Following like sheep: Shepherds led a flock of 2,000 sheep through Madrid on Sunday in defense of ancient grazing, droving and migration rights increasingly threatened by urban sprawl and modern agricultural practices. Tourists were surprised to see downtown traffic cut to permit the ovine parade to bleat — bells clanking — through some of Madrid’s most upmarket urban settings.
FEC proposes penalty for former Sen. Craig
Former GOP Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho should personally pay a “significant civil penalty” of $70,000 for his “serious violations” of campaign finance laws, the Federal Election Commission argues in a recent court filing. Craig’s campaign committee should also pay a separate $70,000 penalty, the FEC attorneys say. The penalties, totaling $140,000, would have a “real deterrent impact” on other politicians who seek to use campaign funds for personal purposes, the FEC declared in its Sept. 30 filing in federal court. The expenses arose from Craig’s effort to withdraw a guilty plea to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct, following a disputed 2007 incident at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Karen downgraded to depression
Tropical Storm Karen was downgraded to a depression and storm warnings were discontinued as the weather system churned in the Gulf of Mexico before heading toward landfall in northern Florida. Karen’s sustained winds fell to 35 miles per hour as the storm sat about 120 miles south of Morgan City, La., the National Hurricane Center said.
President told to rest after head trauma
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been ordered to rest for a month after complaining of a headache and irregular heartbeat. On Aug. 12, Fernandez, 60, suffered a previously undisclosed head trauma and tests then indicated nothing negative.
Playground bombing kills 13 children
A suicide bomber detonated a truck filled with explosives on the playground of an elementary school in northern Iraq on Sunday morning, killing 13 children and the headmaster, police said. As many as 80 other people, including students and teachers, were wounded in the blast, the first of three attacks that left at least 31 Iraqis dead.
83 bodies found in migrant-ship wreckage
Divers searching the underwater wreckage of a migrant ship that capsized last week in the Mediterranean Sea recovered another 83 bodies, raising the death toll to 194, a figure that is likely to keep growing. Rough seas near the Italian island of Lampedusa had delayed recovery efforts by two days. Conditions were considered too dangerous for dive teams to safely search the wreckage, which is on the ocean floor, about 165 feet down.
U.N. experts start dismantling weapons
U.N. disarmament inspectors began dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. The team from The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons embarked on their field work after a series of meetings with Syrian government officials. A witness said a convoy of six cars carrying the inspectors wearing bulletproof vests left a Damascus hotel, escorted by Syrian security forces. Their destination was not disclosed.