Explaining ‘Capital’

first_img On Friday March 6 at Harvard Law School, renowned economist Thomas Piketty, professor of Economics, EHESS and at the Paris School of Economics, visited the law school to debate his bestselling book Capital in the Twenty-First Century with several Harvard faculty, including: Sven Beckert Laird Bell Professor of American History, Harvard University; Christine Desan, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; David Kennedy, Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law, Harvard Law School; and Stephen Marglin, Walter S. Barker Chair in the Department of Economics, Harvard University. It’s been just a year since Thomas Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” turned the respected French economist from the University of Paris into an academic and publishing rock star. Few could have imagined that a nearly 700-page text tracing wealth and income-distribution patterns in 20 countries as far back as the French Revolution would become a worldwide million-plus seller.Harvard University Press (HUP) released the English translation — done by Arthur Goldhammer, co-chair of the Contemporary Europe Study Group and chair of the Visiting Scholars Seminar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES) — in March 2014. Already, it is the second-biggest seller in the publisher’s 102-year history.Piketty’s status showed little sign of fading during his March 6 visit to Harvard to speak about the book before an overflow crowd inside Austin Hall at Harvard Law School (HLS). He focused on three key points from his groundbreaking research: the trends of income inequality dynamics in countries, including the United States, using tax records from the last 100 to 200 years; the return of very high wealth-income ratios in countries with low economic growth; and that as the net-of-tax rate of return, or r, continues to outpace the growth rate, or g, future wealth-inequality levels may reach or surpass those of the 19th century.Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of American History in the Faculty Arts & Sciences (FAS), Christine Desan, Leo Gottlieb Professor of Law at HLS, David Kennedy, Manley O. Hudson Professor of Law at HLS, and Stephen Marglin, Walter S. Baker Chair in the Department of Economics, later offered assessments of Piketty’s work.Piketty joined 40 faculty and students from the Political Economy of Modern Capitalism Workshop for a discussion at a private luncheon held earlier in the day at the Harvard Faculty Club, where he talked expansively, touching on the book’s widely critiqued equation for explaining growing income inequality.“First, about r > g. To me, this was more like a marketing trick — and apparently it worked,” he joked. “Look, I don’t seriously believe that you can explain everything in three centuries of the history of income and wealth in 20 countries with one equation. If I really believed this, the book would be 10 pages long.”“The book is so long is because I try… to describe the multidimensional history of capital and capital ownership. I try to show that all the different capital assets give rise to different bargaining processes, to different institutions, to different legal rules, to different negotiations processes between the owners of capital and those who don’t own much capital and mostly own their labor.”The workshop, co-led by Beckert and Desan, is a long-running research seminar under Harvard’s Program on the Study of Capitalism. It draws students and faculty working in an array of fields — including history, economics, law, government, business, sociology, and anthropology — who take a multidisciplinary approach to the study of capitalism.It’s a method Piketty supports. “I think the boundaries between economics and history and sociology are much less clear than economists have tried to pretend,” he said.Despite near-universal acclaim from many left-leaning economists, some critics, including The Financial Times, Bill Gates, and others, have challenged the precision of Piketty’s data, and the effectiveness and practicality of his proposal to institute a global wealth tax. The tax would increase on a sliding scale from 0.1 to 0.5 percent on wealth less than €1 million to 10 percent on wealth of several hundred million and up.Such a tax, Piketty writes, would “contain the unlimited growth of global inequality of wealth, which is currently increasing at a rate that cannot be sustained in the long run and that ought to worry even the most fervent champions of the self-regulated market.”“Many of the critiques of the deficiencies that have been pointed out, I very much agree with them. I think there are strong limitations to this book,” he said during the luncheon. “But I try to take a global perspective of the distribution of income and wealth over the past three centuries, so of course there’s no way you can do that in just one book. This is at best an introduction to a history of capital and wealth and income since the Industrial Revolution, and there are many issues which are clearly not covered as much as they should [be].”Piketty said the data show that the sustained power of inherited wealth through history undercuts widely held beliefs of meritocracy and productivity often used by the rich to explain why they have more.“What’s important is not to take for granted the claims that meritocracy is working,” he said. “In every country, including the United States, including France, of course, as well, you have very strong theoretical claims about the merits about the national educational model as a way to promote” upward mobility.“So should we tax the endowment of Harvard? I don’t know,” said Piketty. “I care about education more than taxation. I care about taxation as a way to finance education and other public good, but in the end, I think the issue of equal access to higher education is a bit more important.”Beckert said that the book gets at the heart of the complexities bound up in capitalism.“In some ways it’s a pessimistic reading both of the long history of capitalism and also of the contemporary state that we are entering, and it’s sometimes a frightening reading of how we might continue to evolve in the direction of ever-greater inequality and what that means for democracy and for politics more broadly,” Beckert said of “Capital.”“But on the other hand, what I appreciate about him so much, and I think that’s also the case for students, is that he opens up a space to discuss these matters and also he insists on the importance of politics. That we can shape the world in which we live, we’re not just victims of a kind of large, historical process about which we cannot do anything.”Piketty’s visit was sponsored by the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies; the CES Seminar on Social Exclusion and Inclusion; the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S.; Program on the Study of Capitalism; the Charles Warren Center for Studies of American History; and the Institute for Global Law and Policy at HLS.Thomas Piketty visits HLS to debate his book ‘Capital in the Twenty-First Century’ <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ofjozfEr-U” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/3ofjozfEr-U/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a>last_img read more

