Olympics: Tokyo National Stadium 90% finished, to open in December

TOKYO (REUTERS) – With the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics a little over a year away, the National Stadium, set to be the centrepiece of the Games, is 90 per cent completed and will open its doors for the first time in December.

The media were shown inside the US$1.25 billion (S$1.7 billion) stadium on Wednesday (July 3), 387 days before the opening ceremony will be held at the venue.

The 60,000-capacity stadium, which will also host athletics and football during the Games, was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and aims to embody Japan’s connection with nature.

Wood collected from all of Japan’s 47 prefectures has been used to build the stadium’s iconic slated roof, and the seats, 45,000 of which have been installed, are a mix of green, brown and white to reflect trees growing.

The final preparations are being completed before a public inauguration event on Dec 21.

“The work for this stadium has been going on for three years and we have five months to go,” said National Stadium development director Takeo Takahashi.

“About 90 per cent of the construction work has been completed and, as you can see, almost all the buildings have been completed.

“We are now working on the interior and facility equipment inside the stadium.

“The grass and track have yet to be laid but this is expected to be completed in the next month.

The Olympic Stadium is one of eight new venues to be used at Tokyo 2020, all of which are on schedule for completion.

The Musashino Forest Sports Plaza, a venue to be used at the Games but not built specifically for the Games, was opened in November 2017 while the newly built archery and rowing venues have recently opened.

The canoe slalom venue is set to be unveiled on Saturday while construction continues at the Aquatics Centre, which is 75 per cent complete, the Gymnastics Centre and Ariake Arena, which will host volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

The first apartments are also being completed at the Olympic and Paralympic village, with the organisers saying that 88 to 92 per cent of all residential buildings are finished.

There will be 18,000 beds available at the village during the Olympics, 12,000 of those for athletes, and 8,000 in use during the Paralympics.

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Rebecca Humphries: 'I'm strong, and gaslighting still happened to me'

Strictly Come Dancing began last September in its usual storm of sequins and glitter, as a host of celebrities teamed up with professional dancers in their quest to lift the Glitterball trophy.

But outside of the ballroom, the antics on the show were set to uproot actress Rebecca Humphries’ life.

On 6 October, pictures of comedian Seann Walsh kissing his professional partner Katya Jones – who was married to fellow dancer Neil Jones – were splashed across the national press. Sitting at home was Rebecca, Seann’s girlfriend of over five years. She responded with a now legendary tweet announcing that she had dumped Sean(n), that she was taking custody of their cat, and accusing the comedian of controlling behaviour and gaslighting.

Nine months on, Rebecca is preparing to speak about coercive control at the House of Commons on 3 July.

‘The day that those pictures were all over the newspapers, I was getting phone calls left, right and centre from people who knew me and loved me and wanted to show solidarity,’ Rebecca, 32, told Metro.co.uk. ‘And that was the first time I could speak freely about what had happened in the relationship. I had spent a really, really long time putting up with behaviour and not telling anyone because of fear of it all disappearing. But when it did disappear, I had nothing to lose, so I could talk about it.

‘My best friend, who is an actor and an activist called Sam Swann, I spoke to him about the treatment I had put up with and enabled as well, and he said: “That’s what gaslighting is.” I knew on some level, I think, that my relationship was toxic, but because I didn’t discuss it with anyone, it never felt real. And when Sam said that, I just felt so vindicated by that word, and that there was terminology for my exact situation. It gave me my voice.

‘The amount of people that got in touch with me to say they didn’t know that term existed – my dad, my aunt told me they had no idea it was a word, and if you don’t know the word, how can you know it’s a thing?’

One of the people showing solidarity with Rebecca was campaigner and activist Aisha Ali-Khan.

‘It sort of goes back to that time in October last year, when all of that stuff happened to do with Strictly. A woman called Aisha Ali-Khan, who is a writer and co-organiser of the Women’s March, was incredibly supportive of me from the off – and I haven’t forgotten anybody from that time. When it happened, I was offered interviews and features and spreads, everywhere you could possibly think of, but not only did I feel that everything I had to say, I’d already said within the statement, but also, I didn’t want to misrepresent myself in any way, so I turned all of it down. After quite a traumatic time, I wanted to focus on retraining myself and finding my own voice.

