She explains that King Jaehaerys had ruled for 60 years — overseeing peace in the realm — but his own oldest trueborn sons, Aemon and Baelon, had died tragically in the past decade. That left him with no direct heirs.
The two most prominent candidates for succeeding King Jaehaerys on the Iron Throne were his grandchildren, Viserys and Rhaenys.
“Jaheherys called the Great Council to prevent a war from being fought over his succession, for he knew the cold truth: The only thing that could tear down the House of the Dragon was itself,” Rhaenyra’s voiceover said.
The council voted and chose Viserys (who was the son of Baelon — the younger son of Jaehaerys) as heir to the throne.
The Taliban’s capture of Kabul on Aug. 15, 2021 brought the hardline movement back into power in Afghanistan nearly 20 years after they were toppled by the U.S. invasion following the 9/11 attacks. The year since has been disastrous for the country.
After the world cut off funding, Afghanistan’s already ramshackle economy collapsed almost overnight, sending nearly the entire population into poverty and leaving millions unable to feed themselves. No country has yet recognized Taliban rule. After initially signaling they would be more moderate than in their previous time in power, the Taliban turned to a hard line, crushing women’s rights, allowing little criticism and imposing greater control over the press.
Here is a timeline of significant events in connection to the Taliban takeover and subsequent rule.
Feb. 29, 2020 — U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration signs an agreement with the Taliban committing to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. The Taliban promise to halt attacks on Americans. But they step up attacks on Afghan government forces, who begin to fall apart with American tactical support now reduced.
April 14, 2021 — President Joe Biden says the remaining 2,500-3,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will be withdrawn by Sept. 11 to end America’s “forever war.”
May-August 2021 — Taliban gains on the ground accelerate. Districts across the country fall to the insurgents, sometimes with hardly a fight. By mid-August, they control nearly the entire country, including most major cities.
Aug. 15, 2021 — The Taliban march into Kabul as internationally backed President Ashraf Ghani flees the country.
Aug. 16, 2021 — Thousands of civilians crowd at Kabul’s international airport, hoping to get on flights as U.S. troops and officials organize evacuation flights. In chaotic scenes, a few are seen clinging to the sides of aircraft as they take off. At least two are known to have fallen to their deaths.
Aug. 18, 2021 — At the first Taliban press conference, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid promises no reprisals against former soldiers, saying that Taliban will allow women to to work and study “but within the framework of Islam.”
Aug. 26, 2021 — Islamic State group suicide bombers and gunmen kill at least 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops in an attack on the crowds trying to be evacuated at Kabul’s airport. Several days later, a U.S. drone strike kills 10 civilians, including at seven children; the Pentagon initially insists the strike targeted the perpetrators of the airport attack but later acknowledged it was a mistake.
August — The Taliban takeover sparks the freezing of Afghanistan’s $8 billion in assets held abroad, most in the U.S. Also halted are billions in development and other aid that paid most of the government’s budget.
Almost overnight, the already tenuous economy collapses. Many Afghans lose their salaries or jobs as prices spiral. Over the next months, millions will become unable to afford food; many medical facilities will shut down, unable to afford supplies or pay staff.
September — Schools reopen around Afghanistan. Girls up through the sixth grade are allowed to return to classes, as are women in some private universities. Above sixth grade, however, girls are not allowed back, with a few local exceptions.
Sept. 7, 2021 — The Taliban announce the formation of an interim government, made up entirely of Taliban figures and men, despite international pressure for greater diversity. The Taliban hint it could be widened later to include other factions, but it has remained largely the same since.
Sept. 12, 2021 — Aid flights resume into Kabul as the U.N. revs up what will become a massive aid effort to keep Afghans alive in an accelerating humanitarian disaster. In less than a month since the Taliban takeover, the number of families reporting insufficient food consumption leaps 13 percentage points to 93% of the population, according to U.N. figures. World Food Program chief David Beasley warns that 14 million face acute food insecurity, “marching to the brink of starvation, they don’t know where their next meal is.”
