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Actor Steven Seagal named by Russia as special envoy to U.S. 

Actor Steven Seagal has a new role, but this one isn't in a movie.

According to The Associated Press, the action star is taking on the real-life job of Russia’s special envoy for humanitarian ties with the U.S.

>> Read more trending news 

Russia's Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that it had named Seagal to the position, writing on Facebook that the actor would "facilitate relations between Russia and the United States in the humanitarian field, including cooperation in culture, arts, public and youth exchanges," the AP reported.

>> See the Facebook post here

Seagal, a frequent ally and defender of Russian President Vladimir Putin, became a Russian citizen two years ago and recently was banned from entering Ukraine because of national security concerns, the AP reported

Read more here. 

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Man with Down syndrome carrying toy gun shot dead by Swedish police

A 20-year-old man with Down syndrome was shot to death by police Thursday in Sweden, who believed the toy gun he was carrying was a real firearm, the Independent reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Stockholm police opened fire on Eric Torell, who had disappeared from his home Wednesday night and took a plastic replica gun from a pile of toys.

“I woke up because Eric was gone,” Richard Torell told Expressen. “I went out and looked for him. I saw police cars on the street.

“Three police officers shot him in his stomach.”

Police were called to the Vasastan section of Stockholm when the younger Torell was showing the small toy gun to residents, the Independent reported.

According to the Swedish Police Authority, officers believed the scene was “threatening,” The Washington Post reported.

Torell was shot three times in the stomach and taken to a hospital, where he died.

Torell’s mother, Katarina Söderberg, described her son as “wonderful” and “the world’s most loving person,” the Independent reported.

“We are completely destroyed, we are in shock. I cannot believe it's true,” Söderberg told Stockholm-based newspaper Aftonbladet.

“Of course, it was very unfortunate that he had (the gun) for some reason. 

“But why do you have to kill him, why not shoot him in the foot? And from three policemen? You cannot be shot by a piece of plastic.”

On Friday, Martin Tiden, the Swedish prosecutor investigating the case, said in a statement that foul play was not suspected, the Post reported.

“The man held a weapon-like object, and officers opened fire after judging the situation as threatening,” Tiden said.

Great Wall of China section crumbles after heavy rain

Repairs to the Great Wall of China may have done more harm than good after a section of the centuries-old Wonder of the Ancient World crumbled to the ground. 

The section in the Shanxi province collapsed after weeks of heavy rains saturated the region, The Daily Mail reported.

The area had been closed since July 22, but emergency repairs have started to fix the area, Express reported.

Some believe the measures used to save the Great Wall are actually leading to its destruction and are weakening the foundation of the miles-long wall.

>> Read more trending news 

The area that collapsed was repaired eight years ago, Global Times reported.

The Great Wall of China stretches 21,200 kilometers, or 13,173 miles, over 15 provincial areas and is under the control of more than 600 agencies, Xinhua News Agency reported.

It was built between the third century B.C and the Ming Dynasty that ran from 1384-1644 A.D., Xinhua News Agency reported

Polar bear shot to death after attacking cruise ship guard in Norway

A cruise ship guard shot and killed a polar bear after another guard was attacked while helping tourists during an island expedition north of the Arctic Circle in Norway, the BBC reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The guard suffered non-life-threatening head injuries and was in stable condition, the BBC reported.

Rescue helicopters were sent to the northernmost island of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago to airlift the guard to a hospital in the town of Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen Island, Newsweek reported.

The guard was assigned to protect tourists who had disembarked from the German cruise ship MS Bremen, the BBC reported.

Officials from the cruise company told The Associated Press that the second guard shot the bear in self-defense.

The Joint Rescue Coordination for Northern Norway tweeted this weekend to confirm that the worker had been injured by a polar bear at Sjuøyane, Newsweek reported.

“The incident occurred (when) tourists landed on one of the islands from a cruise vessel,” officials wrote. “The condition of the injured should be stable. The polar bear was shot and killed.”

