Morning News Briefs and Tuesday's Forecast

Posted: October 22, 2013

Winchester-Area Weather: A pleasant Tuesday with partly cloudy skies and a high of 59 today and an overnight low of 39. Then, the temperature falls Wednesday and stays low throughout the rest of the week. A high of only 50 on Wednesday and a 40-percent chance of rain. The low Wednesday night will be around freezing. Partly cloudy and 50 on Thursday. Partly cloudy and 52 on Friday with a Friday night/Saturday morning low of 28.

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press for Tuesday, October 22, 2013

SF transit agency, unions reach deal to end strike
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco Bay Area's main commuter train system and its unions reached a tentative agreement on a new contract Monday night, ending a crippling four-day strike. Union officials announced the deal, which still requires approval from union members, then from the Bay Area Rapid Transit's board of directors.

France is latest US ally angered by NSA snooping
WASHINGTON (AP) — The sweep and scope of National Security Agency snooping abroad forced President Barack Obama once again to hear complaints from a U.S. ally angry about the surveillance net that has sparked an international debate over the limits of American spying. France is the latest in a growing list of nations — Germany, Brazil and Mexico included — demanding explanations from Washington. A report published on Monday said the U.S. swept up 70 million French telephone records and text messages and recorded some private conversations.

Extremist groups hobble Syrian peace negotiations
PARIS (AP) — Violent extremists seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad may instead have hurt negotiations to replace him, frustrating Western diplomats who continue to push for his ouster as a necessary part of a peace agreement in the Mideast nation's bloody civil war. Bolstered by infighting among Syrian opposition groups — including some linked to al-Qaida that have jeopardized foreign aid — U.S. officials say Assad has a stronger grasp on power now than he did just months ago, when the U.S. and Russia called for a new round of talks to settle the 2 1/2-year war that has killed more than 100,000 people. Still, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Assad's recent gains do not assure his future in a new government.

Builders of Obama's health website saw red flags
WASHINGTON (AP) — Crammed into conference rooms with pizza for dinner, some programmers building the Obama administration's showcase health insurance website were growing increasingly stressed. Some worked past 10 p.m., energy drinks in hand. Others rewrote computer code over and over to meet what they considered last-minute requests for changes from the government or other contractors. As questions mount over the website's failure, insider interviews and a review of technical specifications by The Associated Press found a mind-numbingly complex system put together by harried programmers who pushed out a final product that congressional investigators said was tested by the government and not private developers with more expertise.

Nev. student opens fire, kills teacher and himself
SPARKS, Nev. (AP) — A student at a Nevada middle school opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun on campus just before the starting bell Monday, wounding two 12-year-old boys and killing a math teacher who was trying to protect children from their classmate. The unidentified shooter killed himself with the gun after a rampage that occurred in front of 20 to 30 horrified students who had just returned to school from a weeklong fall break. Authorities did not provide a motive for the shooting, and it's unknown where the student got the gun.

Chris Christie gay marriage move stirs GOP
WASHINGTON (AP) — Gov. Chris Christie's decision to stop fighting the legality of New Jersey same-sex marriages paves the way for gays to wed in the Democratic-leaning state. But it also reflects the Republican's effort to cast himself as the pragmatic leader of a welcoming GOP while running for re-election and considering a White House bid. Friends and foes describe the move simply as Christie being Christie.

Amnesty criticizes US drone program in Pakistan
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Amnesty International called on the U.S. to investigate reports of civilians killed and wounded by CIA drone strikes in Pakistan in a report released Tuesday that provided new details about the alleged victims of the attacks, including a 68-year-old grandmother hit while farming with her grandchildren. Mamana Bibi's grandchildren told the London-based rights group that she was killed by missile fire on Oct. 24, 2012, as she was collecting vegetables in a family field in the North Waziristan tribal area, a major militant sanctuary near the Afghan border. Three of Bibi's grandchildren were wounded in the strike, as were several others who were nearby, the victims said.

Some Mexicans evacuate as hurricane looms offshore
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — Authorities moved hundreds of people from isolated mountain communities and low-lying shore areas as a strong Hurricane Raymond loomed off Mexico's already storm-battered southern Pacific coast. Guerrero state Gov. Angel Aguirre urged people to stay off the streets, roads and highways Tuesday because of potentially dangerous rains from the Category 3 storm that meandered offshore.

Giants get 1st win, beat sloppy Vikings 23-7
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — With six losses on their resume, the New York Giants could have been wondering if they would ever win a game this season. Instead, they searched within to see what they are made of.