World Briefs / Bomb targets Iraqi schoolchildren

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BAGHDAD -- 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, the 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 30 Iraqis dead.

Shortly after the attack on the school in the village of Qabak, just outside Tal Afar in Mosul province, another suicide bomber crashed a smaller pickup into the village's police station and set off explosives, killing three officers and wounding 15.

In the afternoon, a third suicide bomber attacked a group of Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad, killing 14 and wounding 34, the police said, the second time they were hit in less than 24 hours despite heightened security measures.

U.S., Russia hold talks

BALI, Indonesia -- The U.S. and Russia today began their first high-level talks since sealing a deal to secure and destroy Syria's chemical weapons and the onset of an apparent warming between Iran and the West.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov were meeting to discuss both issues on the sidelines of an economic summit in Indonesia. They will be comparing notes on progress made since they negotiated the Syria agreement last month.

Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lavrov will also be talking about Iran and its nuclear program.

Syria dismantling underway

BEIRUT -- International disarmament experts Sunday began dismantling and destroying Syria's chemical weapons arsenal and the equipment used to produce it, taking the first concrete step in their colossal task of eliminating the country's chemical stockpile by mid-2014, an official said.

The inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have about nine months to purge President Bashar Assad's regime of its chemical program. The mission, endorsed by the U.N. Security Council, faces the tightest deadline in the watchdog group's history and must simultaneously navigate Syria's bloody civil war.

Kirchner head trauma

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has been ordered to rest for a month as doctors said Saturday she suffered a head trauma after complaining of a headache and irregular heartbeat.

Ms. Kirchner, who last spoke in public Friday, will turn day-to-day operations over to Vice President Amado Boudou during the period of rest. Her medical issues arise as Argentina prepares to hold midterm congressional elections Oct. 27. In primaries to select candidates, Ms. Kirchner's ruling alliance received just 26 percent of the nationwide vote, its worst result in a decade.

Sheep mass in Spain

MADRID -- 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.

Modern farming practices and the use of faster road transport are increasingly confining animals to barns or trucks, because shepherding is costly and time-consuming, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, which has promoted the colorful annual Transhumance Fiesta in Madrid since 1994.



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