Paul McCartney returns to roots with performance at Cavern Club

Paul McCartney still believes in yesterday.

>> Read more trending news

The former Beatles singer, songwriter and bass player returned to his rock ’n’ roll roots Thursday, playing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. The club, site of nearly 300 performances by the band during the early 1960s, is no longer at the Mathew Street site where it opened as a jazz club in 1957, closing in 1973. However, Thursday’s 2 p.m. show was played in a venue near the original location, and McCartney announced the gig on his website Thursday morning. 

The performance comes days after McCartney, 76, walked across the crosswalk made famous by the Beatles’ 1969 album, “Abbey Road.” The singer will be going on tour and will return to Liverpool in December, The Guardian reported.

According to author Bob Spitz’s 2005 book, “The Beatles: The Biography,” John Lennon and Paul McCartney, as members of the Quarrymen, played “a skiffle interlude” at the Cavern in 1957. The Beatles’ formal debut at the club occurred Feb. 9, 1961, and the group made 292 appearances at the club. Their final appearance was Aug. 3, 1963, six months before the group’s first trip to the United States.

The club reopened in 1984, rebuilt with many of the original bricks, The Guardian reported. It was McCartney’s second appearance at the new site; he performed in 1999 at the club, the newspaper reported.

Thursday, McCartney played 28 songs before a crowd of approximately 250 people, the BBC reported.

“Coming back here is pretty amazing for me," McCartney told the audience.

McCartney began his set by reworking the lyrics from the song “Michelle,” the BBC reported.

"Liverpool! Cavern! These are words that go together well," he sang.

Then McCartney sang “Twenty Flight Rock,” the Eddie Cochran song "that got me in The Beatles.” McCartney sang the song when he auditioned for Lennon in 1957.

Halfway through the number, McCartney stopped and admonished some audience members for taking photos and recording the concert on their telephones, the BBC reported.

"I think you've all been told not to take photos," he said. "And you're taking them, and you're taking them, and I don't want to get put off, and you're putting me off."

When McCartney resumed, he played songs from his Beatles career, including “Magical Mystery Tour,” “All My Loving,” “Love Me Do,” “Lady Madonna,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Get Back.” From his solo career, he played hits like “Jet,” “Band on the Run,” and “Nineteen Hundred Eighty-Five.”

McCartney also played four songs from his upcoming “Egypt Station” album, Billboard reported, including “Come On to Me” and “Confidante.”

He ended the two-hour concert with a Beatles number, “Helter Skelter.”

Beijing explosion: Man detonated bomb outside U.S. Embassy, police say

A man detonated a bomb outside the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Thursday, Beijing police said. The suspected bomber was the only person injured in the blast, according to an embassy spokesperson.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 8:45 a.m. EDT July 26: In a statement posted on its website, the Beijing Police Department identified the suspect by his surname, Jiang, and said he was a 26-year-old man from Tongliao city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, according to The Associated Press.

“He was injured on the hand by the explosive device, which was made from fireworks,” the AP reported, citing police.

The circumstances leading to the bombing were not immediately clear. Authorities continue to investigate.

A U.S. Embassy spokesperson earlier said in a statement to CNN that the suspect was the only person injured in the explosion. No embassy property was damaged.

Update 3:04 a.m. EDT July 26: The Hong Kong Free Press, citing an embassy spokesperson, is reporting that “an explosive device was detonated” outside the building about 1 p.m. local time Thursday. Only the bomber was hurt, the newspaper tweeted.

Police identified the suspected bomber as a “26-year-old Inner Mongolian man,” the newspaper reported.

The Free Press said it wasn’t yet known whether the explosion was connected to earlier reports that a woman sprayed gasoline on herself.

Update 2:32 a.m. EDT July 26: State media is reporting that police detained a woman who sprayed gasoline on herself about 11 a.m. local time Thursday, according to the AP.

Several photos and videos circulated on social media after the possible blast filled the air with clouds of smoke.