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Nigeria Hits Final in Mixed Doubles

first_imgIn the final, the Nigerian duo will battle for the title against defending champion, Egypt’s Omar Assar and Dina Meshref who both bundled out their compatriots – Khalid Assar and Yousra Helmy 4-2.The final for the mixed doubles event holds on Friday October 28 while the draw for the singles event takes place today.All eyes will be on the continent’s fierce rival, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and Egypt’s Omar Assar after the Nigerian star humbled the Egyptian 4-2 at their last meeting at the 2016 ITTF Africa Top 16 Cup in Khartoum, Sudan earlier this year.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram ITTF AFRICA CHAMPIONSHIPSNigeria has qualified for the second finals at the ongoing ITTF Africa Senior Championships holding in Agadir, Morocco as the pair of Segun Toriola and Olufunke Oshonaike defeated Egypt’s duo of Mohamed El-Beiali and Reem El-Eraky to berth in the final of the mixed doubles event.Prior to their semifinal clash against the Egyptian, the two of Africa’s most decorated athletes had edged out South Africa and Algeria before dismissing the Egyptian 4-1.last_img read more

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Competition focuses on natural disaster recovery

first_imgPhoto courtesy of USC NewsIn response to the destruction caused by hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, as well as the earthquakes that struck Mexico during the past few months, the USC Viterbi Office of Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s annual Min Family Engineering Social Entrepreneurship Challenge will focus on creating prototypes that target natural disaster relief for 2018. Established by alumnus Bryan Min and his wife Julie, the Min Family Challenge finds engineering solutions for societal problems through a student competition. Since late 2015, the competition has addressed issues related to poverty, the environment or health care — by bringing in students who serve as social engineers to develop technological solutions. “Our students are an incredible resource and possess an enormous amount of energy and talent,” Vice Dean of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Andrea Belz said in a press release. “This year’s challenge will apply their intellect and skill towards helping people who have immediate needs. This challenge will provide an unforgettable learning experience in conceiving of real-world solutions to improve lives of others.”The challenge will kick off in November 2017, and teams of student engineers will have the opportunity to travel to Houston — which was recently impacted by Hurricane Harvey — for field research starting in the first week of January.  After identifying a specific problem in the community resulting from the summer storms, the participants will work on designing the solution. Additionally, the students will attend six 90-minute workshops hosted by USC Viterbi’s Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office and USC Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab. These workshops will go over a range of topics, covering the basics of social entrepreneurship and customer discovery. Over the following months, the teams will generate prototypes and business models for these solutions, and on March 28, the finalists will be featured in a showcase, where the winner of the challenge will be presented.Projects in the past have included OptDx, a software that helps prevent blindness in premature babies through an automatic screening process, and 2016 winner FlexSpecs, which generated cost-friendly glasses with lenses that changed their shape and power with a touch of a dial. Though the challenge has normally focused on serving those in need across the globe, the upcoming year’s theme will center on enhancing relief and recovery efforts in communities that were left devastated from recent natural disasters. “This is the first year the challenge is focused on natural disaster relief,” said Alice Liu, Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Office assistant director. “And not just immediate relief, but the process of relief, recovery and rebuilding for the overall communities and the victims of these communities.”Liu served as the game architect behind the challenge. By detailing more specific rules to the challenge that were tailored to the type of innovation the creators want to see, Liu was able to shape the theme of the 2018 challenge and set the guidelines for the participants when it comes to their prototypes.last_img read more

