UPCOMING IN EUROPE ON FRIDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2013:

BRITAIN-THEATER COLLAPSE

LONDON — Hunks of plaster and dust rain down on a packed audience when the ceiling of a London theater partially collapses. More than 75 people were injured — seven seriously. By Cassandra Vinograd and Jill Lawless. SENT 600 words, photos.

EUROPE-SUMMIT

BRUSSELS — Day 2 of European Union summit. What, if anything, Europe should do about Ukraine and its tilt toward Moscow may be the leading item on the agenda. As the last EU summit, Ukraine rejected an offer of a closer relationship with the trade bloc. UPCOMING 130 words by 1000G, then filing on merits. Photos and video covering.

SYRIA-DIPLOMACY

GENEVA — U.S., Russian and U.N. envoys meet Friday at the United Nations, then with diplomats from Britain, China and France and Syria's neighbors, to prepare for first face-to-face talks to end the Syrian civil war in January. The envoys are deciding which nations' ministers will be invited, including Iran and Saudi Arabia. By John Heilprin. UPCOMING: 130 words xpected after 0900 GMT; 300 words by 1800 GMT after Brahimi news conference.

ITALY-MAFIA-POISONED LANDS

CAIVANO, Italy — On Ciro Fusco's farm in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, police swooped down one recent day and planted a warning sign in his broccoli fields, prohibiting any one from harvesting or even setting foot on the plot. Decades of toxic waste dumping by the Mafia that dominates the Naples area poisoned wells, authorities have found in recent months, tainting the water that irrigates crops with high levels of lead, arsenic and the industrial solvent tetrachloride. The warning came too late: Fusco had already sold some of his broccoli at nearby markets. The farmlands around Naples, authorities say, are contaminated from the Mafia's multibillion-dollar racket in disposing toxic waste, mainly from industries in the wealthy north. By Frances D'Emilio. SENT: 1,200 words, photos.

WITH:

ITALY-POISONED-LANDS-PROSECUTOR: Franco Roberti, the national anti-Mafia prosecutor, tells The Associated Press that investigators have uncovered Camorra toxic waste-dumping in the Prato area just 17 kilometers (10 miles) north of Florence.

EUROPE-DOWNGRADE

PARIS — The Standard & Poor's rating agency downgrades the European Union's credit rating, stripping it of the highest grade of AAA. The agency says that a bitter battle over the EU budget and worsening creditworthiness of its members are behind the decision to downgrade the bloc's long-term issuer credit rating to AA+. SENT: 130 words.

BRITAIN-ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER

LONDON — Will critics be seduced or scandalized as they pass judgment on Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest musical? "Stephen Ward" is based on the Profumo affair, a 1963 sex scandal that rocked British society.