… British royalty. There were revelations that Prince Harry, fresh from his inspiring lecture on climate change, flew on private jets with his wife, Meghan Markle, and son, Archie. (The couple were accused of hypocrisy; Elton John defended them; Buckingham Palace declined comment.) Video footage emerged of Prince Andrew at Jeffrey Epstein’s town house. (Buckingham Palace declined comment, then issued a statement saying that Andrew was “appalled” by Epstein’s behavior.) F.B.I. files revealed that Lord Mountbatten was as extramaritally energetic as Lady Mountbatten was already known to have been, and also bisexual, with an eye for very young men. (Buckingham Palace, presumably, declined comment.) In short, it seemed like a good time for a monarch vacationing in the Scottish Highlands to, well, stay there. Regarding which, one must acknowledge reports that the Sussexes and the Cambridges would—significantly—not be camping out in the same house during their visits to Balmoral. (Even more significantly, perhaps, the Cambridges traveled to Scotland on a budget flight.)
Elsewhere, the Hong Kong protests increased in intensity, Italy’s prime minister resigned, an amusement-park ride in Löffingen, Germany, will be modified because it looks more like an oversize spinning swastika than an amusement-park ride in Germany really should, and in suburban Paris a man shot and killed a waiter because he thought it was taking too long for his sandwich to be served. In Great Britain, leaked documents revealed fears by government officials that a no-deal Brexit, which is a strong possibility, would result in shortages of food, medicine, and fuel—for starters. And in Idaho, angry drivers have started following buses of migrant workers’ children down roads and harassing them. Most of the children, whose families are in the United States legally, are younger than five years old.
Speaking of Donald Trump, the president, having paid lip service to the idea of stronger gun-control laws (“There’s a great appetite—and I mean a very strong appetite—for background checks”), decided upon reflection (and after a few conversations with the N.R.A.) that, you know, “people don’t realize we have very strong background checks right now.” And besides, those massacres were weeks ago. So, everything’s fine again. Time for the Very Stable Genius to turn his attention to more important matters, like accusing Democratic Jews of “disloyalty,” pre-emptively blaming any recession on a conspiracy to make him look “bad,” thanking a conservative radio host who’d described him as “the king of Israel … the Second Coming of God,” and announcing that, in fighting the trade war with China, “I am the Chosen One.”
Although July was Earth’s hottest month on record since such records were first kept (1880), it’s unclear whether that factoid is what sparked President Trump’s interest in buying Greenland. What is clear is that Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen’s lack of interest in selling Greenland prompted the president to call off his trip to Denmark, which was to include a state visit with Queen Margrethe II. The Danes were baffled and angered by Trump’s behavior (join the club). Prime Minister Frederiksen expressed her annoyance. The president called her “nasty” for not wanting to make a deal. Christiansborg Palace, presumably, declined comment.
As he himself said not long ago, “There’s never been a president like President Trump.” —George Kalogerakis