Monday morning news: February 25, 2019

Vice President Pence to meet with Venezuela’s Juan Guaido » Vice President Mike Pence is expected to meet with Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido in Columbia today. They’ll be joined by foreign ministers from more than a dozen Latin American and Caribbean states.

The leaders will discuss efforts to peacefully remove embattled Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Venezuelans largely recognize Guaido as the nation’s rightful president.  

POMPEO: We’re supporting that, the Lima group, the OAS, European countries, all around the world have seen the devastation that’s been wrought in Venezuela by this sick tyrant, Maduro, who’s denying food to starving Venezuelans and medicine to sick Venezuelans. 

That from Fox News Sunday.

Four people died and hundreds more were injured on Saturday in clashes between protestors and Venezuelan security forces. Maduro ordered police and military personnel to block trucks loaded with food and medicine from entering the country.

Over the weekend, Guaido made repeated calls for the military to join him in the fight against Maduro’s “dictatorship.” Colombian authorities said more than 60 soldiers answered his call, deserting their posts. But most were lower in rank. Military commanders so far remain loyal to Maduro’s socialist government.

Kim in route to Vietnam for summit » Secretary Pompeo also previewed this week’s second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Pompeo expressed optimism, but also looked to manage expectations.

POMPEO: Our objectives are clear. Our mission is clear. President Trump’s also said this is going to take time. There may have to be another summit. We may not get everything done this week.

Kim Jong Un boarded a train to Vietnam Sunday en route to the summit. He was accompanied by Kim Yong Chol, a key negotiator in talks with the U.S.

Many analysts believe Kim will seek partial sanctions relief. But the White House has maintained that sanctions will stay in place until North Korea has completely abandoned its nuclear program.

The Trump-Kim meeting is slated for Wednesday and Thursday in Hanoi.

Trump extends China tariff deadline » President Trump said Sunday that he is extending the deadline for trade talks with China, citing “substantial progress.”

Unless the two sides struck a deal, the U.S. was set to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports. They would have increased from 10 to 25 percent on March 2nd.

The president said U.S. and Chinese negotiators held “productive talks” over the weekend on divisive issues. He said if negotiations continue to progress, he’ll meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to finalize an agreement.

Pope Francis vows the Vatican will aggressively confront sexual abuse » Pope Francis closed out the Vatican’s four-day summit on sexual abuse by clergy on Sunday.

AUDIO: [Sound of Pope Francis speaking]

He vowed to confront abusers with “the wrath of God,” end the cover-ups by their superiors, and prioritize the victims of what he called this “brazen, aggressive, and destructive evil.”

He offered an eight-point pledge of priorities going forward, calling for a change in the church’s defensive mentality and a vow to never again cover up cases.

But many survivors and activists were disappointed by his failure to offer a concrete action plan to hold bishops accountable when they fail to protect Catholics from abuse.

And Peter Isely with the group Ending Clergy Abuse told reporters…

ISELY: There is nothing in his remarks about releasing documents that demonstrate the truth of how they are and have been covering up child sex crimes. So what that is is secrecy. 

The sex abuse summit at the Vatican was the first of its kind.  

Francis delivered his remarks at the end of Mass before nearly 200 Catholic bishops and other leaders.

Stars turn out for 91st Academy Awards » Hollywood’s biggest stars packed the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles last night for the 91st Annual Academy Awards.

Best Picture this year went to Green Book, the story of an unlikely friendship forged in the racially divided 1960s.

CLIP: Yeah, some guy called over here, a doctor. He’s looking for a driver. You interested? I am not a medical doctor. I’m a musician. I’m about to embark on a concert tour in the deep south. 

Olivia Colman won Best Actress for her portrayal of Queen Anne in the The Favourite.

CLIP: They were all staring weren’t they. I can tell even if I can’t see.

And Rami Malek won Best Actor for portraying rocker Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

CLIP: I enjoyed the show. I also, I write songs. Our lead singer just quit. Well then, you’re going to need someone new.

The Oscar for Best Director went Alfonso Cuaron for Roma.

How to Train Your Dragon 3 tops box office » Meantime, at the weekend box office, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World debuted in the top spot.

TRAILER: Beyond the edge of the world lies the home of the dragons, and I believe it’s your destiny to one day find this hidden world. 

The third installment in the animated franchise took in $56 million in its opening weekend — easily beating Alita: Battle Angel and The LEGO Movie 2.

You can find WORLD Review’s of current films — along with ratings and content information — at – slash – movies.”

(AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino) Pope Francis arrives in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican for a audience with pilgrims coming from the diocese of Benevento, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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