In the news
American rapper A$AP Rocky remained jailed in Sweden this week despite President Trump’s attempted intervention. Rocky, 30, claims he and his bodyguards acted in self-defense when a fight broke out June 30 in the streets of Stockholm. Yet Swedish authorities arrested Rocky on assault charges and denied him bail, angering the New York rapper’s fans and celebrity friends. Trump, perhaps seeking to score points with African-Americans after a difficult week for race relations, took the advice of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian and phoned Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. “I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail,” Trump said. Sweden, however, does not have bail, and Löfven said he “will not attempt to influence the legal proceedings.”
MAGA hat–wearing beauty queen Kathy Zhu was stripped of her Miss Michigan title last week after her racially charged tweets resurfaced. Just one day after crowning Zhu, pageant organizers said the 20-year-old could no longer be considered “in good character” in light of tweets from 2017 and ’18. In one, Zhu chides a critic of police shootings of black men, saying, “Did you know that the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks? Fix problems within your own community before blaming others.” In another, she says women who wear a hijab are “oppressed under Islam.” After the pageant called the tweets “insensitive” and “offensive,” Zhu, an avid Trump supporter, said she was the victim of anti-conservative prejudice.
Filmmaker Oliver Stone asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to be his daughter’s godfather, according to a transcript of their bizarre exchange released last week. The Oscar-winning director, who is a fan of the Russian autocrat, was interviewing Putin in Moscow when the despot mentioned taking part in the christening of a Ukrainian ally’s daughter. “According to Russian Orthodox tradition, you can’t refuse such a request,” Putin said. Stone then requested that Putin become “the godfather for my daughter,” who’s 22. “Does she want to become an Orthodox Christian?” Putin asked. “OK, we’ll make her that,” Stone said. The conversation then moved on to “homosexual propaganda.” ■