Pence says China is trying to undermine Trump — China “wants a different American president” and is working to undermine President Donald Trump and influence U.S. elections, Vice President Mike Pence claimed Thursday. Pence is accusing China of using trade, diplomatic overtures and military expansion to spread its influence around the world, including in the Western Hemisphere, and to work against U.S. interests. “President Trump’s leadership is working; China wants a different American president,” Pence said in remarks prepared for delivery at the conservative Hudson Institute later Thursday. “China is meddling in America’s democracy,” Pence said. “Our intelligence community says that ‘China is targeting U.S. state and local governments and officials to exploit any divisions between federal and local levels on policy. It’s using wedge issues, like trade tariffs, to advance Beijing’s political influence.’”
Pompeo en route to Pyongyang— U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Tokyo on Saturday for talks with Japanese officials ahead of his trip to North Korea. Pompeo is under pressure to make progress on convincing North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons as President Donald Trump seeks to meet with leader Kim Jong Un for a second time after their June summit in Singapore. Pompeo will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Taro Kono later Saturday to discuss their North Korea policies before heading to Pyongyang on Sunday. They planned to touch base and deepen cooperation on their effort to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Friday. The real diplomatic test for Pompeo will come in Pyongyang. Speaking Friday, Pompeo said his mission was to “make sure that we understand what each side is truly trying to achieve … and how we can deliver against the commitments that were made” in Singapore. He said they would develop options, if not finalize, the location and timing of second Trump-Kim summit. Trump and Kim made a vague “denuclearization” agreement their June summit. North Korea so far has suspended nuclear and missile tests, freed three American prisoners and dismantled parts of a missile engine facility and tunnel entrances at a nuclear test site. It has not hasn’t taken any steps to halt nuclear weapons or missile development.
Church manual to prevent abuse sets off outrage — A manual from the archbishop’s office of Santiago, Chile, said it was inappropriate to “pat the buttocks or touch the genital area or chest” of minors. It recommended that clergy refrain from “laying next to or sleeping with children or adolescents” to giving massages and “hugging from behind.” The guidelines, posted to the church’s website last week, were withdrawn two days later. Chileans were outraged, in part because the guidelines never described the behavior as sexual abuse. The office said in a statement that the guidelines followed international standards but it acknowledged problems with the text. “We apologize and will publish a new version promptly,” the statement said.
Far-right presidential candidate leads in Brazil — In the last days of Brazil’s divisive presidential race, most of the 13 candidates stumped across the country in a last-ditch bid for votes. But Jair Bolsonaro, the populist, far-right candidate leading the pack, spent much of the final stretch in a hospital, convalescing from a near-fatal stabbing. His near-disappearance from the political stage only increased his lead: Polls suggest Bolsonaro will trounce opponents. His success has defied the laws of political gravity. Until recently, Bolsonaro was on the fringes of power who made headlines by calling for a military dictatorship and verbally attacking women, gays and people of color — in a country that is mostly nonwhite.