While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 18


Trump tries to calm political storm over Putin summit, says he misspoke

US President Donald Trump tried on Tuesday to calm a storm over his failure to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable for meddling in the 2016 US election, saying he misspoke in a joint news conference in Helsinki.

Trump stunned the world on Monday by shying away from criticising the Russian leader for Moscow's actions to undermine the election and cast doubt on US intelligence agencies, prompting calls by some US lawmakers for tougher sanctions and other actions to punish Russia.

"I said the word 'would' instead of 'wouldn't,'" Trump told reporters at the White House, more than 24 hours after his appearance with Putin. "The sentence should have been, 'I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be Russia.'"

Trump, who was given numerous opportunities to publicly rebuke Putin during the news conference in Helsinki, instead praised the Russian leader for his "strong and powerful" denial of the conclusions of US intelligence agencies that the Russian state meddled in the election.


British PM narrowly avoids defeat in parliament on EU trade laws

British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly avoided a defeat in parliament at the hands of pro-EU lawmakers from her own party on Tuesday, fending off a rebellion that had threatened to deepen a crisis over her Brexit strategy.

Parliament voted 307 to 301 against an amendment to trade legislation in a vote that had been closely followed by currency markets, and was seen as a test of May's ability to deliver a smooth British exit from the European Union and keep her job.

The amendment would have required the government to try to negotiate a customs union arrangement with the EU if, by Jan 21, 2019, it had failed to negotiate a frictionless free trade deal with the bloc.


Obama decries rise of 'politics of fear and resentment'

Former US President Barack Obama has decried mounting global inequality and the emergence of a political order based on fear and resentment, calling for greater efforts to foster international cooperation.

"A politics of fear, and resentment" is building, Obama said in a speech in Johannesburg on Tuesday, a day before the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela's birth.

"It's on the move at a pace that would have seemed unimaginable just a few years ago."


British caver approached by US, British lawyers over Musk 'pedo' comment

A British caver who helped rescue 12 boys from a Thai cave said on Tuesday he has been approached by British and American lawyers and will seek legal advice after Tesla chief executive officer Elon Musk directed abuse at him on Twitter.

"I've been approached by British lawyers, American lawyers. I haven't decided what to do next yet," Vern Unsworth told Reuters in Mae Sai town in Chiang Rai province, about 3km from the cave where the boys and their coach were trapped for 18 days.

However, Unsworth has said he is considering legal action against the billionaire entrepreneur, who described him as "pedo guy" on Twitter. "I can't let it go. There's too much out there already," Unsworth told Reuters in an interview.


Football: Wenger says he regrets staying at Arsenal for 22 years

Arsene Wenger has said staying as Arsenal manager for nearly 22 years may have been the biggest mistake of his career and that he regrets sacrificing "everything" for the job.

The 68-year-old Frenchman, who was appointed in October 1996, left the north London club at the end of last season after winning three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.

In an interview with French outlet RTL, Wenger admitted he was obsessed with ensuring Arsenal's success on the pitch. "I regret having sacrificed everything I did because I realise I've hurt a lot of people around me."