekend still looks dry and cooler with highs around 60 both days. 

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press for Thursday, April 18, 2013

Dozens hurt in fatal Texas fertilizer plant blast
WEST, Texas (AP) — Rescue workers searched rubble that witnesses compared to a warzone early Thursday for survivors of a fertilizer plant explosion in a small Texas town that injured dozens of people and killed an unknown number of others. The blast left the factory a smoldering ruin and leveled buildings for blocks in every direction. The explosion in downtown West, about 20 miles north of Waco, shook the ground with the strength of a small earthquake and could be heard dozens of miles away. It sent flames shooting into the night sky and rained burning embers, shrapnel and debris down on shocked and frightened residents.

Image leads to hunt for Boston bombing suspect
BOSTON (AP) — The painstaking work to identify a bombing suspect from reams of Boston Marathon footage yielded a possible breakthrough as investigators focused on a man seen dropping off a bag, and then walking away from the site of the second of two deadly explosions. The discovery of the image — found on surveillance footage from a department store near the finish line — emerged two days after the attack that left three people dead, wounded more than 170, and cast a dark shadow over one of this city's most joyous traditions.

Gun control backers: Senate defeat won't stop us
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and his gun control allies say Senate rejection of expanded background checks and other restrictions won't stop their drive to reduce firearms violence. But their path to enacting gun curbs this year seems blocked by the National Rifle Association, and supporters of restrictions appear befuddled about what it will take to push legislation through this Congress. The Senate planned to vote Thursday on two more amendments to a gun control bill. One by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., would cut aid to state and local governments that release information on gun owners. Another by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., would bolster federal mental health programs.

What now for gun control? A look at the issue
WASHINGTON (AP) — The impassioned push for new gun laws, born from the slaughter of schoolchildren, has collided with the marble-hard realities of Congress. Just persuading the Senate to debate tougher laws was considered a high hurdle for gun control advocates. They did it with the aid of Newtown, Conn., families, who brought photos and stories of the slain to the Capitol. A series of Senate votes Wednesday marked the biggest moment in nearly two decades for those who want to limit guns in America, and for those who don't. Gun control failed.

Miss. mail suspect described body-parts conspiracy
CORINTH, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man accused of mailing letters with suspected ricin to national leaders believed he had uncovered a conspiracy to sell human body parts on the black market and sometimes performed as an Elvis Presley impersonator. Paul Kevin Curtis, 45, was arrested Wednesday at his home in Corinth, near the Tennessee state line about 50 miles north of Presley's birthplace in Tupelo.

Pakistan's Musharraf on the run after arrest order
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Former Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf and his security team pushed past policemen and sped away from a court in the country's capital on Thursday to avoid arrest after his bail was revoked in a case in which he is accused of treason. Local TV broadcast footage of the dramatic scene in which Musharraf jumped into a black SUV and escaped as a member of his security team hung to the side of the vehicle. He sped away to his large compound on the outskirts of Islamabad that is protected by high walls, razor wire and guard towers.

Once-doubted tourniquet seen as Boston lifesaver
NEW YORK (AP) — As people lay badly bleeding in the smoke of the Boston Marathon bombings, rescuers immediately turned to a millennia-old medical device to save their lives — the tourniquet. Using belts, shirts and other materials, they tied off bleeding limbs in fast-acting bids to prevent major blood loss, shock and death. Such fast work no doubt saved many lives, doctors at Boston area hospitals said.

Legendary horses latest victim of Spain's bust
ALMONTE, Spain (AP) — The southern Spanish region of Andalusia, famed for flamenco and Moorish castles, is also home to a legendary breed of horses that carried conquistadors into battle in the Americas, featured in Hollywood epics and more recently became trophy acquisitions for Spaniards during a giddy economic boom. On his grassy ranch in the territory's heartland, 73-year-old Francisco Mesa breeds these "Pura Raza Espanola" — Pure Spanish Breed — horses with a passion that comes from years of pampering the elegant beasts known for their intelligence and affection for humans. He enters a muddy pen and is immediately surrounded by mares and foals who nuzzle him with tenderness, oblivious of their almost certain fate: the slaughterhouse.

Boston fans mourn, then cheer as sports return
BOSTON (AP) — A win for the Bruins would have been an uplifting end to the city's emotional return to major sports after the Boston Marathon bombing. Simply playing the game was good enough.