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Vladimir Putin greets participants during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. PHOTO: REUTERS

Putin stands by China, criticises US, in trade, Huawei disputes

Aggressive US tactics such as a campaign against Chinese telecoms firm Huawei will lead to trade wars - and possibly real wars - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, in a show of solidarity with China alongside its leader Xi Jinping.

In some of his strongest words on the subject, Putin accused Washington of "unbridled economic egoism".

He singled out US efforts to thwart a Russian gas pipeline to Europe and a US campaign to persuade countries to bar Huawei, the world's biggest telecoms equipment maker, from supplying network gear.

His broadside, at an economic forum in St Petersburg on the same platform as Xi, was a clear show of unity with China at a time when Beijing is locked in a trade war with Washington and Moscow's own ties with the West are at a post-Cold War low.


Nasa to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

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Nasa said on Friday it will open up the International Space Station (ISS) to business ventures including space tourism - with stays priced at US$35,000 (S$48,000) a night - as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab.

"Nasa is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we've never done before," Nasa chief financial officer Jeff DeWit said in New York.

There will be up to two short private astronaut missions per year, said Robyn Gatens, deputy director of the ISS. The missions will be for stays of up to 30 days.


With a round of golf, Trump ends European trip

US President Donald Trump left Ireland on Friday to return to Washington following a five-day stay in Europe that also included a lavish state visit to Britain and a trip to France to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day operation.

After being feted by Queen Elizabeth and other members of the royal family during three days of pomp in Britain, Trump spent two nights in Ireland on a far more low-key visit, camped almost entirely at one of his golf resorts in the west of the country.

Trump finished his trip with a round of golf at the Greg Norman-designed course, interrupted only by a group of children who, along with their teachers, were strategically perched on a hill by the 9th hole hoping to catch a glimpse of the president.


Tennis: Federer won't rule out 2020 Roland Garros return

Roger Federer suffered his worst Grand Slam mauling since 2008 at the hands of Rafael Nadal but hasn't ruled out returning to Roland Garros in 2020 - when he will be almost 39 years old.

Federer slumped to a 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 loss to the 11-time French Open champion in the semi-finals on Friday.

Nadal now leads his overall head-to-head against Federer 24-15, and 14-2 on clay with the Swiss star's last win on the surface against the Spaniard coming back in 2009.


Football: Belgian forward Eden Hazard joins Real Madrid

Eden Hazard completed his long-awaited move from Chelsea to Real Madrid on Friday and could become the Spanish club's most expensive signing in their history.

Real said Hazard, 28, had signed a five-year contract.

His contract at the Premier League club was due to expire next year but the Blues drove a hard bargain for the forward, who will reportedly cost Madrid an initial €100 million (S$154 million), with another 45 million in potential add-ons.


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