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‘Dragons rule Westeros’ in new Game Of Thrones prequel

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Game Of Thrones fans will be able to “return to Westeros this year” after author George RR Martin announced a prequel to his series of novels.

It is set “300 years before A Game Of Thrones”, when “dragons ruled Westeros”.

On his blog, Martin said he was “thrilled” that a “monumental history of the Targaryen kings of Westeros” would be published on 20 November.

Called Fire And Blood, it is a “hefty book, almost 1,000 manuscript pages” and “illustrated throughout”.

He added, playfully, that he had “seen the archmaester’s manuscript”.

Martin wrote: “Since it was handwritten on vellum with a quill pen, he required my help in transcribing the text to a more modern format: WordStar 4.0, on a DOS computer.”

The blog also contains news that fans may find disappointing: the long-awaited sixth volume in the Game Of Thrones series, The Winds Of Winter, will not be arriving this year.

“No, winter is not coming… not in 2018, at least,” Martin said. The fifth volume, A Dance With Dragons, was released in 2011.

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The author and actors at a Game Of Thrones Q&A at Comic-Con in San Diego

The new book, which Martin describes as an “imaginary history” and “not a novel”, will enable readers to “return to Westeros this year”.

Blogging about the prequel, Martin said: “This first volume covers all the Targaryen kings from Aegon I (the Conquerer) to the regency of Aegon III (the Dragonbane), along with their wives, wars, siblings, children, friends, rivals, laws, travels, and sundry other matters.

“For those not up on your Westerosi history, that’s Aegon I, Aenys, Maegor the Cruel, Jaehaerys I (the Conciliator), Viserys I, Aegon II (and Rhaenyra), and Aegon III (the regency).

“Oh, and there are dragons too. Lots of dragons.”

There had to be a second volume, Martin said, because “the story doesn’t end with the regents of Aegon III. There is a lot more history to come.”

He ends his blog post by saying: “Archmaester Gyldayn is hanging up his quill for a while.

“As for me, I’m returning once again to THE WINDS OF WINTER.”

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Jamal Khashoggi: Journalist’s fiancee sues Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman over his killing | World News

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The fiancée of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi is suing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman over his “brutal execution”.

Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish national, filed the lawsuit in Washington DC on Tuesday, accusing the Saudi leader of the “brutal and brazen crime” of killing her fiancée after “weeks of planning”.

Ms Cengiz had been planning to marry Mr Khashoggi when he disappeared inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.

She was waiting outside for him, but he never emerged and officials later ruled he died as a result of a “rogue operation”.

The lawsuit has been brought by Hatice Cengiz, Mr Khashoggi's fiancee
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The lawsuit has been brought by Hatice Cengiz, Mr Khashoggi’s fiancee

Last month, five people were sentenced to 20 years in prison over Mr Khashoggi’s death, but they escaped the death penalty and Mr Bin Salman was not implicated in any way.

Three others were sentenced to lesser jail terms. None of the eight convicted have been identified.

Turkish intelligence officials say the operation was too big for the Saudi leader not to have known about it.

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Ms Cengiz said in a statement on Tuesday: “Jamal believed anything was possible in America and I place my trust in the American civil justice system to obtain a measure of justice and accountability.”

The Saudi-born journalist founded a human rights organisation called Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) soon before he died.

He was living in exile in the US and had written articles for the Washington Post criticising the Saudi government.

The lawsuit claims that those responsible for Mr Khashoggi’s death “saw his actions in the United States as an existential threat”.

“Defendants resolved to put an end to Mr Khashoggi’s efforts by any means necessary,” it adds.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pictured while meeting with the Tunisian President during his arrival at the presidential palace in Carthage on the eastern outskirts of the capital Tunis on November 27, 2018. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)
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A trial last month saw five people jailed over Mr Khashoggi’s death, but no reference to Mohammed Bin Salman was made

Turkish officials claim that 15 Saudis were waiting inside the consulate in Turkey, where Mr Khashoggi had travelled to pick up documents for his upcoming wedding.

Saudi Arabia deny he was murdered, but his body is believed to have been dismembered and removed from the building.

Intelligence officials had the consulate bugged and recordings appeared to capture Mr Khashoggi’s last words, which were: “Don’t cover my mouth. I have asthma, don’t do it.”