Oct. 25, 2021 — Within another month, all those figures have dramatically worsened. The number of people facing acute food insecurity nearly doubles to 22.8 million from 14 million, nearly 60% of the population, the WFP says. Of those, 8.7 million are at the highest emergency level, at risk of starvation. Half of all children under five years old — around 3.2 million — are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition.
Feb. 11, 2022 — U.S. President Joe Biden issues an executive order holding half of the $7 billion in Afghan assets frozen into the United States for court cases involving victims of the 9/11 attacks. He orders the other $3.5 billion to be used for the benefit of Afghanistan; since then U.S. officials have been holding talks with the Taliban on how to use that money.
March 23, 2022 — On the day high schools are opening, the Taliban suddenly reverse a promise to allow girls above the sixth grade to attend schools. Girls who showed up for the first day of classes are told to go home. The reversal suggests hardliners among the Taliban leadership moved to prevent a return of older girls to school.
March 30, 2022 — The number of Afghans living below the poverty line is rapidly approaching 97% of the population, the head of the United Nations Development Programme Achim Steiner warns. In 2020, just under half of Afghanistan’s population lived in poverty.
May 7, 2022 — The Taliban Virtue and Vice Ministry issues orders that all women in public must wear all-encompassing robes and cover their face except for their eyes. It advises them to stay home unless they have important work outside the house.
May 9, 2022 — New U.N. report shows huge infusion of aid is just barely keeping numbers of hungry from growing further, with the number of people facing acute food insecurity at nearly 20 million. However, it warns that continued bad harvest and drought, inflation fueled in part by Ukraine conflict and lack of funding for U.N. aid threatens to increase the crisis.
June 22, 2022 — A powerful earthquake hits a remote region of eastern Afghanistan, killing more than 1,100 people. The Taliban struggle with rescue efforts, underscoring a lack of resources and a reliance on aid groups.
July 27, 2022 — Amnesty International issues a report saying Taliban policies are “suffocating” women at every level of their lives, pointing to the restrictions on schooling and work, increased child marriage and repression of women activists.
July 31, 2022 — The U.S. kills al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri in a drone strike on a safehouse in Kabul where he has been staying for months. U.S. officials accuse the Taliban of sheltering him in violation of the Doha Agreement.
Vince McMahon shockingly retired from WWE amid rising allegations of sexual misconduct. McMahon is in the middle of a WWE investigation regarding alleged “hush money” settlements.
From the day these allegations were announced, McMahon has attempted to weather the storm during a Summer of Hell by publicly stepping down—presumably for optics—and no-selling the brewing scandal in public appearances.
With McMahon reportedly retiring from all duties, however, 2022 will go down as the year that saw the unlikely fall of Vincent Kennedy McMahon.
Vince McMahon Investigated by WWE | June 15, 2022
In a bombshell report by the Wall Street Journal (h/t Forbes), it was revealed that Vince McMahon was the subject of an internal WWE investigation amid “hush money” settlements for sexual misconduct. Amid the damning accusations, WWE reportedly increased the salary of a former paralegal whom McMahon allegedly had an affair with. The investigation also meant the end of John Laurinaitis’ tenure as Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, a role that would later be assumed by Triple H.
Today’s climate is littered with the demise of one male mogul after another due to accusations of sexual misconduct. These very serious allegations against Vince McMahon are the biggest threat to his iron rule as WWE Chairman and CEO, and proved to be too much to overcome.
Vince McMahon Steps Down From WWE | June 17, 2022
Days after the scandalous report of McMahon’s WWE investigation, Vince McMahon stepped down as WWE Chairman and CEO. In his place, McMahon installed his daughter Stephanie just one month after Stephanie McMahon announced she was taking a leave of absence from WWE to focus on her family.
Fast forward to today, Stephanie McMahon and her husband Triple H are at the helm of WWE, a far cry from both of their intentions to step back in favor of family time.
