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Final ‘Game of Thrones’ season to air in first half of 2019

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HBO will debut the final season of its international hit “Game of Thrones” in the first half of next year and it aims to start production on a prequel in 2019, a network executive said on Wednesday.

Casey Bloys, HBO’s president of programming, speaking at a Television Critics Association event, declined to provide details on the eighth and final “Game of Thrones” season or to provide a more specific premiere date.

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The Emmy-winning medieval fantasy series is HBO’s biggest hit ever with some 30 million viewers in the United States and an army of devoted fans worldwide.

HBO, a unit of AT&T Inc, also is in the process of searching for a director and cast for a “Game of Thrones” prequel, Bloys said in response to questions. He said he hopes the prequel pilot will begin filming next year.

The network announced in June that it had ordered the pilot and would proceed with a full series if the pilot goes well.

The as yet untitled prequel will take place thousands of years before the events of “Game of Thrones.” It was created by British screenwriter Jane Goldman with author George R.R. Martin, whose novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire” is the basis for the “Game of Thrones” television series.

It will chronicle “the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour,” and look at the secrets of the history of the warring families in the fictional kingdom of Westeros, the network has said.

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HBO considered five different scripts before settling on the approach for the prequel.

“The reason we did multiple scripts is out of five, we’d be lucky to get one we are very excited about,” Bloys said.

The remaining four scripts are either dead or still in the works, he said.

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Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Susan Thomas


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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US planning to slash troops in Germany: report

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US President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to slash the number of troops it maintains in Germany by more than a quarter in the coming months, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The newspaper said the Defense Department would cut the number of military personnel by 9,500 from the current 34,500 permanently assigned to Germany postings.

The Journal also said a cap of 25,000 would be set on how many US troops could be inside German at any one time, whether in permanent postings or temporary rotations, half of the current allowance.

The move would significantly reduce the US commitment to European defense under the NATO umbrella, though it could also impact Pentagon operations related to Africa and the Middle East.

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Manhattan DA announces protesters arrested by NYPD will not be charged: ‘Our office has a moral imperative’

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The Manhattan District Attorney announced on Friday that his office would not be prosecuting protesters arrested for low-level crimes.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. announced that Unlawful Assembly and Disorderly Conduct would not be prosecuted during the demonstrations over police violence.

"“The prosecution of protestors charged with these low-level offenses undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve. Days after the killing of George Floyd, our nation and our city are at a crossroads in our continuing endeavor to confront racism and systemic injustice wherever it exists. Our office has a moral imperative to enact public policies which assure all New Yorkers that in our justice system and our society, black lives matter and police violence is a crime. We commend the thousands of our fellow New Yorkers who have peacefully assembled to demand these achievable aims, and our door is open to any New Yorker who wishes to be heard," Vance said in a statement.

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Chicago Police Board president files complaint alleging he was struck 5 times by cops at George Floyd protest

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On Friday, WTTW reported that Ghian Foreman, the president of the Chicago Police Board, has filed a complaint alleging he was beaten in the legs five times by police officers at a protest against the killing of George Floyd last Sunday.

The Chicago Police Board is an independent civilian commission that has power over police disciplinary cases.

"Foreman filed a complaint with the Citizens Office of Police Accountability alleging that he was struck by at least one officer during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police, said Ephraim Eaddy, a spokesperson for the agency," said the report. "Foreman’s complaint, which identifies the officer Foreman said struck him, is one of 344 complaints of police misconduct filed with COPA between midnight May 29 and 7 a.m. Friday, Eaddy said. The complaint itself is confidential."

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