Morning News Briefs and Thursday's Forecast

Posted: February 20, 2014

Winchester-Area Weather: Mostly cloudy today and cooler than Wednesday, but the high of 50 will still be a little above normal. The low tonight will only fall to 41. Rain and 54 on Friday ahead of an unseasonably warm weekend. Partly sunny and 61 on Saturday, overcast and 54 on Sunday. Winter returns the middle of next week.

Morning News Briefs from the Associated Press for Thursday, February 20, 2014
Ukraine: At least 18 dead as truce collapses
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — An Associated Press reporter has counted 18 bodies at the sprawling protest encampment in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. The deaths Thursday came in a new eruption of violence just hours after the country's embattled president and the opposition leaders who are demanding his resignation called for a truce and negotiations.

Tearful Korean reunions begin; first since 2010
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Their backs stooped, dozens of elderly North and South Koreans separated for six decades reunited Thursday, weeping and embracing in a rush of words and emotion. The reunions come during a rare period of detente between the rival Koreas and are all the more poignant because the participants will part again in a few days, likely forever. About 80 South Koreans traveled through falling snow with their families to North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort to meet children, brothers, sisters, spouses and other relatives. Seoul had said about 180 North Koreans were expected.

After Sochi, what's next for Winter Olympics?
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The sheer cost, size and scale of the Sochi Olympics has outstripped anything done before. The question for future Winter Games is clear: Can anyone — should anyone — try to top that? Sochi has showcased President Vladimir Putin's grand project, using the Olympics to reshape the entire Black Sea resort region, with brand new facilities and infrastructure built from scratch.

Ticket sold in Calif. wins $425M Powerball jackpot
MILPITAS, Calif. (AP) — The lone winning ticket for the $425 million Powerball jackpot was sold at a convenience store in central California, but there was no immediate word on who may have won one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history. The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night were: 1, 17, 35, 49, 54 and a Powerball of 34.

Quiet diplomacy faulted for Africa's anti-gay laws
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Last month, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni met in his office with a team of U.S.-based rights activists concerned about legislation that would impose life sentences for some homosexual acts. South African retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined them by phone, pointing out similarities between Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill and racist laws enforced under South Africa's former apartheid government. Museveni made clear he had no plans to sign the bill, said Santiago Canton of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, who attended the Jan. 18 meeting. "He specifically said this bill is a fascist bill," Canton recalled. "Those were the first words that came out of his mouth."

Pussy Riot presents Sochi punk video
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Russian punk band Pussy Riot is ending its stay in the Olympic city of Sochi by posting a video criticizing the Winter Games and President Vladimir Putin. The band has been filming in Sochi since Sunday and has had violent run-ins with authorities. On Wednesday, Cossack militia attacked the group with horsewhips as they tried to perform under an Olympic sign.

Motorists criticize federal study of drunk driving
READING, Pa. (AP) — Orange cones and flashing police lights confronted Ricardo Nieves as he rounded a bend on the way to his mother's house. Before he knew what was going on, Nieves said a man working for a government contractor stepped in front of his car and forced him to turn into a parking lot. There, a woman repeatedly tried to question him about his driving habits and asked for a mouth swab that would detect the presence of illegal or prescription drugs in his system. Nieves refused. Then he sued, contending his rights were violated.

Floor collapse at church center; at least 15 hurt
LAUREL, Miss. (AP) — The second floor of an activity center at a rural church in southern Mississippi collapsed during an evening youth service, sending about 70 people tumbling and injuring at least 15 of them, authorities said. None of the injuries appeared life-threatening though a 16-year-old girl was taken to a hospital in Hattiesburg with a possible head injury after the floor collapse Wednesday evening, authorities said. The hospital told The Associated Press it had no information to release on the girl's condition early Thursday.

IOC: Attack on Pussy Riot was 'unsettling'
SOCHI, Russia (AP) — The International Olympic Committee says images of the attack on the Pussy Riot punk group in Sochi are "very unsettling." IOC spokesman Mark Adams says the governor of the Krasnodar region has apologized for the attack and is investigating.

WhatsApp: A $19 billion bet for Facebook
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook is placing a $19 billion bet on reaching its next billion mobile users with the acquisition of WhatsApp, a popular messaging service that lets people send texts, photos and videos on their smartphones. The $19 billion deal is by far Facebook's largest and bigger than any that Google, Microsoft or Apple have ever done. But it is likely to raise worries that Facebook and other technology companies are starting to become overzealous in their pursuit of promising new products and services, said Anthony Michael Sabino, a St. John's University business professor.