‘Then, Aisha got back in touch with me a couple of weeks ago with this opportunity to speak at the House of Commons. I think I’ve done a lot of work on myself and have spent a lot of time trying to retrain who I am, so I feel really ready to shed light on these sort of things. I feel a responsibility as well – the same responsibility I felt to put the statement out on the first place.’

The talk – chaired by Khalid Mahmood MP and also featuring talks from Afsana Lachaux, Huda Jawad and Peter Manning OBE – is centred around last month’s trial of Salamat Khan, who was found guilty of coercive control after imposing a ‘traditional’ regime on his family after two of his daughters refused to enter arranged marriages.

Two of his other children said they felt like they were ‘living in a prison’. Khan faces prison for inflicting psychological abuse on his family.

While this is a severe case, Rebecca is hoping that by sharing her own story, she can help shed awareness on gaslighting in relationships, and show that the stereotype of an ‘abused woman’ isn’t always correct.

When asked what she hoped would come from speaking out, Rebecca quoted her ‘inspiration’, RuPaul. ‘”The greatest threat facing humanity is unconsciousness.” I really think that if people don’t know what the problem is, how can it possibly be prevented? The more people who stand up and say “this is my experience, this is my story”, the quieter the sound of shame gets. I’m just a normal girl who likes wearing red lipstick and leopard print and singing Celine Dion at karaoke. I’m strong and confident, I like to think I’m intelligent and funny, and it still happened to me. If I can be all of the things that the media and society tells us is not what an abused woman looks like, but I am, the more I should put my hands in the air and wave about that, and hopefully, the more conversations will be had.

‘What I’m saying is nothing new or particularly revolutionary, but I want to be part of the conversation because the conversation needs to be had in schools and supermarket queues and yoga studios. Words like coercive control, gaslighting and emotional manipulation should be commonplace because the more people know about it, the more they know how to recognise it and hopefully, the less it will happen. It’s an idealistic view but sometimes, that’s all we have.’

Following the Strictly storm, Seann, 33, did admit that his behaviour was abusive, and that his ex’s statement influenced his decision to enter therapy.

‘I think that when I first saw that statement, it was so huge and you go through a mixture of emotions and I didn’t really know how to react. But I think with the time that I’ve had, that actually she is right, I think everything she said in that statement is right,’ Seann told Jonathan Ross back in March.

Rebecca Humphries’ full statement on Seann Walsh

‘My name is Rebecca Humphries and I am not a victim.

‘It’s incredibly good of Sean(n) and Katya to apologise in the media. I have received nothing, other than the support of my family, friends and a host of strangers on the internet who all wanted to make sure I was OK.

‘I was alone at home when Sean texted at 10pm saying the two of them were going for one innocent drink. We spoke and I told him, not for the first time, that his actions over the past three weeks had led me to believe something inappropriate was going on. He aggressively, and repeatedly, called me a psycho / nuts / mental. As he has done countless times throughout our relationship when I’ve questioned his inappropriate, hurtful behaviour.

‘But this whole business has served to remind me that I am a strong, capable person who is now free; and no victim. I have a voice and will use it by saying this to any woman out there who deep down feels worthless and trapped with a man they love. Believe in yourself and your instincts. It’s more than lying. It’s controlling.

‘Tell some very close friends who, if they’re anything like my wonderful network, will swoop in and take care of the logistics and of you. It’s important also to recognise that in these situations those who hold power over you are insecure and fragile, and their need for control comes from a place of vulnerability.

‘I think it certainly does in Sean’s case. Despite everything, I hope he gets what he wants from this. I’m not sorry I took the cat though.’

‘At first it’s denial, initially you look at that and you go, “No absolutely not.” But with time, someone that you cared about has written that about you and posted that and I think that actually, yes she was right what she said. And I think if you lie and cheat on the person that you’re meant to care for and be in a relationship with, then that is a form of abuse.’

When speaking about her ex, Rebecca gave a calm and measured response, although is keen to leave Seann behind. ‘It’s a very complex situation and it’s very delicate,’ she said. ‘Seann moving on with his life is no longer any of my business, and I have hope and optimism that he is working on taking responsibility in a way that at the time, it was clear that he hadn’t.’

Nine months after breaking up with the comedian, Rebecca’s focus on reclaiming herself has led to a spate of new projects, including The Trowel – a beauty website set up by Rebecca and her friend Claire as she recovered from her personal life being suddenly made public, which prides itself on pretention-free reviews and advice (or ‘beauty without the BS’).

