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Brexit Files, Gibraltar Tanker, Hong Kong Protests: Your Monday Briefing

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Good morning.

We’re covering leaked Brexit files, a summer of crime and angst in Germany and why a population of Bosnian refugees is leaving the U.S. city it helped revive.

ImageCreditGareth Fuller/Press Association, via Associated PressLeaked files show risks of a no-deal Brexit

Britain will face shortages of fuel, food and medicine if it leaves the E.U. without a transition deal, jamming ports and requiring a hard border in Ireland, according to government documents leaked to The Sunday Times of London, a scenario Brexit opponents have long warned about.

The forecasts compiled by the Cabinet Office set out the most likely aftershocks of a no-deal Brexit rather than the worst-case scenarios, the newspaper said.

Hard border: The files show that, without a deal, the government believes that there will most likely be a hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland (which will remain an E.U. member state), because current plans to avoid widespread checks will prove unsustainable.

Response: The British energy minister dismissed concerns over potential supply shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit as “scaremongering.”

The cabinet minister in charge of no-deal planning, Michael Gove, said on Twitter that the leaked documents reflected “a worst-case scenario” and that the government had significantly accelerated its planning in the past three weeks.

ImageCreditArne Dedert/DPA, via Agence France-Presse — Getty ImagesSummer of angst and violence in Germany

Germany ranks in international studies as one of the safest, most peaceful countries in the world.

But a series of crimes since June has made residents feel otherwise. Some crimes are violent and seemingly random, some targeted and political; some by migrants, and some aimed at them.

Meaning: The crimes have fueled public anxiety, which experts say may have deeper roots than can be fixed with border checks and transit security. “We are living in a time of awakening, from the refugees to Brexit, Trump, Erdogan, climate change — suddenly Germans are feeling that they cannot stop time and remain in the protective bubble of prosperity that has been Germany of the past decade,” said a psychologist who has focused on this state of affairs.

Back story: Last month, a man shoved an 8-year-old boy and his mother in front of an oncoming train in Frankfurt’s central station; the boy was killed. The Frankfurt police said that the suspect was African, prompting outcry from members of the far-right, nationalist Alternative for Germany party. (He was not a beneficiary of Germany’s migration policy, nor a resident.)

Nine days later, in an unrelated episode, a German man opened fire on a 26-year-old man from Eritrea, critically wounding him in a drive-by shooting that prosecutors described as racially motivated.

ImageCreditMarcos Moreno/Associated PressSeized Iranian tanker leaves Gibraltar

An Iranian oil tanker held for six weeks after being impounded left Gibraltar on Sunday, days after the authorities there rejected a request from American officials to turn the vessel over to them.

A marine traffic monitoring site showed the tanker, the Grace 1, leaving Gibraltar’s waters. Iranian and Gibraltar news organizations confirmed that it had set sail.

It was unclear whether the U.S. intended to seize the vessel now that it had left Gibraltar. But any attempt to intercept the tanker in international waters would most likely be considered illegal.

What’s next: The ship’s departure raised hopes that Iran, in turn, would relinquish a British tanker that it had seized in apparent retaliation.

ImageCreditLam Yik Fei for The New York TimesFor Hong Kong’s protesters, a display of strength

Organizers estimated that some 1.7 million — perhaps one-fourth of Hong Kong’s total population — took to the streets on Sunday, defying a police ban and increasingly stern warnings from Beijing.

The Hong Kong police, however, said that only about 128,000 protesters showed up.

The demonstration, possibly the second largest since the movement began in June, remained peaceful — a stark contrast from the violence that broke out at previous protests.

Around the world: In dozens of other cities, including New York, London, Toronto and Sydney and Melbourne in Australia, hundreds of people also turned out over the weekend to show support for the movement in Hong Kong.

Investigation: The Times reviewed dozens of episodes in previous Hong Kong demonstrations involving tear gas and found that the police had at times used methods that experts described as indiscriminate and excessive.

Beijing’s tactics: China is increasingly pressuring businesses in Hong Kong to take its side, even as their employees join the protests. The most dramatic example came on Friday, when the chief executive of Cathay Pacific Airways resigned.

If you have 12 minutes, this is worth itBosnian refugees who revived a U.S. city are leavingImageCreditCarolina Hidalgo for The New York Times

A once-dilapidated St. Louis neighborhood was revived by thousands of Bosnian war refugees who had fled brutal ethnic cleansing in the 1990s. They moved in with business plans and home renovations, and before long brought life, color and the smell of fresh-baked bread to the area, which came to be known as Little Bosnia. Above, Beriz Nukic, the owner of the Bosnian restaurant Berix.

