An estimated 25 million viewers tune in every Sunday for the latest episode in Game of Thrones' seventh season, but George R. R. Martin isn't among them. The author of Game of Thrones admitted in a recent interview with Metro U.K. that he has stopped watching the show.
Martin blamed his busy schedule of writing, travel, and speaking engagements for the lapse in his viewing, but Inverse pointed out he's been doing those things during the show's previous seasons and he's still tuned in. Admittedly, he is pushing to get the last book in the series, The Winds of Winter, out by next year, but he also said he is "in no rush to hit a particular deadline."
Up until the fifth season, Martin was still writing an episode per season, a commitment that would seemingly necessitate, well, watching the show. "The book series and TV adaptation go their separate ways," Martin said in his recent interview with Metro U.K. "On the screen characters are killed right and left. About twenty of them have died already, which are quite alive to me and will appear in a new book."
The remains of several missing U.S. Navy sailors were discovered Tuesday after the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and a tanker collided early Monday in the waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca, The Washington Post reports.
Divers found the bodies of "some" of the missing 10 sailors in a compartment that had sealed to stop the ship from flooding after it was heavily damaged, said the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift. He added that the Malaysian Navy "has reported that they have located potential remains. They are working to confirm and identify those remains."
This is the second crash in the Pacific involving a ship from the Navy's 7th Fleet in two months, following June's collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship, which killed seven sailors. Jeva Lange
JUST IN: The remains of missing sailors are found in the ship's compartments https://t.co/gadFmcpTJS
— Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela) August 22, 2017
Spanish police confirmed Monday that they shot and killed 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaquob, the man suspected to have driven the van down Barcelona's La Rambla on Thursday in a terrorist attack that killed 13 people in the city center. Police shot Abouyaaquob in the outskirts of Subirats, a region west of Barcelona, after an extensive manhunt took place over the weekend. He was apparently wearing a fake suicide belt.
Abouyaaquob escaped from Thursday's crash scene on foot and was believed to be the last remaining member of a wider terrorist cell suspected of planning last week's attacks in Barcelona and the coastal city of Cambrils, where another vehicle attack killed one and injured six. Kimberly Alters
Investor Carl Icahn announced Friday that he had stepped down from his advisory role to President Trump. Icahn was counseling the president regarding regulatory reform issues, but he said he was announcing his resignation after a conversation with Trump earlier Friday in which the president "agreed" with his decision.
In a letter to Trump to "confirm" their conversation, Icahn emphasized that he "never had a formal position" with the White House. "I chose to end this arrangement (with your blessing) because I did not want partisan bickering about my role to in any way cloud your administration," Icahn wrote. "I sincerely regret that because of your extremely busy schedule, as well as my own, I have not had the opportunity to spend nearly as much time as I'd hoped on regulatory issues."
JUST IN: Carl Icahn says he will "cease to act as special advisor to the President on issues relating to regulatory reform." pic.twitter.com/JNCRrs9zdq
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 18, 2017
President Trump has decided to fire his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, two administration officials told The New York Times on Friday. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Bannon and Chief of Staff John Kelly "have mutually agreed that today would be Steve's last day."
It was initially unclear whether Bannon resigned his post or whether he was fired, though CNN reported Bannon "was offered" the option to resign, implying that if he had declined, he would have been unilaterally fired. The Times reported that contrary to what Trump has told aides, "a person close to Mr. Bannon insisted the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week, but it was delayed in the wake of the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia." Circa reporter Sara Carter said Friday that Bannon told her he resigned from the White House two weeks ago.
The former Breitbart executive chair "may return" to the website, Drudge Report writes. New York's Gabriel Sherman cited a "source close to Bannon" to confirm that Bannon is "expected" to return to the hard-right outlet.
In a series of interviews earlier this week, Bannon broke with the president to say there is "no military solution" to North Korea and he called the far right, who he helped Trump mobilize to win the election, "a collection of clowns." The Week Staff
This is a breaking news story and has been updated throughout.
On Friday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed censuring President Trump over his response to the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. "The president's repulsive defense of white supremacists demands that Congress act to defend our American values," she said in a statement.
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) August 18, 2017
Censure is a formal statement of disapproval; it does not mean the public official in question must give up their office although it "would be a formal and historic rebuke from Congress of Trump's remarks," ABC News explains.
Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), and Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.) intend to introduce the censure resolution against the president, with 79 co-sponsors, on Friday. The resolution specifically cites Trump's failure to "condemn the 'Unite the Right' rally or cite the white supremacist, neo-Nazi gathering as responsible for actions of domestic terrorism." It also condemns Trump for "surround[ing] himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisors and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, alt-right, racist, and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country."
"Democrats will use every avenue to challenge the repulsiveness of President Trump's words and actions," Pelosi said. Jeva Lange
President Trump on Friday elevated the U.S. Cyber Command to become the 10th unified command in the U.S. military, putting it on equal footing with the likes of the U.S. Central Command and U.S. Strategic Command. The move is aimed to "strengthen our cyberspace operations and create more opportunities to improve our nation's defense," Trump said in a statement, per Politico.
Trump added that the promotion will also "help streamline command and control of time-sensitive cyberspace operations by consolidating them under a single commander with authorities commensurate with the importance of such operations."
— Aaron Mehta (@AaronMehta) August 18, 2017
Cyber Command will continue to be led by the director of the National Security Agency, Navy Adm. Michael Rogers, although Defense Secretary James Mattis will reportedly consider further separating it from the NSA, with a recommendation expected at a later date, The Washington Post reports.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) responded to the news positively in a statement. "I am pleased with today's announcement elevating U.S. Cyber Command to a unified combatant command," he said. He added that "while we welcome this elevation, there is much more to be done to prepare our nation and our military to meet our cybersecurity challenges." Jeva Lange
The Dow Jones closed Thursday afternoon down more than 274 points as investors were rattled by the chaos engulfing the Trump White House in addition to a deadly terrorist attack in Barcelona. The 1.2 percent drop in the Dow made for the index's biggest drop in three months and its second-worst day of the entire year. The Nasdaq Composite also posted a 1.9 percent slide, while the S&P 500 plunged 1.5 percent.
The market was particularly spooked by the idea that former Goldman Sachs executive Gary Cohn could resign from President Trump's National Economic Council, Barron's reports, given Cohn is in charge of the administration's tax reform efforts. Cohn was reportedly "disgusted" by Trump's tepid response to the white nationalist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, which resulted in the death of 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Kimberly Alters