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Things to Know in the World for Oct. 31


Why'd octopuses crawl to shore?

More than two dozen octopuses were spotted slogging along a shoreline in West Wales, worrying beachgoers who then plopped the critters back into the ocean. Brett Stones, who runs SeaMôr Dolphin Watching Boat Trips, said Monday that he was finishing a tour late Friday when he saw many octopuses moving on New Quay beach in Cardigan Bay. "It was a bit like an end-of-days scenario," he told BBC News. Talking to the Washington Post, Stones added: "Seeing something like that out of its environment, you get this sort of feeling of wanting to protect them." So, he and others gathered about 25 of the octopuses and put them back into the water to keep them alive. Videos posted on SeaMôr's Facebook page show the pinkish sea creatures with a call for others to help save them from being stranded. On Saturday, SeaMôr posted pictures showing several octopuses on land that appeared to be dead, suspecting they might be dying after spawning. Others online reported subsequent sightings. Graham Pierce, a research scientist at Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas in Spain, said the beached animals are most likely curled octopuses, or Eledone cirrhosa. He said they may be on the beach because of spawning, weather and water temperatures. James Wright, curator at the U.K.'s National Marine Aquarium, told the Daily Telegraph and Newsweek that the number of octopuses seen on the same beach at the same time is "quite odd ... and suggests there is something wrong with them, I am afraid." He added recent low-pressure depressions and storms could have injured or confused the creatures.


Inventor admits dismembering journalist, but not killing her

She was a journalist tested in trouble spots throughout the world and reporting on a Danish inventor famed for building what was thought to be the world's largest private submarine. The story seemed to present little danger, but it cost Kim Wall her life. The Swedish journalist's dismembered, naked torso was found on a Copenhagen coast in August and her head, legs and clothes were later discovered in plastic bags at sea. The bags also contained a knife and heavy metal objects to sink them. Wall's arms are still missing. Inventor Peter Madsen — who is in custody — has offered a shifting variety of explanations for Wall's death. On Monday, police revealed 46-year-old Madsen now admits dismembering Wall's body and throwing the parts into a bay but steadfastly denies killing the 30-year-old. He previously claimed she had an accident but now says she died from carbon monoxide poisoning suffered inside the submarine while he was on the deck. Police also expanded the murder and mutilation charges against Madsen to include sexual assault. Prosecutors believe he killed Wall as part of a sexual fantasy.


Catalan leaders may face charges

The Spanish attorney general said Monday that Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan leader, and other top regional officials should be prosecuted for rebellion after illegally declaring independence from Spain. Attorney General José Manuel Maza stopped short of ordering the immediate arrest of Puigdemont and other separatist leaders, instead saying he wanted to "urgently" prosecute 20 politicians and ordering them to appear in court in Madrid in the coming days. Judges will now decide when to summon Puigdemont and others, and whether to charge them with rebellion, as well as sedition and misuse of public funds, for organizing and holding an independence referendum on Oct. 1 that had been declared illegal by the Spanish government and courts. In a major escalation of Spain's territorial conflict, the central government has taken charge of Catalonia's administration, invoking emergency constitutional powers.


Officials extend detention of young man over rainbow flag

State security prosecutors have extended the pre-trial detention of a young man arrested on charges of "promoting deviance" after fans waved rainbow flags at a concert last month. Lawyer Hoda Nasrallah said Monday the hearing for her client, Ahmed Alaa, took place a day earlier. The case involves another young defendant, Sarah Hegazy, whose detention was already extended until Nov. 13. The two were arrested shortly after the Sept. 22 concert. Rights advocates say some 70 individuals have been caught up in the sweep since then. Homosexuality is not explicitly prohibited by law, although gay men are often arrested on other charges.


Name a train for Anne Frank? Hm

The Anne Frank House museum is signaling reservations about the idea of a German high-speed train being named after the teenage Jewish diarist who was deported by train from the Netherlands during WWII. Railway operator Deutsche Bahn wants to name its fleet of new trains after historical figures, and a jury selected Anne's name as one of 25 slated to be used. On Monday, the Amsterdam museum said the combination of Frank and a train evokes memories of wartime deportations, "is painful for the people who experienced these deportations, and causes fresh pain to those who still bear the consequences of those times within them." The statement noted "initiatives such as this are usually taken with good intentions." — tbt* wires