Like a spell of oppressive weather, he has settled in, and there’s no escape: Donald Trump won top Attention Whore for the second time in the last three weeks, handily, with 49.2 percent. And he’s probably not going away—or not just yet. Nevertheless, a tip of our collective hat to the boundlessly self-regarding runner-up, Emily Ratajkowski (18.1 percent), the tenacious train wreck that is Rudy Giuliani (12.4 percent), and the ever frisky Rupert Murdoch (10.9 percent).

The nominees in this week’s edition of the Attention-Whore Index Poll are …



Out in a blaze of … something. Well, the Wagner paramilitary chief lasted a whole two months after his aborted march on Moscow—not bad, under the circumstances. Meanwhile, according to Russian aviation authorities, “an investigation of the Embraer plane crash that occurred in the Tver Region this evening has been launched.” They’ll get to the bottom of this.



The head of Spain’s soccer federation kissed Jennifer Hermoso on the lips during the World Cup awards ceremony—shocking many, most of all Hermoso, a star forward, who afterward said, “I didn’t like that.” She later released a statement downplaying the moment: “It was a completely spontaneous mutual gesture due to the immense joy of winning a World Cup.” Rubiales apologized, but by week’s end he was refusing calls to resign and explaining why he’d grabbed his crotch in the general vicinity of Queen Letizia. Maybe next time just hand over the medal, Luis?



A glitch removed all pre–December 2014 pictures posted on what was then Twitter, and Musk admitted on what is now X that “we may fail, as so many have predicted.”



Last week’s runner-up nearly let Sunday go by without sharing, for her 30 million Instagram followers, a series of photos of herself posing in her kitchen wearing a thong bikini. Nearly.



Having lost his bid for re-election as Brazil’s president, the far-right nationalist and his confederates are being investigated for fraud and election tampering. (Sound familiar?) Now The New York Times reports that federal police are interested in what they say was “a broad conspiracy by Mr. Bolsonaro and several allies to embezzle expensive gifts he received as president from Saudi Arabia and other countries. In one case, authorities accuse Mr. Bolsonaro’s personal aide of selling a diamond Rolex watch and a Patek Philippe watch to a jewelry shop at the Willow Grove Park mall in Pennsylvania last year.” That also sounds familiar, apart from the Pennsylvania mall: the newspaper notes that the Trump White House was accused of failing to document $250,000 worth of foreign gifts. Sleaze, the universal language.



It’s not exactly a photo dating to 1745, but the University of Dundee’s Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification has “produced what is said to be the most lifelike replica of the prince’s face so far,” The Guardian reported. “It shows him with blond ringlets, wearing a white shirt, and with blotchy patches on his skin, as he would have looked at the time of the Jacobite rising.” Blotchy patches aside, the prince “was renowned for his good looks [and] has captivated a new generation of interest through the TV show Outlander.”



The part-time presidential candidate and full-time criminal defendant skipped his party’s debate on Wednesday, preferring to talk with Tucker Carlson about President Biden’s “skinny legs.” (“I think he looks horrible at the beach,” said Trump, who you can be sure looks buff himself.) But with great, self-generated fanfare, he arranged to turn up in an Atlanta courtroom the very next day—never mind debate postmortems, attention must be paid to me!—for a mug shot and booking on racketeering charges ($200,000 bail, cash).

The voting for this week has concluded. Check our latest issue for the results …

And now for this week’s Diary …

A course on Taylor Swift will be offered at Ghent University, in Belgium, starting in September. “Literature: Taylor’s Version” will draw a connection between the imagery, themes, and language in the pop star’s songwriting and those found in the work of Dickens, Plath, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Brontë (Charlotte), Thackeray, and, who knows, maybe even that other Swift. According to the syllabus, you don’t need to be a Swiftie to register for the Swifterature course.

The key physicist and astronomer consulting on Russia’s recent failed space mission—the unmanned Luna 25 craft crashed into the moon last weekend, not part of the plan for the first Putin-era lunar expedition—has been hospitalized following what was described as a “sharp deterioration” in his health. But don’t jump to conclusions: Mikhail Marov is 90, and was understandably unhappy with the mission’s outcome. “It is so sad that it was not possible to land the apparatus,” he said. “This was perhaps the last hope for me to see the revival of our lunar program.” So it’s probably nothing at all like the sharp deterioration in health prominent Russians who have failed or disappointed Putin in the past have experienced, usually while standing near open windows.

After four Italian tourists skipped out on their $90 tab at the Guva Mangalem restaurant in this Albanian city, Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s prime minister, ordered her ambassador to Albania to pay the bill for “these idiots.... Italy cannot lose respect like this.” Meloni, who was visiting Albania, learned of the incident from the Albanian P.M., Edi Rama. Political opponents accused her of misusing “taxpayers’ money,” but, said The Times of London, at least the restaurant’s owners were grateful: “Thank you Italy! On TikTok they are speaking about nothing else.”

Here in the Swiss Alps, an unhappy record was set when meteorologists had to climb “almost 5,300 metres to record the zero degree ‘freezing point’ — or isotherm,” Euronews reported. The new mark of 5,298 meters (17, 382 feet) bests last July’s record of 5,184 meters (17,008 feet). The country, no, the continent—no, make that the planet—is in the midst of a heat wave.

Despite a ban on acknowledging one another, “nearly half of bus drivers in Japan still exchange greetings waving or nodding when their vehicles pass each other,” Japan Today reported. The rules were established after a couple of pedestrian fatalities were blamed on bus drivers’ inattention, yet “an investigation conducted by the Institute for Traffic Accident Research and Data Analysis in nine prefectures across the country found that out of a total of 612 drivers, 292 individuals, or 47.7 percent, raised a hand or gave a quick nod to their fellow drivers.” —George Kalogerakis

George Kalogerakis, one of the original editor-writers at Spy, later worked for Vanity Fair, New York, and The New York Times, where he was deputy op-ed editor. A co-author of Spy: The Funny Years and co-editor of Disunion: A History of the Civil War, he is a Writer at Large at AIR MAIL