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This Bomber team soars to Mount Sentinel Junior Girl’s title

first_imgThe L.V. Rogers Bombers junior girls volleyball team strung together an undefeated streak to capture the Mount Sentinel Junior Girls Invitational tournament on Saturday afternoon.The Bombers needed a come-from-behind effort over J.L Crowe in the tournament final to clinch the title.In a spirited opening game of the match, the LVR team fell behind early and despite a strong comeback late in the game fell short 25-23 in the best-of-three. A back and forth second game saw LVR setter Hanna Quinn serve for the game which went to the Bombers 27-25. “The girls seemed to struggle with focus in this match,” said Bombers coach Jennifer Kidd.“After beating J.L. Crowe twice in two sets in the round robin, I think they were a little over confident. Then when they were down by quite a few points they became nervous and started to scramble. They needed to be aggressive and trust each other.”The Bombers found the groove that helped the team win the round robin of the tournament in the third game. The LVR juniors came out with a 15-8 win when middle Bailey Stefani put away the match with a solid hit. “What an amazing finish to the weekend,” said Kidd.“The girls came together and worked as a team, not an easy task when you’re down a few points. They listened to us and to each other, they trusted each other and dug in to fight for each and every point to finish the match.”[Assistant coach] Megan [Rushton] and I are so proud of the determination shown by each of the girls.”The Junior Bombers will now travel to Nakusp on Thursday for a play day.last_img read more

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Cape Town: Third-best city on the Lonely Planet

