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5 Highlights of Comic-Con 2019

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To help make sure you stay informed, each Sunday we revisit five stories from the previous week and capsulize them in this digest. Today’s collection highlights our coverage of Comic-Con 2019! Find our special section here.

1. That Finale. ‘Game of Thrones’ Cast Talks to Fans

The cast was in good spirits after years of attending Comic-Con and not being able to reveal anything at the panels. Finally they were allowed to talk about things. So what about those coffee cups and water bottles, eh? Read about what the cast had to say here.

2. ‘Maverick’ Returns to San Diego With Long-Awaited ‘Top Gun’ Trailer

The audience in the 8,000 seat room went wild for Tom Cruise Thursday afternoon. The actor made an unexpected flyby at San Diego Comic-Con to debut the first trailer for “Top Gun: Maverick.”

Tom Cruise Crashes Comic-Con To Premiere ‘Top Gun’ SequelTom Cruise Crashes Comic-Con To Premiere 'Top Gun' Sequel

3. Fans Wait in Line and Love It

San Diegan Lauren Kaye told us she was looking forward to waiting in the long Hall H line. “I’ve been wanting to experience Comic-Con for quite a few years, and to finally be able to make it happen is a dream come true,” said Kaye.

4. Portman Is Thor, Ali Is Blade and More From Marvel

With over $22.3 billion in worldwide earnings, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is by far the most successful franchise of all time. Fans learned about new reboots and storylines directly from the producers in a special Hall H panel.

5. Carmel Valley Students Present Educational Comic at Comic-Con Panel

Among the celebrities, comic book legends, and movie studios present at Comic-Con, there is a young generation of comic book artists, high school students from Carmel Valley’s Canyon Crest Academy. NBC 7’s Danica McAdam met up with them for this report.

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President Trump Praises Appointment of Special Prosecutor in Smollett Case

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After former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb was appointed as a special prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case, President Donald Trump endorsed the move on social media.

The president sent out a tweet commending the selection of Webb for the post, calling it “great”:

“He said MAGA country did it. So terrible!” the president said.

When Smollett reported that he had been assaulted by two men on Jan. 29, 2019, he said that the pair had called him racial and homophobic slurs and had said “this is MAGA country” during the attack.

President Trump described the reported attack as “horrible” after the news became public.

Smollett was later charged with fabricating the attack, but the Cook County state’s attorney’s office later dropped the charges. President Trump criticized the decision as “an embarrassment to our nation,” and called for the FBI and the Department of Justice to look into the incident.

Currently, Smollett is facing a lawsuit from the city of Chicago, alleging that the actor owes the city approximately $130,000 in overtime costs for officers investigating the attack, and a defamation lawsuit from two Nigerian brothers who claim that Smollett paid them to stage the attack.

On Friday, Webb was appointed as a special prosecutor in the case.

“First, (I’ll) investigate if any persons or offices involved in the Smollett case engaged in any wrongdoing,” Webb said at a press conference. “Number two, determine if reasonable grounds do exist to further prosecute Mr. Smollett. And number three, to submit a written report to the court of our findings and conclusions at the end of the special prosecutor’s investigation.”

The Cook County Inspector General’s office is also looking into the case, and is expected to issue a report later this year.  

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Lara Spencer Apologizes for Mocking Prince George’s Interest in Ballet on ‘GMA’

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ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer apologized Friday after outrage erupted on social media when she mocked and laughed at the inclusion of ballet in 6-year-old Prince George’s upcoming school year curriculum.

During a Thursday “Hot News” segment on the morning show, Spencer listed off what the royal prince would be studying when he goes back to school in the fall. 

“In addition to the usual first or second grade things, like math, science and history, the future King of England will be putting down the Play-Doh to take on religious studies, computer programming, poetry and ballet, among other things,” she said.

Her emphasis on the word “ballet” was met with raucous laughter from the studio audience, NBC News reported.

“You couldn’t contain … oh, he looks so happy about the ballet class,” Spencer said laughing, as a picture of Prince George smiling ear-to-ear in while wearing a soccer jersey appeared on screen.

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Celebrities React to the Raging Fires in the Amazon

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Amid global concern about raging fires in the Amazon, celebrities are using their platforms to increase awareness and urge world leaders to curb the widespread deforestation.

Brazil contains about 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest, whose degradation could have severe consequences for global climate and rainfall.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro previously described rainforest protections as an obstacle to economic development and has said he wants to convert land for cattle pastures and soybean farms. 

Leonardo DiCaprio regrammed an Instagram post by Rainforest Alliance in which they said Bolsonaro “issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January.”

Madonna was also critical of the president on social media.

“President Bolsonaro please change your policies and help not only your country but the whole planet,” the “Material Girl” singer said in an Instagram post.

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen, soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, singer Miguel, “Queer Eye” host Bobby Berk, pop star Camila Cabello, and numerous celebs also took to social media with their reactions to the devastating situation. 

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