Morning News Brief and Thursday's Forecast

Posted: May 23, 2013

WINCHESTER-AREA WEATHER: Mostly cloudy today with showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly in the afternoon. A high of 77. More of the same tonight with a low of 54. More rain possible on Friday, considerably cooler, with a high of just 61. Temperatures in the upper 60 to lower 70s for the Memorial Day Weekend. Saturday and Sunday look dry, while Monday offers a slight chance of rain.

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press for Thursday, May 23, 2013

Obama to push for transparency in face of threats
WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid lingering concerns about his national security policies, President Barack Obama is outlining measures to clarify the deadly use of drones against terror suspects, make good on a pledge to close the controversial prison at Guantanamo Bay and warn Americans about dire threats they continue to face — even from fellow citizens. On the eve of a speech Thursday at the National Defense University, the Obama administration revealed for the first time that a fourth American citizen had been killed in secretive drone strikes abroad. The killings of three other Americans in counterterror operations since 2009 were known before a letter from Attorney General Eric Holder to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy acknowledged the four deaths.

UK emergency committee meets after attack
LONDON (AP) — The British government's emergency committee met Thursday after two attackers butchered a man in a daylight attack in London that raised fears terrorism had returned to the capital. Prime Minister David Cameron says there are strong indications it was an act of terrorism, and his top advisers will be examining the potential security implications of the attack, which took place near a London military barracks.

Man shot by FBI had spoken with bombing suspect
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Chechen immigrant shot to death in central Florida after an altercation with an FBI agent had several ties to that of one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects who authorities were questioning him about at the time. Ibragim Todashev's Chechen roots and mixed martial arts background mirror that of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Boston bombing suspect killed in a shootout with police last month. The two also had lived in the Boston area.

Vote on gay Scouts comes at emotional moment
GRAPEVINE, Texas (AP) — The Boy Scouts of America's national leadership will vote Thursday whether to allow openly gay Scouts in its ranks, a critical and emotionally charged moment for one of the nation's oldest youth organizations and its millions of members. About 1,400 voting members of BSA's national council are to cast ballots Thursday on a resolution that would end a policy that allows youth Scouts to be excluded based only on sexual orientation. The ban on gay adult leaders would remain in place.

US, Israel raise hopes for Mideast peace restart
JERUSALEM (AP) — The United States and Israel raised hopes Thursday for a restart of the Middle East peace process, despite little tangible progress so far from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's two-month-old effort to get Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table. As they met in Jerusalem, Kerry praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the "seriousness" with which he is looking at ways to revitalize peace hopes. Kerry expressed optimism without outlining any concrete strategy for ending a stalemate between the two sides that has seen them hardly negotiate one-on-one at all over the last 4½ years.

Youngest Okla. tornado victims remembered by kin
MOORE, Okla. (AP) — Nine-year-old Sydney Angle was "everywhere at once" when she was out on the softball field. Kyle Davis, 8, was nicknamed "The Wall" because of his size and presence on the soccer field. JaNae Hornsby, also 9, was the life of the party. The three were among seven small children pulled lifeless from the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School after a monstrous tornado raked across the building, leaving the one-story building a heap of bricks, broken concrete and twisted metal. In all 24 people were killed — including 10 children — when Monday's storm ravaged Moore and a slice of Oklahoma City.

Stricken Japan nuke plant struggles to keep staff
TOKYO (AP) — Keeping the meltdown-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in northeastern Japan in stable condition requires a cast of thousands. Increasingly the plant's operator is struggling to find enough workers, a trend that many expect to worsen and hamper progress in the decades-long effort to safely decommission it. Tokyo Electric Power Co., the utility that runs the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant that melted down in March 2011 after being hit by a tsunami, is finding that it can barely meet the headcount of workers required to keep the three broken reactors cool while fighting power outages and leaks of tons of radiated water, said current and former nuclear plant workers and others familiar with the situation at Fukushima.

Japan stocks dive as benchmark bond yield spikes
BANGKOK (AP) — Japanese stocks plummeted Thursday after a spike in government bond yields and unexpectedly weak Chinese manufacturing spooked investors sitting atop months of massive gains in share prices. The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo nosedived 7.3 percent to close at 14,483.98, its worst drop since the 2011 tsunami. Japan's 10-year government bond yield rose above 1 percent for the first time in a year, unnerving financial markets at a time when Japan's already overburdened government finances are vulnerable to rises in interest rates. It later slipped back to about 0.9 percent.

Japanese climber, 80, becomes oldest atop Everest
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — An 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer became the oldest person to reach the top of Mount Everest on Thursday — although his record may last only a few days. An 81-year-old Nepalese man, who held the previous record, plans his own ascent next week. Yuichiro Miura, who also conquered the 29,035-foot (8,850-meter) peak when he was 70 and 75, reached the summit at 9:05 a.m. local time, according to a Nepalese mountaineering official and Miura's Tokyo-based support team.

For Philadelphia bicyclist, a cat is his co-pilot
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — For bicyclist Rudi Saldia, you could say a cat is his co-pilot. Saldia often buzzes around Philadelphia with his year-old feline Mary Jane perched on his shoulder. Their urban adventures have turned heads on the street and garnered big hits on YouTube.