Morning News Briefs and Wednesday's Weather

Posted: February 19, 2014

Winchester-Area Weather: Cloudy and damp this morning and a chance of freezing rain until 10 a.m. in higher elevations, but already 39 degrees at 6:15 in Winchester. Partly cloudy and windy today with a high of 55. Clouding up overnight and a low of 28. Cooler on Thursday, but still 46 degrees under mostly cloudy skies. Rain and 50 on Friday. Then partly sunny and 59 on Saturday. 

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Ukraine: 25 killed, 241 injured in Kiev clashes
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — As thick black smoke rose from the barricades encircling the protest camp in central Kiev on Wednesday, the Ukrainian president blamed opposition leaders for the deadly violence that erupted between riot police and protesters in the capital in which at least 25 people died and 241 were injured. The violence on Tuesday was the worst in nearly three months of anti-government protests that have paralyzed Ukraine's capital in a struggle over the identity of a nation divided in loyalties between Russia and the West, and the worst in the country's post-Soviet history.

As Syria threat expands, Obama mulls options
WASHINGTON (AP) — For the United States, Syria's civil war is threatening to start hitting closer to home. Peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition are faltering. President Bashar Assad's military is on the offensive and the rebels are in disarray. Most distressing to the Obama administration, U.S. officials say al-Qaida-linked militants are squeezing moderates out of the insurgency and carving out havens for potential terrorist plots against the United States.

Los Angeles bishop kept altar boy list from police
LOS ANGELES (AP) — When Los Angeles police were investigating allegations of child abuse by a Roman Catholic priest in 1988, they asked for a list of altar boys at the last parish where the priest worked. Archbishop Roger Mahony told a subordinate not to give the list, saying he didn't want the boys to be scarred by the investigation and that he felt the altar boys were too old to be potential victims, according to a deposition made public Wednesday.

Ligety holds huge lead after 1st giant slalom run
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia (AP) — Ted Ligety took a huge lead in the first run of the Olympic giant slalom Wednesday, and was poised to give the U.S. its first Alpine gold of the Sochi Games. After dominating this discipline the last two seasons, Ligety sped down the Rosa Khutor course in 1 minute, 21.08 seconds.

Disability access needs improvement at Sochi Games
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — After $51 billion, it should be easy to get around at the Olympics — for everyone. Organizers have repeatedly touted accessibility for people with disabilities as one of the chief lasting benefits of hosting the Winter Games in Sochi. But with less than three weeks until the Paralympics, infrastructure around Olympic Park and its venues are not entirely barrier-free.

Fiery Maduro foe now fights from Venezuela jail
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Moments before his dramatic arrest, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez told a sea of white-shirted supporters that he doesn't fear years behind bars if that's what it takes to open eyes to the damage done to Venezuela by 15 years of socialist rule. "If my jailing serves to awaken a people, serves to awaken Venezuela ... then it will be well worth the infamous imprisonment imposed upon me directly, with cowardice" by President Nicolas Maduro, a defiant Lopez shouted through a megaphone Tuesday from atop a statue of 19th century Cuban independence hero Jose Marti in a Caracas plaza.

Tough winter creates menace: Ice from high-rises
NEW YORK (AP) — City dwellers battling one of the most brutal winters on record have been dealing with something far more dangerous than snow falling from the sky: ice tumbling from skyscrapers. Streets around New York's new 1 World Trade Center, the nation's tallest building, were recently closed when sheets of ice were seen shearing from the face of the 1,776-foot structure — turning them into potentially deadly, 100-mph projectiles.

Before Korean family reunions, fears of false hope
BUCHEON, South Korea (AP) — Kim Se-rin is sure he'll recognize his sister when they reunite — if they reunite — in North Korea this week, more than 63 years after war drove them apart. And he knows what he'll say. "I will first hug her and tell her that I thank her for having lived so long," the 84-year-old retired Seoul City official said. "Then, I will ask her when our father and mom passed away and when our sister and brother died."

Obama's N. American agenda hits congressional drag
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama heads into a summit with Mexican and Canadian leaders eager to engage on issues of trade and other neighbor-to-neighbor interests, even as Congress is placing a drag on some of his top cross-border agenda items. The president will meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper Wednesday in Toluca, Mexico, for the North American Leaders' Summit. They have a full agenda, covering commerce among the three North American Free Trade Agreement partners, immigration, energy and security.