While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, July 8


Donald Trump presses Vladimir Putin at first meeting on interference in US election

US President Donald Trump pressed Vladimir Putin at their first meeting on Friday about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

The Russian president has denied any meddling in the US democratic process last year and Moscow has asked for proof that it took place.

Trump promised a rapprochement with Moscow during his campaign for the presidency last year. But he has been unable to deliver on that pledge because his administration has been dogged by investigations into the allegations of Russian interference in the election and ties between his campaign and Moscow. Trump says his team did not collude with Russia.

Speaking on the sidelines of a G-20 summit in Hamburg, Tillerson said the two leaders “had a very robust and lengthy exchange on the subject. The President pressed President Putin on more than one occasion regarding Russian involvement”.

“The two leaders agreed that this is a substantial hindrance in the ability of us to move the Russian-US relationship forward,” Tillerson told reporters.  They agreed to work on commitments of “non-interference in the affairs of the United States and our democratic process as well as those in other countries”, he added.


Not even Melania can tear Donald and Vladimir away from their two-hour chat

Even US First Lady Melania Trump was powerless to keep Friday's first face-to-face meeting of the US and Russian presidents from running nearly twice as long as planned.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he tried several times to remind US President Donald Trump about the ticking clock during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"People were sticking their heads in the door. They even... sent the First Lady at one point to see if they could get us out of there. But it didn't work," he said.


PM Lee urges G-20 leaders to redistribute benefits of trade

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on leaders of the world's 20 biggest economies to redistribute the benefits of trade more equally to arrest the anti-trade sentiments sweeping across many nations.

The risks are high if the mood spreads to more countries because it could hurt the livelihoods and prosperity of hundreds of millions of people, he said on Friday, the opening day of the Group of 20 Leaders' Summit in Hamburg.

Mr Lee, who spoke during a working session at the summit, was making the case for countries to support the multi-lateral trade model such as the European Union and the Asean Economic Community established in 2015. The trading system has come under siege in some countries, as workers and unions become anxious about jobs.


Football: Defoe's 'best mate' Bradley Lowery dies

Bradley Lowery, who became one of the iconic images of last season's Premier League through his friendship with then Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe, has died aged six, his family revealed on his Facebook page.

The devoted Sunderland supporter suffered from a rare form of cancer neuroblastoma and had of late been receiving palliative care at his home.

Defoe, who had touchingly been accompanied by Lowery onto the Wembley pitch when the striker made his England return after a four-year hiatus against Lithuania in March, broke down in tears on Thursday when asked about him declaring his "best mate" only had days to live.


Formula One: Hamilton handed five-place grid penalty for Austrian GP

Formula One title contender Lewis Hamilton will have a five-place grid penalty for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix after his car required an unscheduled gearbox change, Mercedes said.

The drop means he cannot equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time pole position record of 68 at his home British Grand Prix next week. Hamilton is currently on 66 and had been favourite to take the top slot in Austria.

A Mercedes team spokesman said the gearbox problem resulted from the previous race in Azerbaijan.