While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 7

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Xi Jinping meet in Hamburg on July 6, 2017.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Xi Jinping meet in Hamburg on July 6, 2017.PHOTO: MCI

PM Lee Hsien Loong meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg ahead of G-20 Summit

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hamburg on Thursday.

The meeting with Mr Xi at a hotel ahead of the Group of 20 Leaders' Summit is Mr Lee's first since they met at the previous G-20 Summit in Hangzhou last September.

In a sign of warming ties, it comes soon after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang accepted PM Lee's invitation to visit Singapore.

PM Lee and Mr Xi "affirmed the substantive bilateral relationship, frequent high-level exchanges and good progress made in bilateral cooperation," said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office.

They discussed how Singapore could work with China to implement the Belt and Road Initiative, including the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative, which has achieved good progress in financial services and aviation connectivity.


US defence chief Jim Mattis says North Korea missile test doesn't bring war closer

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis slammed North Korea’s test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile as a “provocation,” but stressed the United States seeks a diplomatic solution to the standoff.

“As (Winston) Churchill put it, better to jaw-jaw than war-war. We (are) right now dealing with this very serious escalation, this provocation, this affront to the United Nations Security Council resolutions,” Mattis said, in his first public comments since Tuesday’s test.

While the Pentagon has drawn up an array of plans for a possible military intervention in North Korea, Mattis said he did not think America was closer to war because of the test. Still, he said any effort by North Korea to start a conflict would have “serious consequences.”


Japan, South Korea, US demand greater Chinese effort on North Korea

Japan, the United States and South Korea agreed to push for China to play a larger role in reining in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, a Japanese official said on the eve of a summit of the Group of 20 economic powers.

North Korea’s launch this week of what it said was a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile dramatically raised the stakes in the long-running battle to contain the isolated country’s nuclear weapons programme.

“North Korea now constitutes a new level of threat to Japan and a clear provocation to Japan and also to the international community,” said Norio Maruyama, Japanese foreign ministry spokesman, after a meeting of the three countries’ leaders.


Naked skydivers bid for world record in plea for British unity

As gloomy headlines multiplied in the wake of last year's Brexit vote, four Britons decided to cheer up their divided country by setting a new world record for skydiving. Naked.

Pete Sharwood-Smith, Gary Lincoln-Hope, Pete Cheek and Olly Aylott jumped from a plane 6,827m above a Kenyan beach, aiming for the world record for the highest naked jump and appealing for unity after the bruising referendum campaign.

"We're not allied to any political party, we just want to reinforce the positive aspects of being British and British people are known for doing silly things, especially after the pub," said 43-year-old Sharwood-Smith, a red-haired Scot. "England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland - we're all better together."


Tennis: Mattek-Sands hospitalised screaming in pain after Wimbledon fall

America's Bethanie Mattek-Sands was stretchered off court screaming in pain after suffering a serious knee injury during her second-round women's singles match at Wimbledon.

Mattek-Sands was playing Romania's Sorana Cirstea on outside Court 17 when she appeared to slip as she approached the net at the beginning of the third set then collapsed awkwardly to the grass.

After a moment's silence she suddenly screamed out in pain, then shouted "help me," clutching her right leg.