Morning Briefing, International

Rome — With much of Rome in suspended animation for the traditional summer slow-down, today we will highlight some of what's been in the wider international news.

But first, some recent reporting from NCR:

Chilean clergy abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz revealed new details about his recent meeting with Pope Francis. Cruz said he thought Francis was "very sincere" in apologizing for his defense of a bishop accused of covering up an abuser.

National correspondent Heidi Schlumpf examines U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh: He is pro-life, but is he 'whole life'? ask Catholic commentators.

President Trump was in Brussels yesterday for a NATO summit meeting, where he insulted longtime U.S. ally Germany, making false assertions about the amount of energy it imports from Russia.

In response, both houses of Congress approved nonbinding resolutions reaffirming U.S. support for the transatlantic alliance. House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters: "NATO is indispensable. It is as important today as it ever has been."

Trump heads today to England, where he will meet with embattled Prime Minister Theresa May. Two of May's highest-profile ministers, Boris Johnson and Davis, resigned their posts days ago as part of the continuing row inside the Conservative Party over what deal to seek with the European Union as Britain leaves the 28-member bloc.

In another blow to the Kingdom, John Cleese, he of Monty Python fame, announced July 11 that he is planning to leave the UK for the Caribbean as a result of the "awful" Brexit debate.

Meanwhile, Italy's new populist coalition government has intensified its stance against migrants seeking refuge by refusing to allow an Italian merchant ship that rescued 66 migrants at sea permission to dock.

Matteo Salvini, Italy's new interior minister, has said he wants to close the country's ports even to rescue operations coordinated by the EU, of which Italy is a member. The New York Times profiled one Italian town that once welcomed migrants, but has now become a symbol for the right-wing.

National Catholic Reporter's sister publication, Global Sisters Report, is running a special in-depth series reporting on the difficult journey of refugees and how Catholic sisters are helping. Here's the link to the series:

[Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]

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