Morning News Briefs and Wednesay's Weather

Posted: October 23, 2013

Winchester-Area Weather: Gray, chilly and a slight chance of rain today. Overcast with a 30-percent chance of rain and high of only 54. A low of 36 tonight. Partly cloudy and 46 for Thursday's high. An overnight low of 30. Partly cloudy and 50 on Friday. Clear to partly cloudy for the weekend with highs in the mid-50s.

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press for Wednesday, October 23, 2013

AP EXCLUSIVE: Nuke officers left blast door open
WASHINGTON (AP) — Twice this year alone, Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been caught leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post, Air Force officials have told The Associated Press. The blast doors are never to be left open if one of the crew members inside is asleep — as was the case in both these instances — out of concern for the damage an intruder could cause, including the compromising of secret launch codes.

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.

2 human rights groups criticize US drone program
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Tuesday defended drone strikes targeting al-Qaida operatives and others it deems enemies, rejecting reports by two human-rights groups questioning the legality of strikes they asserted have killed or wounded scores of civilians in Yemen and Pakistan. Human Rights Watch alleged that 82 people, at least 57 of them civilians, were killed by the unmanned aircraft and other aerial strikes in Yemen between September 2012 and June 2013 and called such strikes unlawful or indiscriminate. Amnesty International called on the U.S. to investigate reports in Pakistan of civilian casualties, among them a 68-year-old grandmother hit while farming with her grandchildren.

Docs: Dead marathon suspect tied to 2011 killings
BOSTON (AP) — Slain Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was named as a participant in an earlier triple homicide by a man who was subsequently shot to death while being questioned by authorities, according to a filing made by federal prosecutors in the case against his brother, surviving bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. According to the filing made Monday, Ibragim Todashev told investigators Tamerlan Tsarnaev participated in a triple slaying in Waltham on Sept. 11, 2011.

College prices appear to be moderating
WASHINGTON (AP) — There's some good news on college tuition. Yes, the cost has gone up — but not as much in the past. For in-state students at a four-year public college or university, published tuition and fees increased this year on average $247 to $8,893. That's a 2.9 percent increase — the smallest one-year increase in more than 30 years, the College Board said Wednesday in its annual report on college prices.

Nevada boy says he came face-to-face with shooter
SPARKS, Nev. (AP) — Thirteen-year-old Angelo Ferro was at the Sparks Middle School playground with friends Monday when he heard a pop about 15 minutes before the morning bell rang. He said he didn't think much of it — it could've been someone popping a plastic bag. But then he saw an injured boy clutching his wounded arm. He watched his fifth-period math teacher, Michael Landsberry, walk toward a student and fall to the ground.

Trial to examine if Detroit eligible in bankruptcy
DETROIT (AP) — The city of Detroit for months has disclosed the awful condition of its finances. Now it's up to a judge to determine if the largest public bankruptcy in U.S. history really can go forward. An unusual trial starts Wednesday, pitting Detroit's emergency manager and his legal team against unions and pension funds that claim the city isn't qualified to scrub its books clean under Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

Transit labor clash resolved after deadly accident
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — It took months of tortured talks, two strikes and the deaths of two workers for San Francisco's transit rail workers and their employer to finally agree on a contract that got trains running again Tuesday. The saga left commuters fuming and both sides bruised. A state lawmaker is considering introducing a bill that would ban public transit strikes, an idea seemingly anathema to a Democrat-controlled Legislature friendly to unions but perhaps a possibility because of the anger over the strike.

Will US hiring accelerate if economy doesn't?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The uncertainty and weakness that hung over the U.S. job market in September before the government shut down aren't going away. Employers will likely remain slow to hire as long as the economy struggles to accelerate, consumers limit their spending and Congress keeps putting off a resolution to a budget fight that will resurface early next year.

Cardinals, Red Sox set to renew October rivalry
BOSTON (AP) — Lance Lynn squeezed through a door leading into the Green Monster, shimmied along a cramped space behind the famed left-field wall and peered out a tiny metal slot in the Fenway Park scoreboard. "A little snug for me," the burly St. Louis pitcher said.