Today, St. Louis, like some other Midwestern cities, is battling a new round of contraction, with a stagnant economy, challenged schools and one of the highest murder rates in the U.S. And over the past few years, the residents of Little Bosnia have been fleeing again, to the suburbs.

Here’s what else is happening

Italy: A Spanish search-and-rescue ship stranded off the coast of Italy for weeks with scores of migrants aboard is in a “full humanitarian crisis,” according to a spokeswoman for the aid group Open Arms. “They have been sleeping, living and doing everything on the deck, with only two bathrooms for over 100 people,” she said. “This is not human.”

Central America: Women facing an epidemic of femicide and domestic violence are fleeing Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, but the Trump administration has made it harder than ever for them to claim asylum.

Russia: Antigovernment protesters took to the streets of Moscow for a sixth weekend, demanding that opposition candidates be allowed to run in municipal elections next month and that protesters arrested at previous demonstrations be released.

Sudan: The capital city of Khartoum erupted into celebrations after the country’s military and civilian leaders signed a landmark power-sharing deal after eight months of protests, a coup and a bloody military crackdown. A transitional government, led by an economist, is set to take power on Sept. 1, with the military retaining the upper hand.

France: The police are hunting for a customer accused of fatally shooting a waiter at a restaurant near Paris because, witnesses said, he was upset over the wait for his sandwich.

Plácido Domingo: Sexual harassment accusations against one of the opera world’s most revered stars have brought opposing reactions from singers, and continents.

ImageCreditJosé Sarmento Matos for The New York Times

Snapshot: Above, a herd of goats in Vermelhos, Portugal, nibbling at overgrown forest lands that fuel wildfires. After testing high-tech tools to combat blazes, like drones, satellites and aircraft, the government has now turned to these humble, four-legged firefighters.

Hiccups: Cures for the hiccups, which are typically harmless, are as varied as the causes for them: You may have tried having someone scare you or swallowing dry bread, crushed ice or peanut butter. Everyone gets the hiccups, and yet they still aren’t well understood.

What we’re reading: This article in The New Yorker. Our national food correspondent Kim Severson writes: “From the belly of Big Berry comes a pale pink strawberry. Dana Goodyear explains why the rosé berry is as much about a cultural moment as it is about deliciousness.”

Now, a break from the newsImageCreditRomulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

Cook: Set up a week of snacking with this recipe for lemony whipped feta.

Watch: The filmmakers behind the new comedy “Good Boys,” about potty-mouthed sixth graders, had to figure out how to handle stars who were too young to actually see the movie.

Go: Six excellent new opera productions in Salzburg, Austria, this year will be hard to top in next summer’s centennial festival.

Listen: Sleater-Kinney, teaming up with St. Vincent, grasps at a new sound on the album “The Center Won’t Hold.”

Smarter Living: You can develop your appeal to others — your charisma — by not giving in to self-doubt. Focus instead on being a warm, active participant in conversations with others. Practice by joining a public speaking class (or a local group like Toastmasters) and look for ways to show off your strengths while leveling up your weaknesses.

And we talked to five cooking pros for tips on how to get dinner on the table while parenting.

And now for the Back Story on …Golf and the 1 Percent

With President Trump and many other affluent players hitting the links this summer, it might seem hard to think of a time when golf wasn’t associated with the uber-rich.

However, golf’s origins are humble. Some histories look back to the Romans, others to China and still others to medieval Europe, but it’s clear that commoners were playing golf in 15th-century Scotland.

ImageCreditAssociated Press

In fact, golf was so popular that it was once banned to try to keep Scots focused on archery, a needed skill in wars with England.

King James IV of Scotland, who lifted the ban in 1503, is sometimes called the first royal golfer. And the game gained popularity among the English elite when King James VI of Scotland ascended the thrones of England and Ireland in 1603. After the British Open was inaugurated in 1860, golf began spreading around the world.

Early American courses were similar to their present-day successors: Heavy membership fees and expensive accouterments — clubs, bags, attire — ensured exclusivity.

But more affordable municipal courses, run by local governments, began proliferating in the early 20th century.

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Melina

Thank you
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Adenike Olanrewaju wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at [email protected]

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