“I love this company and am committed to working with the Independent Directors to strengthen our culture and our Company; it is extremely important to me that we have a safe and collaborative workplace,” Stephanie McMahon said on Twitter.
“I have committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work, including marshaling the cooperation of the entire company to assist in the completion of the investigation and to implement its findings.”
Despite Vince McMahon stepping down, many dismissed Stephanie’s interim role as an “optics play.” Vince McMahon continued to maintain creative control over WWE, and despite publicly stepping down, seemed to have more control than ever behind the scenes.
Vince McMahon Appears on SmackDown | June 17, 2022
Just hours after stepping down as WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon appeared briefly to open the June 17, 2022 broadcast of SmackDown.
In quite possibly his final appearance on SmackDown, Vince McMahon repeated WWE’s signature phrase: “Then, Now, Forever…” and “the most important word is Together.” McMahon reportedly shouted “f—k em!” in response to the mounting allegations against him before returning to a “business as usual” demeanor.
McMahon has attempted to no-sell these allegations throughout a very public scandal. Even in his retirement announcement he implied his age (77 years) was the reason for stepping away, with no references to the accusations. Vince McMahon followed up his SmackDown appearance with another empty appearance on the June 20, 2022 broadcast of Raw. McMahon briefly spoke about the impending return of John Cena.
Also under fire was former WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations John Laurinaitis, who was ousted from the company due to his alleged involvement with the former WWE paralegal. Bruce Prichard was named Interim Vice President of Talent Relations in his place.
Vince McMahon Hush Money Allegations Grow to $12 Million | July 8, 2022
WSJ’s original bombshell report received a sequel as a follow-up report noted McMahon had paid upwards of $12 million in NDA (non-disclosure agreement) settlements to former WWE contractors and personnel. Additional settlements ranged from $1 million to a stunning $7.5 million in alleged hush money. Accusations against McMahon included sending nude photos and “coercing” a former wrestler to perform oral sex.
Just one day prior, WWE Board of Directors member Connor Schell stepped down from his position.
“Mr. Schell’s decision to resign from the Board was not due to any dispute or disagreement with the Company, its management or the Board on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices,” read an SEC filing.
Despite the public statement, it’s not difficult to make the connection between Schell’s decision and the rising amount of negativity plaguing the company. In light of the rising allegations, streaming giant Netflix reportedly pulled its planned documentary series about Vince McMahon.
Triple H Named EVP of Talent Relations | July 22, 2022
Triple H, nicknamed the King of Kings, went back on his throne as WWE announced he would replace John Laurinaitis as EVP of Talent Relations. This wasn’t even the most shocking announcement of the day on another whirlwind of a Friday afternoon in pro wrestling. The announcement preceded Vince McMahon’s own shocking announcement that the WWE Chairman was set to retire.
It wasn’t too long ago that both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon’s futures—as power brokers within WWE—were in question. With Stephanie McMahon as WWE Interim Chairwoman and CEO, and Triple H installed as WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, WWE’s seemingly scrapped succession plan was reincarnated amid internal turmoil. Amid Triple H’s unlikely return to power, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Wrestling Inc) reported Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn were not present at WWE SmackDown.
Vince McMahon Retires from WWE | July 22, 2022
Vince McMahon shockingly retired via Twitter.
“At 77, time for me to retire. Thank you, WWE Universe. Then. Now. Forever. Together.”
McMahon’s decision was reportedly in the works for a week before the announcement was made as only a small circle was aware of the news beforehand.
Stephanie McMahon and WWE Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan will be taking over as co-CEOs while Triple H steps in as WWE Executive Vice President of Talent Relations.
The announcement reportedly led to immediate backstage hysteria. Despite cynicism of McMahon possibly maintaining control behind the scenes, McMahon has reportedly retired from all duties, including creative.
