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Vox Sentences: The handshake watched round the world

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A historic summit in Singapore; Chile’s Catholic Church continues to wrestle with the fallout from sexual abuse scandals.

“He has a great personality”

Kevin Lim/THE STRAITS TIMES/Handout/Getty Images
  • By the time the East Coast woke up Tuesday morning, President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had signed an agreement and pledged to “build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.” [Vox / Zack Beauchamp and Jennifer Williams]
  • The agreement between the two temperamental leaders includes what’s known as a “freeze for freeze” policy: The US stops its “war games” on the peninsula, while North Korea ends its intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear tests. [CBS News / Jean Song]
  • The end of the military exercises came as a shock to South Korea, and the longstanding US ally was left trying to figure out exactly what Trump meant. [NYT / Choe Sang-Hun]
  • So were US senators, who were reportedly given assurances by Vice President Mike Pence that the exercises would continue. [Washington Post / Seung Min Kim]
  • But the overall language of the agreement is vague, and it doesn’t go much further than the agreement between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who held a summit in April. [Guardian / Justin McCurry]
  • It didn’t commit to “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization” — the standard the US has long insisted on. In fact, it didn’t provide any detail on what “denuclearization” would look like. [FT / Bryan Harris, Demetri Sevastopulo, and Song Jung-a]
  • On the one hand, the mere existence of talks makes a nuclear war that could kill millions less likely. On the other, analysts think that in exchange for the valuable symbolism the summit gave Kim, the US could have insisted on more meaningful concessions. [NYT / Max Fisher]

Pope Francis makes a long-overdue decision

  • Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, who’s accused of ignoring accusations of abuse committed by one of the Chilean Catholic Church’s most notorious and abusive pedophiles, Rev. Fernando Karadima. [AP / Nicole Winfield]
  • Though Karadima was found guilty under a Vatican investigation in 2011, Pope Francis promoted Barros and stood by his side until April, when he issued an apology, admitting he had made “serious mistakes” while handling the case. He then sent an archbishop from Malta “to investigate the allegations of abuse in the Chilean church.” [LA Times / Jorge Poblete and Patrick J. McDonnell]
  • In what is presumed to be an assumption of responsibility for their “wrongdoing,” 34 Chilean bishops — the whole of Chile’s church leadership — tendered their resignations in May. [Vox / Tara Isabella Burton]
  • Juan Carlos Cruz, a survivor of Karadima’s abuse, thanked Pope Francis, tweeting, “Today begins a new day for the Catholic Church in Chile and hopefully the world.” [Twitter]
  • A legacy of sexual abuse and corruption has followed the Catholic Church, and other denominational organizations, for a great deal of history. However, Jason Horowitz notes that prosecutions, investigations, and police raids across the world signify that “civil authorities no longer appear to see church leaders as untouchable.” [NYT / Jason Horowitz]


  • Uber is seeking a patent for an AI system that would weed out drunk users from their sober counterparts, hopefully making life easier for all parties involved. [The Verge / Shoshana Wodinsky]
  • Congratulations are in order for the creator of Cardi B’s favorite accessory, the “bloody shoe” — Christian Louboutin won a legal battle in EU’s highest court system barring other companies from copying his famous red sole. [Independent / Caitlin Morrison]
  • After receiving a formal indictment for possession of cocaine, Rose McGowan said she was framed and the drugs were planted. While her allegations seem fantastical at face value, Harvey Weinstein did hire Mossad agents to spy on his victims ... so it’s anyone’s guess. [Vanity Fair / Erika Harwood]
  • Research using flies and rats has revealed that LSD and DMT could be potentially used to treat depression, anxiety, and PTSD. [Vice / Daniel Oberhaus]
  • IHOP is changing the P in its name (which stands for “pancakes”) to B, for — drumroll — “burgers.” What, confused? Were you expecting it to be breakfast too? [Forbes / Andria Cheng]


“From Melania’s energy in photos and memes, people have really cast her on social media as … modelesque and icy. In person, she’s much warmer. … She smiles pretty easily, and she has a sense of humor. I do think she has her own thoughts about her role in life, but we’re still trying to uncover them.” [NYT reporter Katie Rogers on being in Melania Trump’s “very small circle of trust” / The Cut]

Watch this: What does “denuclearization” mean?

It depends on which country you ask. [YouTube / Zack Beauchamp and Madeline Marshall]

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