Singer thanks Putin in Moscow

Elton John regrets he didn’t get to meet President Vladimir Putin during his current trip to Moscow, but says he’s looking forward to meeting the Russian leader in the future to discuss LGBT issues.

Performing Monday before an enthusiastic crowd at a Moscow concert hall, the British rock star thanked Putin for inviting him to “discuss some serious issues in Russia, including LGBT and HIV and AIDS,” expressing hope they could eventually meet.

John has criticized a Russian law against gay “propaganda” and comments by Putin suggesting that gay people prey on children.

Putin called John in September to say he’d be willing to meet and talk about any issues that concern the gay rock star.

Hawking baffled by Trump’s rise

Renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking may have a good grasp of the workings of the universe, but he says he can’t understand Donald Trump’s popularity.

Hawking tells ITV’s Good Morning Britain show Tuesday that he has no explanation for the success of the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee.

“He is a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator,” Hawking says in prerecorded comments to be broadcast when the show airs at 6 a.m. London time Tuesday.

Hawking, who speaks through a computer system operated with his cheek, also made a plea for British voters to choose to remain in the European Union in the June 23 referendum.

He said it is important not only for economic and security research but also to further scientific research.

Ex-‘SNL’ star’s bookkeeper jailed

A bookkeeper who stole $234,500 from former Saturday Night Live cast member Joe Piscopo has been sentenced in New Jersey to three years in prison.

Frank Larocca, 40, pleaded guilty in February to theft by unlawful taking. His wife also pleaded guilty to theft and is expected to be sentenced to three years’ probation.

Prosecutors say Piscopo hired Larocca to pay his bills and manage his bank account.