first_imgThe Victoria & Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa, is widely regarded as the most successful Waterfront development in the world, and offers residents and visitors a lifestyle and entertainment hub.(Image: Rodger Bosch, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com)Luxury apartments facing onto one of the city’s best beaches in Clifton, one of Cape Town’s most affluent suburbs.(Image: Jeffrey Barbee, MediaClubSouthAfrica.com)MEDIA CONTACT• Hayley van der WoudeClearing House CoordinatorIntegrated Strategic Communication and Branding DepartmentCity of Cape Town+27 21 400 5175Melissa Jane CookSouth Africa’s Cape Town has just been named the third best city in the world.The list, published in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 guide released this week, is headed by Paris and Trinidad. Cape Town, in third position, is ahead of global centres such as Zurich, Shanghai, Chicago and Auckland.“There’s never a bad time to visit Cape Town,” says Lonely Planet.“In recent years the city has received a deluge of accolades paying homage to its undeniable natural beauty. This year the city is destined to get even prettier as it takes on the title of World Design Capital for 12 inspirational months.”The World Design Capital project identifies and rewards cities that use design to foster social, economic and cultural development.The guide adds, “Expect sculpture-lined green spaces, sustainable projects, and further regeneration of former industrial districts such as Woodstock and The Fringe, now the stamping ground of trendy shoppers and gourmands.”Cape Town’s design ethicAccording to the Cape Town Partnerships website, two World Design Capital project representatives; the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design’s secretary, General Dilki de Silva, and its only African executive board member, Cape Town’s Mugendi M’Rithaa, were very enthusiastic about design’s role in Cape Town and on the continent.“The first challenge is around the understanding of the term design. What the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) has done through World Design Capital is to introduce a more nuanced understanding of design – beyond products. It’s now about how design can affect the economic, social, cultural and environmental quality of life for people. In terms of Africa, the regions are acknowledging and understanding design at a varied pace.“For instance; apartheid was a bad design that excluded people and we are using our World Design Capital designation to address these systemic design issues. So look at housing; 29% of South Africans live in slums, but in Sierra Leone this figure is 95%, in Nairobi it’s more like 42%. Suddenly, challenges faced by Cape Town are replicated elsewhere, with similar dynamics – maybe even more daunting ones – but the courage with which Cape Town engages these issues will have a very powerful catalytic effect on the way other cities see design as an agency for social change,” they say.The International Council of Societies of Industrial Design is a non-profit organisation that protects and promotes the industrial design profession.Deserved honours“Lonely Planet says that the reasons for selecting certain destinations vary; 2014 ‘marks the 20th anniversary of South African democracy – honour it by exploring the city’s history’,” reads a statement from the City of Cape Town.There has been great excitement around the honours Cape Town has received this year. The World Travel Awards – the “Oscars of the travel industry” – honoured the city as Africa’s Leading Destination and Africa’s Leading Meetings and Conference Destination at an awards ceremony in Kenya earlier this month.The Taj Hotel in the city centre took the honours for Africa’s Leading Hotel Residence.In the 2013 Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards, Cape Town was listed in the top 10 cities in Africa and the Middle East and was ranked 11th in the Condé Nast Top 25 cities in the world. Some80 000 readers cast 1.3-million votes in the poll.“The city is constantly building skills and improving opportunities in the tourism sector for up-and-coming entrepreneurs, which forms part of this administration’s vision to create an Opportunity City which will benefit all our people,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, Councillor Grant Pascoe.This cosmopolitan peninsula at the tip of Africa, boasting a Mediterranean climate, is a diverse melting pot of 11 official languages, and cultures and religions. Its natural beauty makes it one of the most attractive cities in the world, in fact, the third best city in the world.Lonely Planet’s Top 10 cities1. Paris, France2. Trinidad, Cuba3. Cape Town, South Africa4. Riga, Latvia5. Zurich, Switzerland6. Shanghai, China7. Vancouver, Canada8. Chicago, USA9. Adelaide, Australia10. Auckland, New Zealandlast_img read more

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Michael Emenalo’s exit leaves Chelsea board without a crucial safety net

