World News in Brief

Death toll from American meningitis outbreak rises to 15

The death toll from an outbreak of fungal meningitis in the United States rose to 15 on Saturday, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The latest victim was in Indiana, which has now reported two deaths from the rare form of meningitis. The number of people stricken now stands at 197. The outbreak has turned into a major health scandal after a company based in Massachusetts, New England Compounding Center, shipped vials that may have been tainted to 23 states and 76 medical facilities. The company has recalled the product and suspended operations. (Reuters )

Floods ravage much of eastern Scotland after heavy rainfall

Heavy rain and flooding hit large swaths of Scotland on Friday, bursting riverbanks, turning roads into torrents and stranding people in their homes. Britain's Met Office warned the region to brace for nearly a month's worth of rain - as much as 80 millimeters - over 48 hours. Local media reported several people had been trapped in buildings and that emergency services had rescued drivers stuck in cars in eastern Scotland. "The scale of the damage is astronomical. I am missing half my house, I'm missing the whole road ... nothing is left," Fife resident Storm Hughes said. (Reuters )

22 saved from sinking boat in San Francisco Bay

Nearly two dozen people who were enjoying a boat ride on what's billed as San Francisco Bay's only "floating wine tasting room" are okay after their vessel hit a shoal near Alcatraz Island and started sinking Friday night. U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Josh Dykman says the 45-foot Neptune hit the shoal and started taking on water after the impact left a foot-wide gash in the side of the boat. The boat's captain tried to get it back to the pier, but the captain had difficulty navigating the vessel and it started sinking. Dykman says three Coast Guard boats took all 22 passengers and crew members off the vessel and brought them back to the pier. There were no injuries. (AP)

Weapons charges dropped in Madonna stalking case

A New York City judge has dismissed weapons charges against a former firefighter who was arrested outside Madonna's apartment building two years ago. Police say Robert Linhart parked his SUV outside Madonna's Central Park West apartment, laid out a tarp and spray-painted poster boards with love notes. The New York Post reports that Manhattan state Supreme Court Judge Analisa Torres ruled Friday that police improperly seized a gravity knife and an ice pick from Linhart when they arrested him. A resisting-arrest charge is still pending. Linhart maintains his innocence. (AP )