“To all WWE Superstars: as I approach 77 years old (OMG am I really that old?), I feel it’s time for me to retire. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my passion, wisdom, and love of the business with you. No longer will you see the smiling, docile, level-headed, calm presence at Gorilla every week,” McMahon said in an internal memo.
“Your dedication to WWE will ensure that our company will continue to grow and prosper. Our organization is nothing without you. You are WWE’s only natural resource, chosen to perform in front of a global audience.”
“You are all WWE Global Ambassadors. Carry the WWE flag wherever you go. Wave it high and proud. And bust your ass to be all you can be as a person and as a performer.”
“One other thing—I won’t be with you, but I’ll be watching. Remember to keep your hands up, grab hold, and sell. Btw, SmackDown airs live tonight at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central on FOX.”
Possibly the most telling line, unintentional or not, is “I won’t be with you, but I’ll be watching.” Given Vince McMahon’s penchant for fighting and maintaining control, it’s safe that he will always be “watching” in some form or fashion until his final day on this earth.
Brock Lesnar Walks out of SmackDown | July 22, 2022
In response to Vince McMahon retiring, Brock Lesnar reportedly walked out of SmackDown. Per multiple sources, Lesnar walked out of SmackDown under the mentality that if Vince McMahon is gone, Lesnar is gone.
Lesnar’s sudden departure puts his forthcoming match against Roman Reigns—the WWE SummerSlam main event—in jeopardy. Lesnar has never been shy about walking out of WWE shows when the situation does not serve him. For Lesnar, McMahon’s ousting appeared to be a dealbreaker. In the end, cooler head prevailed and Lesnar returned to the building in time to close out SmackDown with a brutal beatdown of Mr. Money in the Bank Theory.
On July 11, 2006, a string of powerful bombs ripped through Mumbai’s commuter trains system in the evening rush hour, killing nearly 200 people and bringing India’s financial capital to a standstill.
Seven blasts were triggered in the span of 11 minutes in the first-class suburban train compartments leaving 189 dead and several injured.
The first bomb went off shortly after 6.20 pm in the Western Railway suburban train running from Churchgate to Borivali. The bomb exploded when the train was between Khar and Santacruz stations. Another bomb exploded at the same time in a local between Bandra and Khar Road. Following this, five more explosions occurred in Jogeshwari, Mahim Junction, Mira Road-Bhayander, Matunga-Mahim Junction and Borivali.
Most of the commuters in these trains were executives, businessmen, employees of government and private establishments and college students.
Here’s a look at the timeline of events that took place since the 2006 Mumbai train bombings.
July 11, 2006:
Between 6.20 pm and 6.35 pm, seven RDX bombs ripped the first-class compartments of Mumbai local trains.
July 14, 2006: Terrorist organisation Lashkar-e-Qahhar, possibly linked to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), claimed responsibility for the bombings through an e-mail to an Indian TV channel.
July 17, 2006: The Mumbai forensic science laboratory said highly explosive RDX and Ammonium Nitrate were used for the bombings. The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) said the bombs were assembled in Chembur.
July 18, 2006: A week after the blast, a memorial service was held in Mumbai to pay tribute to the victims. Sirens were sounded across Mumbai in homage to those who lost their lives, while then President Abdul Kalam led people into observing a two-minute silence.
July 21, 2006: The police arrested three persons in connection with the bombings.
November, 2006: The ATS filed chargesheet in which 13 of those subsequently arrested and 15 absconding were named as the accused under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime (MCOCA).
June, 2007: Those who were accused in the 7/11 bombings moved the Supreme Court, challenging the constitutional validity of MCOCA. The following year, the SC ordered a stay on the trial.
September, 2008: Five Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives were arrested by the Mumbai Crime Branch. Contradiction in the probe by the crime branch and the ATS started to show when the crime branch said IM carried out the bombings, while the ATS said Pakistani nationals planted the bombs.
February, 2009: Arrested leader of the Indian Mujahideen Sadiq Sheikh confessed to conducting the bombings in a news channel broadcast.
