‘Carmageddon II’ is success, mayor says
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Sunday called “Carmageddon II,” the sequel to last year’s shutdown of one of the nation’s busiest freeways, a success and thanked drivers for staying off the road and keeping the weekend traffic unusually light.
Bridge work that forced the closure of Interstate 405 was completed, and lanes of the freeway through the Sepulveda Pass will reopen as planned for this morning’s commute, Villaraigosa told a news conference.
A similar closure occurred last year to demolish portions of the Mulholland Drive bridge to allow construction of an additional freeway lane. Like last year, city residents heeded months of warnings to stay off the road, and the fear of an epic traffic jam never materialized.
Ryan rejects need for breakthrough
Mitt Romney’s running mate shot down the need for a breakthrough in the first presidential debate Wednesday, trying to allay Republican concerns that the race is slipping away with five weeks to go and momentum on President Barack Obama’s side.
Vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, working to keep debate expectations for Romney in check, praised Obama’s debating skills and called the Democratic incumbent “a very gifted speaker” with years of experience on the national stage. He played down signs that Obama is gaining distance in the most competitive states. Polls are tight, Ryan said, and will stay that way until the election Nov. 6.
Muslims set fire to Buddhist temples
COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh
Thousands of Bangladeshi Muslims set fire to at least 10 Buddhist temples and 40 homes in anger over a Facebook photo of a burned Quran before authorities restored order.
The situation was under control Sunday afternoon after extra security officers were deployed and the government banned public gatherings in the troubled areas near the southern border with Myanmar, said Nojibul Islam, a police chief in the coastal district of Cox’s Bazar.
He said at least 20 people were injured in the attacks that started late Saturday after a photo of a burned copy of the Muslim holy book was posted on Facebook. The rioters blamed the photo on a local Buddhist boy, though it was not immediately clear if he actually posted the photo.
Bombings in Iraq kill at least 26
A series of coordinated bombings shattered Shiite neighborhoods and struck at Iraqi security forces Sunday, killing at least 26 in attacks that one official described as a rallying call by al-Qaida just days after dozens of militants escaped from prison.
The blasts brought September’s death toll from sectarian violence to nearly 200 people — a grim, above-average monthly total for the period since U.S. troops left last year.
Bill gives juveniles a second chance
Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday announced signing a bill that could one day bring the release of some criminals who were sentenced as juveniles to life in prison.
There are 309 inmates serving life-without-parole sentences in California for murders committed when they were younger than 18.
Brown signed SB9, by Democratic Sen. Leland Yee of San Francisco. It would let the inmates ask judges to reconsider their sentences after they serve at least 15 years in prison.
Judges then could reduce the no-parole sentence to 25 years-to-life if the inmate shows remorse and is taking steps toward rehabilitation.