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Woman found alive at funeral home dies in Detroit hospital two months later | World News

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A woman discovered breathing at a funeral home in August – just as she was about to be embalmed – has died in hospital.

Timesha Beauchamp died on Sunday at Children’s Hospital in Detroit, a family lawyer confirmed.

The family said they were “devastated”, adding: “This is the second time our beloved Timesha has been pronounced dead, but this time she isn’t coming back.”

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Timesha Beauchamp had cerebral palsy and other medical issues

Ms Beauchamp was found unresponsive at her home in Southfield, Michigan, on 23 August.

Paramedics tried to revive her for 30 minutes but she showed no signs of life, and an A&E doctor not at the scene subsequently pronounced her dead over the phone.

Her body was released to her family without a post-mortem examination, but an hour later she was found to still be alive at the funeral home.

“You can see a chest going up and down,” a spokeswoman for the James H Cole funeral home told NBC News at the time.

Ms Beauchamp – who had cerebral palsy and other medical issues – had been in a critical condition in hospital since the incident.

Her family have filed a $50m (£38m) lawsuit against the city of Southfield and the first four responders who were with their daughter.

Lawyer Geoffrey Fieger said she had been denied oxygen.

He said: “She died as a result of massive brain damage that was suffered when Southfield paramedics wrongly declared her dead, and failed to provide her much needed oxygen”.

Mr Fieger added: “Instead, she was sent to a funeral home which then discovered that her eyes were open, and that she was alive.”

Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee said the case of “Lazarus syndrome” – where people come back to life without assistance after resuscitation attempts fail – was being investigated.

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Google accused of being a monopoly by US in largest antitrust lawsuit in two decades | Science & Tech News

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The US Department of Justice has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google’s parent company Alphabet for using “illegal means” to keep its monopoly power.

The lawsuit is set to be the biggest in almost two decades and has drawn comparisons to a 1974 case against AT&T, which – after a six-year legal battle – was forced to divest its subsidiaries into individual companies.

The last comparable antitrust lawsuit was filed against Microsoft in 1998, which Reuters said cleared the way for “the explosive growth of the internet” as the scrutiny the company received prevented it from thwarting the competition.

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 13:  Storm cloads fill the sky over the U.S. Capitol Building, June 13, 2013 in Washington, DC. Potentially damaging storms are forecasted to hit parts of the east coast with potential for causing power wide spread outages.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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The lawsuit has bipartisan support in Washington DC

Google has not responded to the charges, brought by the Department of Justice and 11 states, which include “unlawfully maintaining monopolies in the markets for general search services”.

The complaint against the company states: “Two decades ago, Google became the darling of Silicon Valley as a scrappy startup with an innovative way to search the emerging internet. That Google is long gone.

“The Google of today is a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet, and one of the wealthiest companies on the planet, with a market value of $1 trillion and annual revenue exceeding $160 billion.

“For many years, Google has used anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies in the markets for general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising – the cornerstones of its empire.”

“Google is now the unchallenged gateway to the internet for billions of users worldwide,” the report adds of the company whose name had become a by-word for web searches.

“As a consequence, countless advertisers must pay a toll to Google’s search advertising and general search text advertising monopolies; American consumers are forced to accept Google’s policies, privacy practices, and use of personal data; and new companies with innovative business models cannot emerge from Google’s long shadow.

“For the sake of American consumers, advertisers, and all companies now reliant on the internet economy, the time has come to stop Google’s anticompetitive conduct and restore competition.”

The CEOs of Google, Apple, and Amazon dodge a question on weather they think China steals technology from the US
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It follows months of scrutiny of the largest technology companies

It follows a congressional report which accused Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google of monopolising the digital market and recommended antitrust laws be used to break up these companies.

The lawsuit marks a rare topic which has bipartisan support between the Trump administration and the Democrats.

All of the 11 states’ attorneys general are Republicans, but the move was also praised by progressive Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who had previously tweeted that she wanted “swift, aggressive action” to “#BreakUpBigTech”.

However it also comes weeks before the US election and, according to Reuters, could be seen as a political gesture by Donald Trump who has often accused the large technology companies of suppressing conservative views.

Separate lawsuits are also expected into Google’s broader business outside of search, including its digital advertising businesses.

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