(Want to get this briefing by email? Here’s the sign-up.)
Good morning. Remaking a court, ramping up Turkish-Saudi tensions, tearing up church ties in Ukraine.
Here’s the latest:
• Remaking the U.S. Supreme Court. At a cost.
Against the backdrop of bitter protests, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the country’s highest court by one of the slimmest margins in history, putting the last of three branches of the U.S. government under conservative control.
The partisan battle over his elevation widened as accusations of sexual misconduct tapped fury over #MeToo, a conflagration that deeply eroded the court’s apolitical image.
• Saudi journalist’s disappearance ramps up tensions with Turkey.
Turkish officials on Sunday demanded a “convincing explanation” from Saudi Arabia over what they said was the killing of the veteran Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He was there to pick up a document to allow him to remarry.
Mr. Khashoggi was a dissident who was critical of the kingdom under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He had fled the kingdom last year because he feared arrest.
The episode sharply escalated tensions between the countries, two of the Middle East’s most important powers.
• Interpol chief under China’s thumb.
The Interpol president, Meng Hongwei, above, who was reported missing after leaving France for China, is being investigated on “suspicion of violating the law” and was “under the supervision” of an anticorruption watchdog tied to the Chinese Communist Party, the authorities said on Sunday.
The move could set back the country’s efforts to expand its global presence.
• Biggest Christian schism since 1054 is threatened.
In Ukraine, they are incensed by what they see as the Kremlin using the church as an instrument of imperial control, and seek independence.
Russians in the faith argue that their Istanbul-based leader, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, above, has no right to remove the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from under the wing of the Moscow patriarchate without its consent.
• Far worse climate change effects are found.
A landmark United Nations report out today paints a far worse picture of the immediate effects of climate change than previously thought.
Disasters from hunger to mass migration to coral die-offs on a huge scale will abound as soon as 2040.
The report says that avoiding damage requires transforming the world economy at a pace that might be politically impossible.
A vast tract of drought-stricken rural Australia could serve as an example. There, a committed pastor has become a counselor, a social worker and a philanthropist as he faces changing weather and tries to keep his community from falling apart. Above, a boy with the bones of dead livestock on a farm in New South Wales, Australia.
• A number of global deals involving American companies are under review by Chinese market regulators. Among the biggest is Walt Disney Company’s $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox, which has an Oct. 19 deadline.
• China’s central bank is cutting the amount that some lenders must hold in reserve, effectively pumping $174 billion into the economy. The move signals worries about slowing growth and increased pressures from the trade war with the U.S.
• “Venom,” starring Tom Hardy as a fanged antihero, and the bittersweet romance “A Star Is Born,” this time with Lady Gaga in the lead role, vastly exceeded expectations, sending the North American box office to an October record.
• Coming this week: Google’s new products, the Nobel Prize in Economics and bank earnings will all be announced.
• Here’s a snapshot of global markets. Tokyo’s stock exchange is closed.
In the News
• Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, above right, said that in his meeting with Kim Jong-un on Sunday, the North Korean leader agreed to allow inspectors into a key nuclear testing site that the North claimed it blew up. Mr. Pompeo also said that a second U.S.-North Korea summit meeting would happen soon. [The New York Times]
• Official results for the Serbian seat on Bosnia’s three-member presidency are expected this morning. Milorad Dodik, a pro-Russia Serbian nationalist, said on Sunday that he had won. If so, it could worsen ethnic rivalries and stall Bosnia’s E.U. bid. [The New York Times.]
• Indonesian officials fear that the number of deaths from last month’s earthquake and tsunami, now about 2,000, could almost triple. [The Guardian]
• Ireland will impose tobacco-style warning labels on alcohol as part of restrictions intended to tackle one of the world’s worst rates of binge drinking. [The New York Times]
• Tsukiji, Tokyo’s famous wholesale seafood market, closed for good over the weekend. Fishmongers and customers alike bemoaned the end of an era of grunge. “Dirty is best,” said one fish shop owner. [The New York Times]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
• Recipe of the day: Make a simple, comforting bowl of lentil rice dressed with chopped cilantro and yogurt.
• “I came from nowhere,” Andy Warhol once said. He was probably referring to Mikova, the tiny village in Slovakia pictured above, where his parents were from. Its 100 or so residents once perceived the artist as a “bit of a weirdo,” but have since tried to cash in on Mr. Warhol’s roots.
• Cuisine ingrained in DNA: The largest genetic study to date of the Chinese population found metabolism genes for a kaleidoscopic variety of foods, from meat-heavy stews in the north to fresh greens in the south.
A key date in feline history just slunk past.
On Oct. 7, 1982, the musical “Cats” opened on Broadway, little more than a year after its debut in London’s West End. Scored by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the show had a script drawn from a playful volume of poetry, T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” It told a loose story about “Jellicle” cats gathered for a junkyard ball.
The New York show received mixed reviews (“Whatever the other failings and excesses, even banalities, of ‘Cats,’” Frank Rich wrote in The Times, “it believes in purely theatrical magic”). But it ran for 18 years, earning nearly $400 million. A revival in 2016 ran for about a year and a half. Above, Mr. Lloyd Webber with that cast.
Next stop: Hollywood. In December 2019, “Cats” makes its movie debut, with Steven Spielberg and Mr. Lloyd Webber executive producing. Shooting starts in Britain next month; James Corden, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen and Taylor Swift are among those slated to prowl the screen.
“I think the key to the ‘Cats’ movie is going to be: What do they look like?” Mr. Lloyd Webber said last year.
“I think that you can’t do ‘Cats’ with a great deal of C.G.I.,” he added. “Part of the thing is seeing that they are human beings.”
Nancy Wartik wrote today’s Back Story.
Your Morning Briefing is published weekday mornings and updated online.
Check out this page to find a Morning Briefing for your region. (In addition to our European edition, we have Australian, Asian and U.S. editions.)
What would you like to see here? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Morning Briefing, Europe Edition
Here’s what you need to know to start your day in Europe.
- On Africa Trip, First Lady Reveals a Trump-like Side
- Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040
- Limo Crash Kills 20 in Upstate New York; Nation’s Deadliest Accident in 9 Years
- New York Limo Crash: What We Know About the 20 Victims
- Court Battle Shifts the Political Terrain for Senators in the Heartland
- Opinion: Liberals, This is War
- The World’s Oldest Barber Is 107 and Still Cutting Hair Full Time
- Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father
- Brazil Election: Jair Bolsonaro Heads to Runoff After Missing Outright Win
- Interpol Chief Meng Hongwei Quits and Is Detained by China