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President Trump begins swing through Middle East 

President Donald Trump landed in Saudi Arabia on Saturday for his first stop abroad since taking office, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Trump's stop in the Saudi capital is the first in an eight-day, five-country swing through the Middle East and Europe.

Air Force One landed at the King Khalid airport in Riyadh on Saturday morning, and Trump was greeted on the tarmac by King Salman and other high-level Saudi offcials.

In Riyadh, a five-story image of Trump's face was projected on the exterior of the hotel he is staying at. Large billboards of Trump and King Salman lined the highway from the airport, CNN reported.

Trump will deliver a major speech Sunday to the leaders of more than two dozen Muslim nations, where he will urge countries to drive out extremists, CNN reported. 

Later Saturday, Trump received the nation’s highest civilian honor from Salman.

The king placed the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud around Trump’s neck at a ceremony at the Royal Court in Riyadh.

The host of the event declared that Trump was being honored for “his quest to enhance security and stability in the region and around the world.”

The honor also has been bestowed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

Report: Sweden dropping probe against WikiLeaks founder

Sweden is dropping its investigation into WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on rape allegations, according to a prosecution statement released Friday.

>> Read more trending news 

Assange has been seeking refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, CNN reported.

Assange, an Australian national, has previously said that he feared that if he left the embassy he could end up being extradited and face the death penalty in the United States over allegations of revealing hundreds of thousands o secret U.S. military and diplomatic documents through WikiLeaks, CNN reported.

The move comes ahead of a Stockholm court's examination of a demand by Assange's lawyers that Sweden drop his European arrest warrant, the BBC reported.

American authorities have prepared charges to seek Arrange’s arrest, CNN reported, citing U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The Metropolitan Police Service in London said after the news was announced that it remained obliged to arrest Assange should he leave the Ecuadoran embassy on a lesser charge of failing to surrender to a court, the BBC reported.

After the news was announced, WikiLeaks tweeted that the "focus now moves to the UK", saying the country had "refused to confirm or deny whether it has already received a U.S. extradition warrant for Julian Assange".

Basquiat painting breaks record at Sotheby’s auction

A 1982 painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat sold for a record $110.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art Thursday night.

>> Read more trending news 

Sotheby’s said the sale of “Untitled” was an auction record for the artist. It also set a record price for an American artist at auction, USA Today reported. Sotheby’s said it was the highest paid price at auction for any artwork created after 1980.

The painting, which has a graffiti-like look, shows a face in the shape of a skull.

Five of Basquiat’s works sold Thursday night, pulling in $129.3 million total, Sotheby’s said.

“Untitled” was bought by Japanese collector and e-commerce entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa after a 10-minute bidding war.

“When I saw this painting, I was struck with so much excitement and gratitude for my love of art,” said Maezawa, who said he plans to display the painting in his museum in Chiba, Japan. 

“Untitled” was an unknown work before Sotheby’s unveiled it weeks ago, USA Today reported.

The previous auction record for a Basquiat work was set last May when “Untitled, 1982” was bought by Maezawa for $57.3 million, The Associated Press reported.

Basquiat died of a drug overdose in 1988 at age 27.

Man jailed for trying to climb Mount Everest without permit

Climbing Mount Everest can be costly in terms of human life, with 288 fatalities recorded since 1922. But the world’s tallest peak can be costly in a financial sense, too, as a South African man learned this week.

>> Read more trending news

South African filmmaker Ryan Sean Davy was caught earlier this month climbing Mount Everest without an $11,000 permit. He was arrested this week in Kathmandu, Nepal, USA Today reported. The 43-year-old had his passport confiscated and was told to report to Kathmandu after a tourism official discovered him climbing alone near the Everest Base Camp without a permit, which is required for all foreign climbers, the New York Times reported.

Davy could be fined up to $22,000, the Times reported.

In a Facebook post on May 8, Davy wrote that when he arrived at the base camp he realized that he could not afford a solo permit.

"I was ashamed that I couldn't afford the permit after all the help, preparation and what everybody had done for me during my training, it would have been a total embarrassment to turn around and accept defeat because of a piece of paper," Davy wrote. "So I took a chance and spent the little money I had on more gear to climb and practice on the surrounding peaks for acclimatizing in preparing for a stealth entry onto Everest." 

Davy said he climbed 24,000 feet alone before government officials spotted him.

"Expedition companies have no time for wannabe Everesters with no money so someone turned me in," he said. "I was harassed at base camp to a point that I honestly thought I was going to get stoned to death right there." 

Davy traveled mostly on foot from the mountain's base camp to Kathmandu to turn himself in, the BBC reported. 

"He is in good [health] although worried about his finances and the scale of the punishment he will receive," Davy's friend, Mohan Gyawali, told the BBC.

Princess to give up royal status to marry commoner

A Japanese princess is deciding love over royalty. 

Princess Mako, who is the oldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, will marry her former college classmate and in doing so, will become a commoner after the ceremony.

>> Read more trending news 

The princess’ now-fiance, Kei Komuro, was sighted as he left the law office where he works, but would not speak to reporters other than to say, “Now is not the time for me to comment, but I want to speak at the right time.”

Currently there are four people in line for the throne: Akihito’s two sons who are in their 50s, his brother who is in his 80s and his 10-year-old grandson, The Telegraph reported.

Mako graduated from International Christian university and went on to get a masters degree from the University of Leicester. She has been working as a museum researcher.

No wedding date has been set, but the official announcement of an impending marriage has a ritual behind it. 

First a public announcement will be made, then a date will be set, and finally the couple will make a formal report to the emperor and empress, The Telegraph reported.

Trump responds to reports that he revealed classified info to Russia

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday morning to respond to reports that he revealed classified information during a recent meeting with Russian officials.