>> Read more trending news 

Toronto shooting: Suspect identified, accused in deadly rampage that left 2 dead, 13 injured 

A gunman opened fire in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood Sunday night, killing two people and injuring 13 others, according to police officials.

Here are the latest updates:

Update 6:30 p.m. EDT July 23: One of the victims in the  deadly Toronto shooting Sunday night has now been identified.

The CBC is reporting that 18-year-old Reese Fallon was killed in the attack. The other girl killed in the shooting was 10 years old, but her identity has not yet been released. 

Of the 13 people injured, they range in age from 10 to 59 and have undergone multiple life-saving surgeries, according to the CBC.

Update 6:00 p.m. EDT July 23: Canadian authorities have released the identity of the gunman who allegedly opened fire on a busy street in Toronto’s Greektown Sunday night.

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit identified the shooter as Faisal Hussain, 29, who was killed by police, according to Reuters.

Hussain’s family said in a statement he had “severe mental health problems and struggled with psychosis and depression his entire life.”

"Our hearts are in pieces for the victims and for our city as we all come to grips with this terrible tragedy. We will mourn those who were lost for the rest of our lives,” the statement said. 

Update 12:35 p.m. EDT July 23: Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said the two people killed in Sunday’s shooting in Greektown were both girls, one 10 years old and the other 18.

Officials have not released the victims’ names or identified the suspected gunman, who also died Sunday.

Saunders declined on Monday to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the suspect’s death or his possible motive.

“We don’t know why this has happened yet,” he said. “This investigation is very new, it’s very fluid.”

Thirteen people remained hospitalized Monday after being injured in Sunday’s shooting, Saunders said. The victims ranged in age from 10 to 59 years old and suffered injuries from minor to severe, according to the police chief.

Authorities continue to investigate.

Update 8:05 a.m. EDT July 23: The slain suspect was a 29-year-old man, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit said in news release Monday morning.

The release, citing “preliminary information,” said the man “fired shots at groups of people several times” along Danforth Avenue around 10 p.m. Sunday, hitting “several people” and fatally injuring two people.

“Officers located the man on Bowden Street and an exchange of gunfire took place,” the release continued. “The man fled the area and was located, deceased, on Danforth Avenue.”

The unit, which has assigned three forensic investigators and six investigators to the case, looks into “reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault,” the release said.

Update 7:51 a.m. EDT July 23: A second victim has been pronounced dead after a gunman opened fire late Sunday in Toronto’s Greektown neighborhood, Toronto police tweeted Monday morning.

>> See the tweet here

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister tweeted his condolences Monday morning to the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting in Toronto.

“My thoughts are with everyone affected by the terrible tragedy on the Danforth last night in Toronto, and may the injured make a full recovery,” Trudeau tweeted. “The people of Toronto are strong, resilient and brave – and we’ll be there to support you through this difficult time.”

>> See the tweet here

Update 2:01 a.m. EDT July 23: Toronto police Chief Mark Saunders said the child in critical condition is an 8- or 9-year-old girl, the Washington Post reported. He described the victim who was killed as a “young lady,” according to The Associated Press.

No further information about the condition of the victims was immediately available.

Saunders said the shooter used a handgun in the rampage and was killed after exchanging gunfire with officers. The shooting did not appear to be random, Saunders said.

One witness, John Tulloch, said he heard as many as 30 gunshots, the AP reported.

A video circulating on Twitter appeared to capture the sound of gunfire.

>> Click here to watch (WARNING: Viewer discretion advised.)

Update 1:06 a.m. EDT July 23: The child who was shot, a young girl, is currently in critical condition, according to Toronto police.

Police say it is “too early to say whether the shooting is terrorism,” The Associated Press reported.

One city official, Councillor Paula Fletcher, said the shooting was not gang-related. Fletcher and Councillor Mary Fragedakis also said the gunman was emotionally disturbed.

