Morning News Briefs and Monday's Forecast

Posted: August 26, 2013

Winchester-Area Weather: Partly cloudy and highs in the mid-80s today as students in Frederick County return to school. Mostly cloudy tonight with a slight chance of showers after midnight. Lows in the mid-60s. Partly sunny with a chance of showers and thunderstorms Tuesday afternoon and highs in the mid-80s.

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press for Monday, August 26, 2013

UN Syria team departs hotel as Assad denies attack
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A U.N. team that is supposed to investigate an alleged deadly chemical attack near the Syrian capital Damascus last week left their hotel Monday, as President Bashar Assad denied his troops used chemical weapons during the fighting in the rebel-held suburb. An Associated Press photographer saw the members wearing body armor leaving in seven SUVs. It was not clear if the team was headed to the suburb where the alleged attack occurred.

Convicted Fort Hood gunman begins sentencing phase
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The Army psychiatrist convicted of the Fort Hood rampage that killed 13 people begins the sentencing phase of his trial Monday facing a possible death sentence for the deadliest mass shooting ever on a U.S. military installation. Maj. Nidal Hasan showed no reaction after being found guilty last week by a military jury, which will now decide whether the Virginia-born Muslim who said he opened fire on unarmed American soldiers to protect insurgents abroad should be executed.

Workers keep watch over new Chicago school year
CHICAGO (AP) — Thousands of Chicago Public Schools students will head to new schools Monday, the first day of what Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called "a new beginning" for the nation's third-largest district after a number of schools were closed. As students go, many will be accompanied by some unfamiliar faces: A crop of newly hired workers in yellow reflective vests, Chicago firefighters and even the security guards from local public libraries, all of them expected to stand guard to ensure kids get to and from school safely.

Crews battle huge wildfire raging in Yosemite area
TUOLUMNE CITY, Calif. (AP) — Hundreds of firefighters were digging trenches, clearing brush and starting back blazes to keep a wildfire raging north of Yosemite National Park out of several mountain hamlets. Inaccessible terrain, strong winds and bone-dry conditions have hampered their efforts to contain the Rim Fire, which began Aug. 17 and has grown to become one of the biggest in California history.

Civil rights and immigration history connected
NEW YORK (AP) — When 250,000 marchers converged on Washington in August 1963, the issues were jobs and freedom. Now, as the crowds come together to mark the 50th anniversary of that seminal event in the civil rights movement, those issues have been joined by others, including one, immigration reform, that wasn't nearly on the political radar then like it is today.

China's Bo drops love triangle charge at trial end
JINAN, China (AP) — China's most sensational trial in decades ended Monday with disgraced politician Bo Xilai hinting at a love triangle involving his wife and former right hand man — both key witnesses against him — as he made last-ditch efforts to redeem his reputation. The prosecution countered by saying Bo should be severely punished because he showed no remorse in the five-day corruption trial in the eastern city of Jinan, aimed at capping a scandal set off by his wife's murder of a British businessman and resulting in Bo's purge from top posts and the Communist Party.

Zurich begins experiment with drive-in 'sex boxes'
ZURICH (AP) — No car, no sex. That's the rule for an experiment Zurich is launching Monday to make prostitution less of a public nuisance and safer for women.

First woman member of the NYSE Siebert dies at 80
NEW YORK (AP) — Muriel "Mickie" Siebert, who started as a trainee on Wall Street and became the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, has died of complications of cancer at age 80. Siebert died Saturday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Her death was confirmed by Jane Macon, a director of Siebert Financial and a partner at the law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.

Timberlake, 'N Sync take over Video Music Awards
NEW YORK (AP) — Miley Cyrus' foam finger, Lady Gaga's thong, Taylor Swift's mean streak and the look on Rihanna's face while Drake performed will surely be remembered, but these MTV Video Music Awards belonged to Justin Timberlake. Timberlake briefly reunited with 'N Sync, won moonman trophies including top honor video of the year for "Mirrors" plus the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and managed to overshadow most of today's top pop stars while doing it.

US Open caps a wacky 2013 tennis season
NEW YORK (AP) — A surprise Wimbledon champion one day, a retired player providing TV commentary the next, nobody's been in touch with the fickle nature of tennis in 2013 better than Marion Bartoli. So, when asked if Serena Williams was a shoo-in to defend her title at the U.S. Open, which starts Monday, Bartoli's answer came as little surprise.