February, 2010: Lawyer Shahid Azmi, who defended some of the accused in the Mumbai blast case, was shot dead in his central Mumbai office.
August, 2013: Yasin Bhatkal, co-founder of IM, who was arrested from the Indo-Nepal border, claimed the 2006 bombings were done by IM in response to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
August 2014: The court concluded the 7/11 trial but reserved its judgment.
September 2015: The MCOCA court convicted 12 of the 13 arrested in the case. The court sentenced five convicts – Kamal Ansari, Faisal Shaikh, Estesham Siddiqui, Naveed Khan and Asif Bashir Khan – to death. Seven others – Mohammed Ali, Mohammed Sajid Ansari, Majid Shafi, Dr Tanveer Ansari, Muzzammil Shaikh, Zamir Shaikh and Sohail Shaikh – were sentenced to life imprisonment. The court acquitted one of the accused.
Elon Musk’s deal to buy Twitter appears to be on the verge of collapse.
In a letter, the Tesla and SpaceX boss’s lawyers said the platform has “not complied with its contractual obligations” surrounding the deal, namely giving him enough information to “make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform”.
Here is a timeline of how the deal has unfolded:
April 4th – A filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows Mr Musk bought up just over 9% of Twitter shares, at the time making him the firm’s largest shareholder.
April 5th – Twitter announces Mr Musk would be joining the company’s board.
April 11th – Mr Musk reverses his decision and Twitter confirms the billionaire will not be joining the board.
April 14th – Mr Musk submits an offer to buy the company outright and take it private. He offers $44 billion – or $54.20 per share.
April 15th – In response, Twitter plans to implement what is known as a “poison pill” policy, which would allow existing shareholders to buy stock at discounted rates to dilute Mr Musk’s holdings and prevent the sale. But Mr Musk and Twitter enter into negotiations over a deal.
April 25th – A deal is agreed on the price Mr Musk initially offered – $44 billion.
May 10th – During a public appearance, Mr Musk says he would reverse Twitter’s current permanent ban on the account of former US president Donald Trump.
May 14th – Mr Musk begins to raise questions over the number of bot accounts on the platform and says the deal is “temporarily on hold” while he tries to find out more about the levels of spam and fake accounts on Twitter.
May 16th – Mr Musk continues to spar publicly with Twitter executives, sending a poo emoji in response to a tweet from Twitter chief executive Parag Agrawal which reiterates the firm’s belief that only 5% of accounts on the site are bots.
Mr Musk also uses a public appearance later that day to suggest a deal for the platform could be done at a lower price and estimates that Twitter is, at best, 20% bots.
May 17th – Mr Musk says the deal “cannot move forward” until he gets “proof” that bots are only 5% of spam accounts on the platform. A number of experts suggest he is trying to force the renegotiation of the deal at a lower price.
On the same day, Twitter says it still planned to “close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement” with Mr Musk.
June 6th – Mr Musk says he has a “right to terminate the merger agreement” in a letter from his lawyers to Twitter’s legal team over what he claims is the company’s lack of co-operation over the spam accounts data.
June 8th – Twitter agrees to give Mr Musk access to its data “firehose” which contains the data around all public tweets to help with his investigation.
July 7th – The Washington Post reports that Mr Musk’s deal to buy Twitter is “in peril” after his team concluded Twitter’s figures on spam accounts are not verifiable.
July 8th – The deal reaches the verge of collapse after Mr Musk sends a letter to the SEC saying he is terminating the acquisition.
In the letter, he says Twitter has “not complied with its contractual obligations” surrounding the deal, namely giving him enough information to “make an independent assessment of the prevalence of fake or spam accounts on Twitter’s platform”.
In response, the chair of Twitter’s board, Bret Taylor, said it is “committed” to closing the transaction on the price and terms agreed upon with Mr Musk and plans to pursue legal action to enforce the merger agreement.