first_img Barney Ronay at Stamford Bridge Share on LinkedIn comment Share on Facebook Share via Email Michael Emenalo quits as Chelsea technical director in blow to Roman Abramovich Topics Antonio Conte Perhaps all the abuse ground him down in the end. Emenalo has three young children, boys of 11, nine and seven, and the last decade must have drained him. “It is entirely my decision and it has come about for very simple reasons,” he told Chelsea TV. “I need an opportunity to get to see my young kids grow and also to step back and reflect on the work I have done here. This is not a knee-jerk decision. It has been on my mind and it has been thoroughly discussed among friends and colleagues. At my age and after 10 years of demanding and gruelling and all-encompassing work, [this] is very necessary.”It was also appropriate in the timing. England’s senior squad joined up at St George’s Park on Monday with its Chelsea representatives, Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, both young players of considerable promise on Emenalo’s list of loanees. He would point to their progress as evidence that the plan instigated over the last six years is reaping rewards, with a glance at the significant contingent of Chelsea players in England’s hugely successful junior teams an indication that there is plenty more to come. He certainly helped make the whole process self-sustainable.Maligned as he was from the outside, those within the club truly valued Emenalo. Those tributes may just have been heartfelt after all. The outside world will be drawn to the interview given to the club’s internal television channel back in December 2015 when he pointed to “palpable discord” between manager and players as justification for José Mourinho’s dismissal, and never mentioned the Portuguese by name. That was toeing the party line in the extreme, yet most around the club were startled that a figure who has generally shied from the limelight should offer such an explosive soundbite. It did not seem to be his style.He was also a lightning rod. A disgruntled support poured their scorn on him over that interview and the show of disrespect for Mourinho at a time when their own frustrations were being taken out on underachieving players. They had been just as aghast when he replaced Ray Wilkins as an assistant under Carlo Ancelotti back in the Italian’s “difficult moment” in the autumn of 2010, pointing to Emenalo’s patchy and unspectacular coaching career. When transfers failed to materialise, Lukaku joined Manchester United or Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had second thoughts, it was invariably Emenalo who bore the brunt. He may have played a part in those failures, or the purchase of other players who have not made the grade, but he invariably drew the bulk of the criticism. Now the board’s safety net has gone. Share on Twitter Read morecenter_img Reuse this content Cesc Fàbregas keeps calm amid the chaos to steer Chelsea towards a worthy win Read more Share on Pinterest This club have always been prone to political intrigue and power grabs, so it would be easy to raise an eyebrow at the head coach’s eulogy. Conte, after all, had scowled through the summer, firing off text messages seeking updates on transfer business from his Mediterranean beach retreat, apparently livid at the champions’ inability to secure the players on his wishlist, from Alex Sandro to Romelu Lukaku, either early in the window or at all. Recruitment came under the remit of Emenalo and the director, Marina Granovskaia. Now one of those figures has departed, his decision apparently taken when relationships were most strained. Instinct might suggest Conte’s position might, in fact, be bolstered.Yet in the days that follow it may become clearer how Emenalo will actually be missed, in boardroom and dugout alike. Granovskaia has taken on his day-to-day duties until a replacement is found, with figures such as Eddie Newton, the loan technical coach, and Scott McLachlan, head of international scouting, reporting directly to her while a potentially busy January window edges ever closer. The workload is onerous. Conte, meanwhile, will hardly be able to persuade Roman Abramovich to appoint one of his own associates as a replacement and, in many ways, he would look to have lost an ally in Emenalo.There may have been flashpoints over the summer but, despite the head coach blanking his technical director on the touchline on Sunday as he departed the pitch still pumped up and punching the air in triumph, the tension had apparently eased in that relationship. Emenalo had been generally supportive as the frustration simmered behind the scenes over a title defence Conte has regularly described as in a state of “emergency”. The 52-year-old clearly offered some stability over a decade where upheaval has been common but he also provided an element of calm in an emotive boardroom. When others in the hierarchy might be railing – say, perhaps, when it comes to a manager under pressure – he would be the one arguing for patience, for a pause for breath, for simple common sense. It was easy to lapse into cynicism glancing at the statement, published on Chelsea’s website, that announced Michael Emenalo’s decision to stand down. The quotes detailed regret, board and owner having attempted to persuade him to stay, with the penultimate paragraph drawn from Antonio Conte. “I am very sorry to see Michael leave,” said the Italian, who expressed thanks for all the support offered up by the technical director since arriving at the club. “I have enjoyed working with him very much.” Share on WhatsApp Premier League Share on Messenger Chelsealast_img read more

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Jamaica to Host Bamboo Symposium from November 27-28

first_img Cabinet has given approval for the hosting of the first Caribbean International Bamboo Symposium at the Jamaica Conference Centre on November 27 and 28, 2018. Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, made the announcement during the post-Cabinet press briefing held at Jamaica House on Wednesday (August 29). Cabinet has given approval for the hosting of the first Caribbean International Bamboo Symposium at the Jamaica Conference Centre on November 27 and 28, 2018.Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, made the announcement during the post-Cabinet press briefing held at Jamaica House on Wednesday (August 29).He stated that Cabinet has taken note that bamboo, one of the world’s fastest growing plants and a rapidly renewing source of fibre, is recognised as a multiple-purpose non-timber forest resource and is observed as supportive of value chains across the world, worth approximately US$60 million per year.Mr. Reid informed that Jamaica and Suriname are members of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), an intergovernmental organisation dedicated to promoting the benefits to users and producers of bamboo and rattan within the context of a sustainable resource base.He said Jamaica became Chair of the INBAR council of 43 member states in 2015 and, subsequently, under Jamaica’s leadership, INBAR began formulating a proposal to host this regional symposium to initiate a region-wide programme for bamboo in the Caribbean.“This is noted as a timely meeting to explore packaging means, especially in light of recent conversations to ban styrofoam and plastic,” Senator Reid added.center_img Story Highlightslast_img read more

