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Good morning. European leaders approve Brexit, Russia seizes Ukrainian ships, and a thriving bear population in Romania. Here’s the latest:
• “It’s a sad and tragic moment.”
Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, set a somber mood on Sunday as the leaders of European Union countries agreed to a treaty for Brexit — a plan that is as complex as it is unsure to succeed. Above, the summit meeting in Brussels.
Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain is offering a kind of middle path that leaves many cold. Her own Conservative Party is divided and the Labour Party is opposed, and she may not have enough votes in the British Parliament, which is expected to vote on the plan before Christmas.
Under the terms, Britain gets until at least December 2020 to work out the details of the divorce; in the meantime it would be out of the E.U. but still adhere to its rules and regulations. The biggest snag: how the plan averts a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, where Mrs. May’s coalition partners are rebelling.
• Russia seizes Ukrainian ships.
The Ukrainian Parliament will be asked to declare martial law by the administration of President Petro O. Poroshenko, raising alarms that he intends to use a sudden naval crisis with Russia to halt March elections he looks quite likely to lose.
Ukraine and Russia are in a standoff over disputed waters near annexed Crimea. After giving a different account, Russia acknowledged it had detained several Ukrainian Navy vessels and their sailors. Ukraine said six sailors had been injured in what it called an attack by jet fighters.
The portion of the Black Sea where the confrontation unfolded is a swirl of contested borders and disputed rights to access the narrow Kerch Strait, which connects the Black and Azov Seas. Russia has now blocked the strait with a cargo ship. Above, the ship on Sunday obstructing passage under a bridge between the Russian mainland and the Crimean peninsula, with Russian jet fighters overhead.
• A canary in the coal mine.
How did Origo, a once-independent Hungarian news outlet that featured exposés of politicians, become yet another government cheerleader? Our reporters investigated the process, finding a cautionary tale for press freedom in an age in which democracy is being challenged globally, especially in Hungary.
The far-right government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, above, stacked the courts, gerrymandered Parliament and co-opted much of the press so that Hungarian democracy has been hollowed out, slowly and subtly.
When it came to Origo, the government used a mix of suasion and strong-arming, often behind closed doors, to get the website’s German owner to curtail investigations and, finally, to sell it to government allies in a purchase funded with government money in 2015.
That year, Mr. Orban’s allies controlled 31 media outlets, according to an investigative news website. Now the number is more than 500.
• Bears and humans in Romania.
There’s an odd sort of night life in Baile Tusnad, a rundown spa town in eastern Transylvania, and it’s centered on dumpsters. After restaurants close at 11 p.m., residents and tourists gather to watch bears forage in the dumpsters for food.
Above, volunteer firefighters scaring away a mother bear.
The large bear population is partly thanks to Nicolae Ceausescu, the country’s former dictator and an avid bear hunter. But bears have been increasingly driven into town as development has encroached on their dense forest and food sources. People, some reckless, have been hurt — one woman while trying to take a selfie with a bear.
Farmers bemoan lost livestock, while a plan to reduce the bear population by selective hunting is drawing fierce opposition from environmentalists.
• Across France, there were gatherings of the internet-born “Yellow Jacket” movement, named for the fluorescent road-safety vests that all French drivers must carry in their vehicles. Above, a truck burning on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Protesting a rise in fuel taxes, the movement appears to be the most serious challenge yet to France’s pro-business president, Emmanuel Macron. [The New York Times]
• A peaceful march of migrants veered out of control in Tijuana, Mexico, as hundreds tried to reach a U.S. border crossing, falling back in the face of tear gas. [The New York Times]
• Norway is rattled by the “catfishing” case of a 26-year-old man who is accused of pretending to be a girl to solicit explicit pictures from hundreds of boys. The authorities say he used the pictures as blackmail and raped some of the boys. [The New York Times]
• A 53-year-old cleaner in Greece is appealing her sentence of 10 years in prison to the Supreme Court. Her offense? Lying about the time she spent in elementary school — six years instead of five — to secure a public-sector job. [The New York Times]
• Ireland took a step toward reinstating birthright citizenship as the nation pushed against the threatened deportation of a 9-year-old boy born in Ireland and his Chinese mother. [The New York Times]
• Voters in Switzerland rejected making the country’s law supersede international treaties and law. [BBC News]
• When the animal rights group PETA sent a letter asking the English village of Wool to change its name to Vegan Wool, residents were not amused. [The New York Times]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
Two years ago, the director Barry Jenkins, above center, strode onstage at the Gotham Awards and accepted the night’s top prize for his film “Moonlight.”
Tonight, he has a chance to win the same award for his follow-up feature, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” which arrives in theaters in December.
The Gotham Awards celebrate independent film and often mark the start of the film awards season, which will march on until the Oscars in February. In three of the last four years, the winner for best feature at the Gothams won the Oscar for best picture.
At the ceremony tonight in New York, Mr. Jenkins’s adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel will compete with “The Favourite,” a British period piece, and “First Reformed,” a religion-centered drama, among others.
Big-budget studio pictures like “Black Panther” will be absent, but the show still draws a high-wattage crowd: Nicole Kidman, Al Gore and Margot Robbie were present last year.
The show can be streamed online at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Andrew R. Chow wrote today’s Back Story.
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