From the moment he first faced criminal charges, in 2006, Jeffrey Epstein has been the object of public fascination, conspiracy theories and outrage — especially after his lawyers got prosecutors to agree to a lenient plea deal that spared him from serious prison time.
Epstein was eventually arrested again, but died by suicide while awaiting trial in 2019. Here is a timeline of the case against him and his former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in prison for helping him abuse teenage girls.
March 2005: Police in Palm Beach, Florida, begin investigating Epstein after the family of a 14-year-old girl reports she was molested at his mansion. Multiple underage girls, many of them high school students, would later tell police that Epstein hired them to give sexual massages.
May 2006: Palm Beach police officials sign paperwork to charge Epstein with multiple counts of unlawful sex with a minor, but the county’s top prosecutor, State Attorney Barry Krischer, takes the unusual step of sending the case to a grand jury.
July 2006: Epstein is arrested after a grand jury indicts him on a single count of soliciting prostitution. The relatively minor charge draws almost immediate attention from critics, including Palm Beach police leaders, who assail Krischer publicly and accuse him of giving Epstein special treatment. The FBI begins an investigation.
2007: Federal prosecutors prepare an indictment against Epstein. But for a year, the money manager’s lawyers engage in talks with the U.S. attorney in Miami, Alexander Acosta, about a plea bargain that would allow Epstein to avoid a federal prosecution. Epstein’s lawyers decry his accusers as unreliable witnesses.
June 2008: Epstein pleads guilty to state charges: one count of solicitating prostitution and one count of soliciting prostitution from someone under the age of 18. He is sentenced to 18 months in jail. Under a secret arrangement, the U.S. attorney’s office agrees not to prosecute Epstein for federal crimes. Epstein serves most of his sentence in a work-release program that allows him to leave jail during the day to go to his office, then return at night.
July 2009: Epstein is released from jail. For the next decade, multiple women who say they are Epstein’s victims wage a legal fight to get his federal non-prosecution agreement voided, and hold him and others liable for the abuse. One of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Giuffre, says in her lawsuits that, starting when she was 17, Epstein and his girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, set up sexual encounters with royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and other rich and powerful men, including Britain’s Prince Andrew. All of those men deny the allegations.
November 2018: The Miami Herald revisits the handling of Epstein’s case in a series of stories focusing partly on the role of Acosta — who by this point is President Donald Trump’s labor secretary — in arranging his unusual plea deal. The coverage renews public interest in the case.
July 6, 2019: Epstein is arrested on federal sex trafficking charges after federal prosecutors in New York conclude that they weren’t bound by the terms of the earlier non-prosecution deal. Days later, Acosta resigns as labor secretary amid public outrage over his role in the initial investigation.
Aug. 10, 2019: Guards find Epstein dead in his cell at a federal jail in New York City. Investigators conclude he killed himself.
July 2, 2020: Federal prosecutors in New York charge Ghislaine Maxwell with sex crimes, saying she helped recruit the underage girls that Epstein sexually abused and sometimes participated in the abuse herself.
Dec. 30, 2021: After a monthlong trial, a jury convicts Maxwell of multiple charges, including sex trafficking, conspiracy and transportation of a minor for illegal sexual activity.
June 28, 2022: Maxwell is sentenced to 20 years in prison.
On January 8, 1973 the trial of the Watergate burglars opens in the face of public indifference.
On February 7, the Democratic majority in the Senate sets up a committee charged with investigating the 1972 electoral campaign. Broadcast live on television, the hearings end up transfixing Americans.
McCord soon admits to having lied before the court due to pressure from the White House.
On April 30, attorney general Richard Kleindienst and two of the president’s aides, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, resign. A third aide, John Dean, is fired.
On June 25, Dean tells the committee that the president was aware from September 15, 1972, of a cover-up of the burglary.
He says Nixon was ready to spend nearly a million dollars to buy the burglars’ silence.
He thus becomes the first witness to directly implicate the head of state.