- U.S. The Telegraph
The Swedish prime minister has disputed Donald Trump’s claim over the treatment of a detained American rapper following a phone call between the two leaders. Platinum-selling artist A$AP Rocky was arrested in Sweden in early July on suspicion of assault following a street brawl. Mr Trump tweeted on Saturday that he had spoken to Prime Minister Stefan Lofven offering to personally vouch for his bail. Mr Trump said the Swedish PM assured him that the rapper would be treated fairly. “Just had a very good call with @SwedishPM Stefan Löfven who assured me that American citizen A$AP Rocky will be treated fairly," Mr Trump said in a post on Twitter. "Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative... Our teams will be talking further, and we agreed to speak again in the next 48 hours!" Just had a very good call with @SwedishPM Stefan Löfven who assured me that American citizen A$AP Rocky will be treated fairly. Likewise, I assured him that A$AP was not a flight risk and offered to personally vouch for his bail, or an alternative....- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2019 But a spokesperson for the Swedish leader has maintained Mr Lofven told Mr Trump the government cannot influence the judicial process. The spokesperson said: “It was a friendly and respectful phone call which lasted about 20 minutes. The Prime Minister made sure to point out that the Swedish judicial system, prosecutors and courts, are completely independent. "He also pointed out that everyone is equal before the law and that the government neither can nor will try to influence the judicial process." Mr Trump said he and Mr Lofven had agreed to speak again over the next two days, another claim disputed by Sweden. “It is possible that there will be follow up calls but right now there is not one scheduled or planned,” a spokesperson said. A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, was detained following a fight in Stockholm, where he had been performing. The district court decided on Friday that Rocky would remain in custody for one more week to allow police to complete their investigation. They have until 25 July. Mayer has claimed he was acting in self defense after two young men harassed and followed him and his entourage. Fans, fellow artists and US Congress members have called for the 30-year-old artist to be freed following his arrest on 3 July. The US president intervened after an appeal from rapper Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian.
- Entertainment ABC News
A 2-year-old Minnesota boy who was reported missing was quickly found at a county fair - after making the trek in on his toy tractor, his family said Saturday. Little Kenneth was riding around in his yard on his John Deere tractor Thursday night when he remembered that the Chisago County Fair was just a mere two blocks away, his mom, Lynn Allen, told ABC News.
- Health Associated Press
In the nearly four years since the Pentagon announced it was opening all combat jobs to women , at least 30 have earned the Army Ranger tab, two have graduated Marine infantry school and three have passed the grueling initial assessment phase for Green Beret training. Army medical researchers hope to uncover answers in a just-launched voluntary study. "We're really interested in those elite women that are the first to make it through physically demanding training," said Holly McClung, a nutritional physiologist at the Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine in Massachusetts.
- U.S. HuffPost
Last year was the fourth-deadliest in the nation for right-wing extremist violence, according to data from the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism.
- U.S. USA TODAY
It's stranger than fiction: A baby girl in St. Louis was born on 7-Eleven Day at 7:11 p.m., weighing 7 pounds and 11 ounces.
- World The National Interest
Friedrich Hayek famously observed that socialist central planning puts countries on the road to serfdom.The latest dead end on that highway to hell-already littered with the human victims of past failed attempts in places like Cuba and the old Soviet Union-is in Caracas, Venezuela.That is where, last weekend, President Nicolás Maduro and the thousands of Cuban communists who actually run his government took the final step to squash the rights of individual Venezuelan citizens and impose an authoritarian dictatorship.(This first appeared back in 2017.)Hayek could have told us: It is the logical last act in the Venezuelan tragedy that began nearly 20 years ago with the election of Maduro’s mentor (and Fidel Castro’s protégé), Hugo Chavez.As The Economist magazine reported earlier this year, the damage in Venezuela is extensive.The economy has contracted dramatically-gross domestic product in 2017 will be nearly 25 percent smaller than when Chavez died in 2013. Hyperinflation-and the complete economic collapse it signals-seems to be just around the corner.Inflation is predicted to exceed 1,600 percent this year and the value of the country’s currency-the bolivar-has plummeted. As wags on Twitter have noted, it is now worth less than the virtual gold tokens in the “World of Warcraft” video game.Which would be funny, were it not for the immense human suffering right now in Venezuela. People are losing weight because there is not enough to eat in this workers’ paradise.There are shortages of everything, everywhere. Just like in the old Soviet Union, people line up at the first rumor that some basic item-bread, rice, cooking oil, etc.-might be available.