>> WaPost: Trump revealed classified information to Russia during recent meeting

"As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety," Trump wrote. "Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism."

Poll: Most Americans want special prosecutor for Russia investigation

A majority of Americans think a special prosecutor would be best suited to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible connections to the campaign of President Donald Trump, according to a poll released Sunday.

>> Read more trending news

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, conducted in the days after Trump’s abrupt dismissal of FBI director James Comey, surveyed 800 men and women between May 11 and May 13. Of those interviewed, 40 percent identified themselves as voters who cast ballots for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton last year while 37 percent said they voted for Trump.

An overwhelming majority of the people polled – 78 percent – said they wanted to see a special prosecutor appointed to investigate Russian meddling in November’s election.

>> Related: What is a special prosecutor; who appoints one; what do they do?

Federal officials have said there is evidence that Russia influenced the presidential election in support of Trump, although it remains unclear whether the president or his staff worked with foreign agents to win the election. Authorities have said there is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

The FBI and several other groups and congressional committees have confirmed that they are investigating the situation. Trump said last week in an interview with NBC News that the investigation was on his mind when he decided to fire Comey on Tuesday, prompting lawmakers to call for a special prosecutor.

In the NBC News/WSJ poll, 15 percent of respondents said Congress would be best positioned to investigate Russian interference. Three percent said neither Congress nor a special prosecutor would serve best, while 4 percent said they were not sure.

>> Related: Who will be the next FBI director? Here’s a list of candidates

The responses echo those given to researchers last month in a related poll cited by researchers in the poll released Sunday. In April, 73 percent of respondents said an independent, nonpartisan commission should lead the Russia probe. Sixteen percent of those surveyed preferred Congress to head the investigation.

Prince William: 'Nobody should be bullied for their sexuality'

Prince William offered a message of support for the LGBT community Friday evening at the British LGBT Awards.

>> Read more trending news

The Duke of Cambridge, who was named "straight ally of the year" for the British lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, spoke via a video message, according to the BBC. In the brief video, he talks about how he's become passionate about "protecting from bullying, particularly online." He said he's "encountered a number of tragic stories about LGBT young people who have sadly felt unable to cope with the abuse and discrimination they face in their lives."

Prince William concluded: "It is 2017, and nobody should be bullied for their sexuality, or for any other reason."

7 things to know now: Trump on Comey; teacher kills self; Steve Harvey memo

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and the world today.What to know now:

1. Going to fire him anyway: In an interview with NBC News, President Donald Trump said he made the decision to fire FBI Director James Comey prior to a recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. "I was going to fire regardless of recommendation," Trump said. "Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it." Trump also said he wants the investigation into collusion between his campaign and the Russian government to be "absolutely done properly.” Earlier in the interview, Trump had said the investigation was a “made-up story.” 

2. Brown found guilty: Former Florida U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown was found guilty Thursday of fraud for helping to raise $800,000 for a bogus charity then using the funds for concerts and golf. Brown, 70, was convicted in federal court on 18 counts of participating in a conspiracy involving a fraudulent education charity, omitting facts required on financial disclosure forms and filing false tax returns, according to the Justice Department. 

3. Becoming saints: An estimated one million people will travel to Fatima, Portugal, this weekend to join Pope Francis for the 100th-anniversary celebration of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three Portuguese shepherd children. The pope will canonize two of the children, making them the first children to be named saints in the Catholic Church who were not martyred. The children said Mary visited them once a month for six months and told them to pray for the world and the conversion of Russia. The two children who are being canonized died a year after they said they saw Mary. The third, who became a nun, died at age 97 in 2005.

4. Teacher kills self: A middle school teacher in Colorado killed herself in front of police as they approached her home to confront her over allegations she had a sexual relationship with a student. Gretchen Krohnfeldt, 47, had been accused of having a relationship with the student that started when he was in middle school. He is currently in high school. Krohnfeldt had been placed on administrative leave. 

5. Investigating voter fraud: President Trump announced the creation of a commission to investigate voter fraud. The Presidential Commission on Election Integrity will be led by Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. According to the White House, the commission will "review policies and practices that enhance or undermine the American people's confidence in the integrity of federal elections — including improper registrations, improper voting, fraudulent registrations, fraudulent voting and voting suppression.”

And one moreComedian Steve Harvey is acknowledging he sent a memo to his staff asking them not to talk to him when he is getting ready for a show. “Do not open my dressing room door. IF YOU OPEN MY DOOR, EXPECT TO BE REMOVED. “My security team will stop everyone from standing at my door who have the intent to see or speak to me.” Harvey directed his staff to leave him alone when he is in the makeup chair, as well. “I want all the ambushing to stop now,” he wrote. The memo was sent to the staff of his Chicago-based talk show. Harvey told his staff not to "take offense" at the memo, saying the new measures are for the good of his "personal life and enjoyment." 

In case you missed it.<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Hillary Clinton reportedly had mixed feelings over Comey firing

Hillary Clinton has not publicly commented on James Comey’s firing, but friends of the former secretary of state say she is questioning the timing of President Donald Trump’s decision to dismiss the FBI director.

The New York Times, citing sources who asked to remain anonymous, reported Wednesday that while Clinton continues to blame Comey, at least in part, for her loss to Trump, she believes Comey’s removal “only reinforces the point that he was on to something.”

Clinton has said she would be president except for Russian interference coupled with Comey’s decision to announce a new probe into her use of a private email server only 11 days before the election.

The White House has said that Comey was fired, in part, for his handling of the investigation into Clinton’s email server. 

According to The Times story, Clinton's friends say she does not believe that that is the reason Comey was fired.To read the full story, click here. 

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