>> Read more trending news 

Trump tweets fiery warning to Iran's Rouhani: 'Never, ever threaten the United States again'

President Donald Trump took to Twitter late Sunday to issue a fiery, all-caps warning to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who told Trump hours earlier to stop "playing with the lion's tail ... or else you will regret it."

>> Jamie Dupree: Digging into the release of the Carter Page FISA application


>> See the tweet here

Update 3 p.m. EDT July 23: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a news briefing Monday that the president’s statement on Twitter earlier in the day was consistent with the president’s previous comments to Iran.

“The president's been, I think, pretty strong since day 1 in his language toward Iran,” she said. “He was responding to comments made from them, and he's going to continue to focus on the safety and security of the American people.”

Original report: Iranian state media called Trump's tweet "passive" and said he was just imitating previous remarks from Iranian leaders, The Associated Press reported.

Trump's comments came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech slamming Iran, comparing its government to the mafia and accusing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, of having "his own personal, off-the-books hedge fund called the Setad, worth $95 billion."

>> Read more trending news 

"Sometimes it seems the world has become desensitized to the regime’s authoritarianism at home and its campaigns of violence abroad, but the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government’s many abuses – and the United States under President Trump will not stay silent, either," Pompeo said Sunday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley, California. "In light of these protests and 40 years of regime tyranny, I have a message for the people of Iran: The United States hears you; the United States supports you; the United States is with you."

>> Watch his speech here

Pompeo's official Twitter account later shared several quotes from the speech. 

>> See the tweets here


– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Happy 5th birthday, Prince George! Kate Middleton, Prince William share sweet photo of oldest son

Someone looks very happy to be turning 5.

Kensington Palace shared an adorable photo of a smiling Prince George, the oldest child of Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on Saturday, one day before the pint-sized royal's birthday.

>> Prince Louis' christening portraits revealed: Kate Middleton, royal family stun in new photos

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share a new photograph of Prince George to mark his fifth birthday – thank you everyone for your lovely messages," the palace tweeted along with the photo, taken by Matt Porteous.

>> See the photo here

The tweet quickly racked up 57,000 likes and 6,500 shares in 10 hours.

>> PHOTOS: Prince Louis christened

Take a look at his previous birthday portraits below:

>> Read more trending news 

Russian government accuses FBI of 'political put-up job' after suspected foreign agent indicted

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs accused the FBI of “implementing a political put-up job” after authorities arrested a Russian national over the weekend on allegations that she illegally acted as an unregistered foreign agent.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities on Sunday arrested Mariia Butina, a 29-year-old Russian citizen living in Washington, D.C., on suspicion of “conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General,” according to the Justice Department. In a criminal complaint released Monday, authorities accused Butina of failing to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

>> From Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree: Russian woman arrested, charged with illegal political activities in U.S.

In a pair of tweets attributed Wednesday to Maria Zakharova, director of the Information and Press Department for Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the foreign ministry wrote that officials were dismayed to learn of Butin’s arrest.

“We are dismayed by the reported arrest of Russian citizen Maria Butina in the US on July 15,” Zakharova said, using an alternative spelling of Butina’s first name. “It looks as if the FBI, instead of carrying out their responsibility of fighting crime, is implementing a political put-up job set to it by forces that are whipping up anti-Russia hysteria in the US.”

Justice Department officials allege that Butina schmoozed with influential people and organizations in the U.S. in order to advance the interests of Russia.

“From as early as 2015 and continuing through at least February 2017, Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government who was previously a member of the legislature of the Russian Federation and later became a top official at the Russian Central Bank,” Justice Department officials said Monday in a news release. 

>> Who is Mariia Butina, the woman charged with acting as a Russian agent in the US?

Authorities added that the unnamed official was among the 24 Russian oligarchs and senior Russian government officials sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department for profiting from the country’s illegal and subversive activities in the U.S. and abroad. 

Butina was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a hearing. Prosecutors are expected to argue that the 29-year-old should be held without bail ahead of trial because she is a flight risk, NPR reported.

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