Trump, Putin move to mend relations
Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin vowed a fresh start to troubled relations between the world's greatest nuclear powers at their first summit on July 16, as the American leader rejected a chance to condemn Moscow's alleged manipulation of US elections. The US and Russian leaders came out of their meeting in Helsinki expressing a desire to cooperate on global challenges, after talks on an array of issues from Syria, Ukraine and China to trade tariffs and the size of their nuclear arsenals. Standing alongside Putin at a joint news conference, Trump said he had "spent a great deal of time talking about" election meddling, without going into detail or explicitly condemning any interference, after 12 Russian agents were indicted in the United States.
World Cup celebrations rock Paris
The World Cup-winning French team returned home to a heroes' welcome on July 16, parading down the Champs-Elysees as hundreds of thousands of cheering fans gave a raucous welcome to the country's newest idols. France overcame a determined Croatia to win 4-2 in Sunday's final in Russia, with teenager Kylian Mbappe applying the coup de grace and cementing his place as a new global superstar at the age of just 19. Millions of fans in France then celebrated into the night, honking car horns and flying the tricolour flag while the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe were lit up in the national colours of blue, white and red. Crowds began converging early Monday on the Champs-Elysees, the gathering point for all national celebrations, to catch a glimpse of a returning squad which has captured the country's imagination.
Nawaz Sharif arrested upon return home
Ousted Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam were arrested on July 13 after flying back to the country to face lengthy prison sentences, in a high-stakes gamble to galvanise their beleaguered party ahead of a July 25 election. Uniformed men escorted the Sharifs, who were sentenced in absentia on corruption charges last week, from their airplane after it touched down in the central city of Lahore at around 8:45pm (1645 GMT), a Reuters reporter on board said. Local Geo TV said Sharif and his daughter were taken to another waiting aircraft to be flown out of Lahore, where more than 10,000 Sharif supporters were gathered to greet him. Their return could shake up an election race marred by accusations Pakistan's powerful military is working behind the scenes to skew the contest in favour of ex-cricket hero Imran Khan, who describes Sharif as a "criminal" who deserves no support.
May faces Brexit storm
British Prime Minister Theresa May drew fire from all sides on July 16 over her Brexit strategy as a former minister described it as a "fudge" and called for a second EU referendum while eurosceptics readied a parliamentary challenge. Former education secretary Justine Greening, who opposed Brexit, said May's plan to follow European Union rules on trade in goods without being able to influence them was "the worst of both worlds". Noting the deep divisions in government and parliament on the way forward, Greening said voters must decide -- becoming the most senior member of May's Conservative party to back the idea. "The only solution is to take the final Brexit decision out of the hands of deadlocked politicians, away from the backroom deals, and give it back to the people," she wrote in an article in The Times. May has repeatedly ruled out a second referendum, after Britons voted by 52-48 percent for Brexit in 2016, but Greening's support for a so-called People's Vote will give the campaign a huge boost.