VATICAN: The Pope will not meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to the Holy See in a gesture of resistance to Washington’s efforts to enrol the Catholic Church in its cold war on China.
Mr Pompeo has called on the Pope not to extend a 2018 accord with Beijing that regularised the status of Chinese bishops and called for the Vatican to deploy its “moral witness and authority” against the Chinese Communist Party.
But Vatican officials said the agreement had “positive results” and they intended to negotiate an extension with China.
BELARUS: French President Emmanuel Macron said he would take “pragmatic” steps to “support the Belarusian people” after talks with opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya in Lithuania yesterday.
Mr Macron has called for Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to step down because of mass protests.
But the Belarusian Communist Party condemned attempts by “Western powers to destroy the fundamental principles of international politics, to impose their own liberal values and way of life on all mankind.”
KUWAIT: Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who had ruled the Gulf emirate since 2006, died yesterday aged 91.
The sheikh had played a leading role in Kuwaiti politics since becoming foreign minister in 1963.
Kuwait is a key US ally in the Gulf, hosting 13,500 US troops and the forward command of US Army Central at Camp Arifjan.
UNITED STATES: Texas sheriff Robert Chody has been indicted on charges of destroying or concealing video relating to the death in custody of a black man, Javier Ambler.
Mr Ambler, a former postal worker, was pulled over for allegedly failing to dim his lights to oncoming traffic in March 2019. The traffic stop was filmed for a police reality TV series.
Mr Ambler died after the sheriff’s deputies repeatedly used stun guns on him, despite his pleas that he was sick and couldn't breathe.