Morning News Briefs and Thursday's Forecast

Posted: September 26, 2013

Winchester-Area Weather: Clear to partly cloudy this morning with a high of 73 and an overnight low of 45. Partly cloudy and 70 on Friday. Saturday, Sunday and Monday are all expected to be partly cloudy and dry with a high each day of 73.

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press for Thursday, September 26, 2013

Somalis still leaving Minn. to join terror group
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Leaders of the nation's largest Somali community say some of their young men are still being enticed to join the terror group that has claimed responsibility for the deadly mall attack in Kenya, despite a concentrated effort to shut off what authorities call a "deadly pipeline" of men and money. Six years have passed since Somali-American fighters began leaving Minnesota to become part of al-Shabab. Now the Somali community is dismayed over reports that a few of its own might have been involved in the violence at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.

Militant group attacks Kenyan border town
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The same extremist group that took over a Nairobi mall attacked a security post near the Somali border Thursday and killed two police officers, while promising the violence would continue until Kenyan troops were withdrawn from Somalia. The leader of the Somalia-based al-Shabab, Ahmed Godane Shaykh Mukhtar Abu Zubayr, warned the Kenyan public there was no way they could "withstand a war of attrition inside your own country," in a new statement posted on the Internet late Wednesday.

Government shutdown wouldn't stop Obamacare
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans pulling on the budget thread can't neatly unravel President Barack Obama's health care law. A partial government shutdown next week would leave the major parts of the law in place and rolling along, according to former Democratic and Republican budget officials, as well as the Obama administration itself. Health care markets for the uninsured would open as scheduled on Tuesday.

Russia to help guard Syrian weapons destruction
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia says it is ready to help ensure security for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons. Russian news agencies quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov confirming that Russia would help guard the facilities where the weapons are being destroyed.

Lawmakers seek to fix 'terrorist lottery loophole'
WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers who oversee U.S. intelligence agencies are working to expand the government's spying powers to allow it to continue electronically monitoring terror suspects who travel to the U.S. if they are already under surveillance overseas by the National Security Agency. The proposal is intended to close what lawmakers describe as a brief surveillance gap that occasionally can occur because of varying legal standards between the NSA's operations, directed principally overseas, and the FBI's traditional role tracking suspects on U.S. soil. It would require changes, they said, in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

World powers set to test Iran on nuclear dispute
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Foreign ministers from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany will meet with Iran's top diplomat on Thursday to test the Islamic Republic's apparent willingness to reach a deal to resolve international concerns about its nuclear program after years of defiance. The meeting on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly is aimed at paving the way for the first round of substantive negotiations on the nuclear issue since April, probably next month. It will also mark the highest-level, direct contact between the United States and Iran in six years as Secretary of State John Kerry comes face-to-face with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

FBI: Navy Yard gunman left note about radio waves
WASHINGTON (AP) — In the final months of his life, Aaron Alexis complained of hearing voices talking to him through a wall and of microwave vibrations that he said entered his body and prevented him from sleeping. His delusional belief that he was being bombarded by extremely low-frequency radio waves escalated to the point that, before embarking on a murderous rampage that killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard, he left behind this note: "Ultra-low frequency attack is what I've been subject to for the last 3 months, and to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this," read an electronic document FBI agents recovered after the shooting.

Obama promotes health exchanges ahead of kickoff
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is promoting the benefits of his health care law before new insurance exchanges open for business next week. The White House says Obama will explain Thursday how Americans can comparison shop for insurance that meets their needs. He plans to tell an audience at a community college in Largo, Md., that they'll have lots of options, including plans that are affordable on a variety of budgets.

Militants fire on Pakistan quake relief helicopter
AWARAN, Pakistan (AP) — Two rockets fired by militants in Pakistan's quake-struck region narrowly missed a government relief helicopter on Thursday as survivors complained that aid was not reaching far-flung areas and the harrowing death toll climbed to 348. The attack underscored the dangers authorities and aid workers face in helping victims in southwestern Baluchistan province where a massive, magnitude 7.7 earthquake hit earlier this week.

Egypt minister says relations with US unsettled
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Egypt's relations with the United States are "unsettled" as the country struggles to redefine its national interests vis-à-vis other countries, the foreign minister said. The U.S. was a close ally of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's longtime authoritarian ruler who was ousted in an uprising in early 2011. America counted on him to keep the peace with Israel and as a bulwark against the rise of Islamic fundamentalists in the Mideast.