There is an interesting article at Quartz looking at the PR problem Pope Francis could face if he tries to mend relations with Beijing.
For those of you not up to date on Sino-Vatican relations, China hasn't held official talks with the Holy See since the 1950s. The communist country actually allows a state-sponsored version of the church to exist, but it has clashed repeatedly with the Vatican. Several of its bishops were even excommunicated after they were appointed without the Vatican's approval.
There have been signs, however, that relations have been thawing — the most notable example being when Pope Francis and Chinese President Xi Jiping exchanged correspondence — and speculation has been growing that the pope might make a visit. (And no, it's not because Pope Francis has a natural affinity to a communist country.) At Quartz, Heather Timmons shows just what a minefield such a visit could turn out to be:
There are an estimated 12 million Catholics in China, but they are divided between the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, a group created by Communist Party in 1957 that does not recognize the Vatican as its head, and an underground, technically illegal, Catholic church that recognizes the Pope (and still has millions of members).
Visiting China in an official capacity would almost certainly require a meeting with the former, but Pope Francis would be unlikely to want to come without a promised meeting with the underground group as well, which would embarrass Beijing. [Quartz] Nico Lauricella
President Obama thought Hillary Clinton nailed it. Shortly after Clinton wrapped up her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, Obama fired off this tweet lauding Clinton's leadership qualities and predicting the future of his current Twitter handle, @POTUS:
Great speech. She's tested. She's ready. She never quits. That's why Hillary should be our next @POTUS. (She'll get the Twitter handle, too)
— President Obama (@POTUS) July 29, 2016
First Lady Michelle Obama followed up with some praise of her own, too:
So moved and so inspired by that powerful speech from our next President! #ImWithHer and I am fired up and ready to go. -mo
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) July 29, 2016
The only question is, would former President Bill Clinton inherit @FLOTUS? Becca Stanek
Hillary Clinton wants gun owners to know that she has everyone's safety in mind when it comes to gun control.
— CNN (@CNN) July 29, 2016
"I'm not here to repeal the Second Amendment," she said during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. "I'm not here to take away your guns. I just don't want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place." If the nation is "serious about keeping our country safe," she added, " we also can't afford to have a president who's in the pocket of the gun lobby." Catherine Garcia
During Thursday night's speeches at the Democratic National Convention, protesters aligned with Bernie Sanders repeatedly attempted to interrupt proceedings. But the Hillary Clinton faction got word of their plans, and came prepared. Check it out. Ryan Cooper
These are the counter-chants being distributed to Clinton delegates for when Bernie folks start heckling tonight pic.twitter.com/eNUtnBSzAM
— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) July 29, 2016
Hillary Clinton painted a grim picture of a Donald Trump presidency during her speech at the Democratic National Convention, asking the audience, "if you dare," to imagine what it would be like to have him in the Oval Office.
"Ask yourself, do you really think Donald Trump has the temperament to be commander in chief? Donald Trump can't even handle the rough and tumble of a presidential campaign," she said. "He loses his cool at the slightest provocation, when he's gotten a tough question from a reporter, when he's challenged in a debate…imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis. A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons." Clinton said Trump says he'll put "America first, well, please explain, what part of America first leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado? Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan? Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio? Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin? Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again; well, he could start by actually making things in America again."
She also asked the crowd to think about what Trump did in Atlantic City, 60 miles away from Philadelphia. "You will find contractors and small businesses who lost everything because Donald Trump refused to pay his bills," she said. "But think of this: People who did the work and needed the money, not because he couldn't pay them but because he wouldn't pay them, he just stiffed them. And you know that sales pitch he's making to be president, 'put your faith in him and you'll win big?' That's the same sales pitch he made to all those small businesses. Then Trump walked away and left working people holding the bag." Catherine Garcia
The line that earned Hillary Clinton the most applause Thursday night may have been this simple reminder: "I believe in science!" Clinton chuckled after making that proclamation to raucous cheers at the Democratic National Convention. Then, she added this icing on the cake: "I believe climate change is real." Becca Stanek
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) July 29, 2016
Rather than try to assuage voters' frustrations Thursday night, Hillary Clinton admitted Americans were absolutely justified in feeling that way. "Some of you are frustrated, even furious, and you know what? You're right," Clinton said during her speech at the Democratic National Convention.
Clinton admitted that, right now, the economy is "not yet working the way it should." "Americans are willing to work and work hard," Clinton said. "But right now an awful lot of people feel there is less and less respect for the work they do." Becca Stanek
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) July 29, 2016
Clinton on historic nomination: 'When any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone'
Hillary Clinton's says her historic nomination isn't just a victory for women.
"Tonight, we've reached a milestone in our nation's march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president," she said Thursday night during the Democratic National Convention. "Standing here as my mother's daughter and my daughter's mother, I'm so happy this day has come. I'm happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. I'm happy for boys and men because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone."
It's a win for everyone because "when there are no ceilings, the sky's the limit," Clinton said. "Let's keep going until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves to have. But even more important than the history we make tonight is the history we will write together in the years ahead." Catherine Garcia