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coming soon?
July 1, 2014
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After a long, long road, Neil Gaiman's bestselling 2001 novel American Gods might finally be headed to the small screen. Starz has announced that its currently developing American Gods as a TV series, with Bryan Fuller (Hannibal) and Michael Green (King) serving as co-showrunners.

"When you create something like American Gods, which attracts fans and obsessives and people who tattoo quotes from it on themselves or each other, and who all, tattooed or not, just care about it deeply, it's really important to pick your team carefully: You don't want to let the fans down, or the people who care and have been casting it online since the dawn of recorded history," Neil Gaiman said in a statement. "What I love most about the team, who I trust to take it out to the world, is that they are the same kind of fanatics that American Gods has attracted since the start."

It sounds promising — but if this all sounds a little too familiar, you might be flashing back to 2011, when HBO announced that it was developing a TV series based on American Gods. In a recent interview with Vulture, HBO executive Michael Lombardo explained that their inability to make American Gods work as a TV show was "a huge disappointment" for the network. "We tried three different writers, we put a lot of effort into it. Some things just don't happen," he explained. Let's all hope Starz has a little more success with the material. Scott Meslow

tragedies
7:31 a.m. ET

Jewish arsonists are believed to be responsible for torching a Palestinian home in the West Bank on Friday, killing an 18-month-old toddler and injuring three other family members inside. Israel's prime minister has called the attack an act of terrorism.

The suspected Jewish attackers wrote "revenge" outside the house in Hebrew, and threw fire bombs inside the home just before dawn, marking the worst attack by Israeli aggressors since a Palestinian teenager was set on fire in Jerusalem a year ago. The Palestinian group Hamas has called for retaliation for Friday's attack. Read more at Reuters. Jeva Lange

demands
7:25 a.m. ET
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Amidst an eruption of internet fury over the killing of Zimbabwe's beloved Cecil the lion by American dentist Walter Palmer (who admits to killing Cecil, but contends that he thought it was legal), the African nation has asked the United States to extradite Palmer. Oppah Muchinguri, Zimbabwe's environment minister, charged that Palmer "had a well-orchestrated agenda which would tarnish the image of Zimbabwe and further strain the relationship between Zimbabwe and the U.S.A." Palmer has not been seen publicly since the controversy first erupted this week. U.S. officials have also launched an investigation of Palmer's hunt. Ben Frumin

This just in
7:15 a.m. ET
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The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks charged that the U.S. has spent the past eight years or more spying on Japanese cabinet officials, banks, and other companies, the BBC reports. The National Security Agency apparently targeted at least 35 Japanese telephone numbers, including those linked to the Bank of Japan, Mitsubishi, and government ministries and offices. The U.S. allegedly snooped on discussions on trade, climate change policy, and nuclear policies. The U.S. also allegedly got intel on a confidential briefing that took place in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's residence.

Japan is a close U.S. ally, as are Germany, France, and Brazil — other nations WikiLeaks has revealed as subjects of NSA surveillance. Jeva Lange

Back to Beijing
6:10 a.m. ET
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The Chinese capital, which also hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics, was selected by the International Olympic Committee on Friday as the official host of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Beijing will be the first city ever to host both a Winter and Summer Olympics. Almaty, Kazakhstan, was the runner-up for the 2022 Games.

Human rights activists are angry with the IOC's decision. "There is no hope that China would make any more progress on human rights than it did with the 2008 Games, and in fact things have declined radically since then under [President] Xi Jinping," John J. MacAloon, a University of Chicago historian, told the Los Angeles Times. Critics also contend that Beijing is "burdened by a host of major environmental and logistic issues, including air pollution, extreme water scarcity, and a dearth of high mountains and natural snow." Ben Frumin

$$$$$
2:07 a.m. ET

On Thursday, a federal judge ruled that Greenpeace USA was in civil contempt due to protesters blocking a Royal Dutch Shell icebreaker from leaving Portland, Oregon, for the Arctic. She also fined the organization $2,500 for each hour of the demonstration.

Throughout the day, protesters dangled from the St. Johns Bridge and activists in kayaks and canoes blocked the Fennica in the Willamette River. The goal, The Oregonian reports, was for the demonstrators to delay the ship for so long that it would lose a year of drilling work. The ship did have to turn around earlier on Thursday, but it later returned and law enforcement cut the lines of the protesters on the bridge, making a hole for the Fennica to squeeze through at around 6 p.m. The last demonstrator came down soon after. "It was tough to see the boat go through there, but every second counts," protester Razz Gormley said. "I consider this a victory." Catherine Garcia

it's just business
1:30 a.m. ET
Facebook.com/FlynnsRestaurant

After asking a diner to take her crying toddler outside and being told to "f—k off," an Australian chef and restaurant owner decided the time had come to ban children under the age of seven from eating in his establishment.

Liam Flynn, who has operated Flynn's in Yungaburra, Queensland, for 14 years, shared the news in a Facebook post, which was met with both enthusiasm and disappointment. "We've had mums and parents who feel that it's just outright discrimination, but it's mostly been positive,” he told Business Insider. "I've had a lot of support. ... There are a lot of parents out there who understand where we're coming from."

Over the past weekend, it became clear he made the right decision: Flynn's had its best Saturday and Sunday ever in terms of sales. "Business is booming," he said. "People are spending up large, drinking fine wine." It's important to note that while children under seven are asked to stay home, dogs of any age are welcome at Flynn's any time. Catherine Garcia

last night on late night
12:58 a.m. ET

Rapper and actor Ice T has a voice that's instantly recognizable — as long as you've sat through at least one Law & Order: SVU marathon, you know it when you hear it. Thanks to The Tonight Show, we now have an idea of what it would have sounded like if he had voiced some of our favorite cartoon characters, including Papa Smurf and Grumpy Bear. Sure, they're a whole lot edgier than they were originally, but only a Care Bear voiced by Ice T could get away with talking about turning a Roomba into a bong. Watch the clip (which has some strong language) below. Catherine Garcia

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