Nato has joined a chorus of Western calls for Russia and Ukraine to show restraint as the UN security council prepares to meet amid a dangerous new crisis between the countries and fears of a wider military escalation. Russia reopened the Kerch strait separating Crimea from the Russian mainland early on Monday after its FSB security service said border patrol boats had fired on and seized three Ukrainian naval ships a day earlier, wounding several crew members.
A major US-Mexico border crossing in San Diego was closed for hours on Sunday after a group of migrants on the Mexican side rushed the border area, leading US Border Patrol agents to fire tear gas at the group. US Customs and Border Protection said the migrants threw projectiles that struck several agents. “Border Patrol agents deployed tear gas to dispel the group because of the risk to agents’ safety,” the agency said on Twitter.
In a bittersweet landmark, European Union leaders gathered Sunday to seal an agreement on Britain’s departure next year – the first time a member country will have left the 28-nation bloc. At a summit in Brussels, the leaders endorsed a withdrawal agreement that would settle Britain’s divorce bill, protect the rights of U.K. and EU citizens hit by Brexit and keep the Irish border open. The UK Parliament is expected to vote on the deal on 12 December, but its approval is far from guaranteed.
More than 100 people were taken to hospitals in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, after a suspected poison gas attack over the weekend. As President Bashar Assad’s regime traded blame for the alleged attack with anti-government rebels, Russian warplanes backing Assad’s forces hammered rebel targets. The attack took place on Saturday night in the now-government-controlled city of Aleppo, which has been the site of some of the fiercest battles in Syria’s civil war.
A group of up to 145 pilot whales has died after becoming stranded on a beach on Stewart Island in New Zealand. Authorities said half the whales had already died by then, while the other half were put down as it would have been too difficult to save them. It’s not fully known why whales or dolphins strand, the agency said. Possible reasons might be sickness, navigational errors, falling tides or being chased by a predator.