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Go Backstage With Beyonce For Charity

first_imgHave you got style like Beyoncé? A new online auction is giving you the chance to see what it’s like to work backstage on the biggest show of the year—The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour!Beyoncé invites you backstage as a VIP on her style team. You’ll be a part of the Mrs. Carter Show as you spend time with the Creative Director of Wardrobe, Tina Knowles. See a major tour from behind the scenes, meet Beyoncé and take your 2 VIP seats for this year’s biggest show!• Winner and their guest will spend time behind the scenes on July 29 in Washington, DC as part of the Tina Knowles’ Styling Team on the North American leg of the Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, 2013. • Winner and their guest will have a meet and greet with Beyoncé, as well as a photo opportunity back stage. • Have lunch with award-winning designer, Tina Knowles! • Take a tour of the wardrobe rooms and get an insider’s perspective to learn what goes into designing all the incredible costumes and show-stopping stage looks! • After your guided tour, you can sit back and experience the show with two VIP tickets. • Receive a Mrs. Carter Show World Tour “gift bag” filled with music, tour memorabilia and some of Beyoncé’s favorite things to have while she is on the road.Proceeds from the auction will benefit Miss A Meal. With economic downtimes increasing and the unemployment becoming the norm for so many people, iconic entertainer and performer Beyoncé along with her mom, award-winning fashion designer Tina Knowles and entertainers Solange Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams have all joined forces with Bread of Life, Inc. the Houston-based non-profit organization founded by Rudy and Juanita Rasmus, to fight for the needs of the less fortunate with a fundraising campaign they call Miss A Meal.The auction is open until July 11, and can be accessed via CharityBuzz.com.last_img read more

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Highway 40 closed south of Grande Prairie

first_imgRCMP are advising motorists travelling in the area to expect delays as all lanes of travel are closed.  Please consider choosing an alternate route.No further details are available at this time. UPDATE – Following a motor vehicle collision on Highway 40, North of the Wapiti River, RCMP can advise that all lanes of travel are open.  RCMP Continue to investigate. All possible factors related to this collision are being considered, and the collision remains under investigation.GRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B – Rural RCMP and emergency services are currently on scene at a serious collision.The collision took place in the area of Highway 40, directly north of the Wapiti River. All lanes of traffic are currently closed.last_img read more

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Game of Thrones stars crash Harington’s SNL monologue

first_imgLos Angeles: ‘Game of Thrones’ stars Emilia Clarke and John Bradley crashed Kit Harington’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ monologue and demanded spoilers about the final season from him. ‘Game of Thrones’ star Harington hosted an episode of ‘Saturday Night Live’ on April 6 and had to field questions during his monologue about “who wins ‘Game of Thrones’. Some of those questions came from his own co-stars Clarke and Bradley as well as his real-life wife Rose Leslie, reports variety.com. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: PriyankaClarke stood up in the audience and asked if he could at least share “a sense of how it ends”. When Harington pointed out that she already knows because she is in the show, she replied: “Well yeah but I forgot. It’s been so damn long since the last season, plus a lot of my scenes are talking to a dragon, which is just a tennis ball on a green pole. I have no idea what’s actually happening.” Bradley then stood up to ask what happened to his character, Samwell Tarly, because “they only let me see two pages of the script and all my character says is, ‘Arhhhh’.” “What did it say in the script before that?” Harington asked. “Dragon opens mouth,” Bradley replied. Season 8 will premiere internationally on April 14.last_img read more

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