‘It’s been amazing the amount of people who have taken to it,’ Rebecca told us. ‘It sort of came out of the determination to reclaim myself. I had an amazing friend called Claire who could see an amazing and simple way to do that, was to throw myself into my passion – and the two of us have passion for beauty products. It’s kind of an act of empowerment to focus on something that makes me feel good about myself.

‘We don’t say, “this cream will make you look 10 years younger”, we’re like “this will probably make you feel really great about yourself and that’s what’s most important in an industry built on manipulation”. We do it because we love it, and it’s fun, and it got me through a really difficult time, so it felt natural to do it for other women as well. We pay for these products ourselves, so we’ve got the right to turn around and say it’s money well spent, or it’s money down the drain and you should buy this £5.99 one from Superdrug.’

And as well as continuing The Trowel, Rebecca will be on our screens on BBC Two, as well as working on numerous other projects – some influenced by her experience, but none in the shadow of a comedian ex.

‘I’ve just finished filming a series for BBC Two called Trigonomotery, which is a comedy drama about polyamory, which is a bit of a hot topic. It’s written with a lot of wit and sensitivity, I think it will be a really cool thing. Then there’s loads of projects I’m working on – I’m working on a podcast which is all about challenges and how to take positives from them, as well as writing for a bit.

‘There’s lots going on, but I’m hoping to get a message out there that you can go through your worst nightmare, and come out better for having experienced it.’

You can follow Rebecca on Twitter and Instagram at @beckshumps. Rebecca supports the Women’s Aid 24 Hour National Domestic Violence helpline, which can be contacted at 0808 2000 247.

For more details on the Coercive Control in Families talk, visit the event page.

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Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle at Wimbledon: Duchesses’ first visit together – PICTURED

Kate Middleton, 37, made her first appearance at Wimbledon 2019 yesterday but the question on everyone’s lips is will her sister-in-law Meghan Markle make an appearance this summer.

Last year, the Duchess of Sussex, also 37, joined the Duchess of Cambridge in the royal box to watch the final of the Ladies’ Singles tournament on the Center Court.

A newlywed Meghan, who had married Prince Harry only two months earlier, stepped out in a stylish blue and white ensemble for the prestigious sporting event.

The former Suits actress opted for a blue and white striped blouse with a pair of cream flared trousers for the occasion and carried a white sun hat in her hands.

Wearing her hair in a chic chignon with soft tendrils framing her face, the Duchess donned dark sunglasses to protect her eyes from the July sunshine as she watched her friend Serena Williams play Angelique Kerber in the final.

The record-breaking American tennis player, who has won Wimbledon seven-times in the past, lost out to the German tennis player on the day.

Kate, who is the royal patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club – the club who stage Wimbledon, cut a typically elegant figure in a black and white dress.

The Duchess of Cambridge, who wore her hair in it’s signature bouncy blow-dried style, had recently given birth to her third child Prince Louis, who is now one.

This year, royal fans are eager to see if the two Duchesses will accompany each other to a game at Wimbledon 2019.

New mum Meghan, who gave birth to her first child Archie in May, has attended only two engagements with Prince Harry since welcoming their son into the world.

The royal couple made an appearance at an Invictus Games event on Saturday and joined in the Queen’s annual Trooping the Colour parade at the beginning of June.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are now organising the christening of one-month-old Archie which will take place this weekend at Windsor Castle near their home.

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This ‘Midsommar’ Easter Egg Is Hiding In Plain Sight

Flower crowns, strange rites, and the inescapable midnight sun… traumatized girlfriend Dani (Florence Pugh) has no idea what she’s in for when she crashes a boys’ trip to Sweden in Midsommar, the latest film from Ari Aster, the filmmaker behind Hereditary. Instead of spending their summer break partying and drinking, the gang heads to a remote commune to witness a 90-year solstice ritual. Their friend Pelle’s (Vilhelm Blomgren) people, the Hårga, keep to the ancient ways, including wearing and using runes, the archaic, angular alphabet of early northern Europeans. So what’s the meaning of the runes in Midsommar, and how are the Hårga using them? Spoilers ahead.

Conveniently, one of the Americans, Josh (William Jackson Harper), is an anthropology student studying Scandinavian rituals. His in-depth questions provide context for viewers not steeped in Nordic lore, but it’s still not always clear what he’s talking about. For instance, looking over a rune carving with a Hårga, he guesses "Younger Futhark?" only to be told no, "Elder."

Say what? Turns out there are several runic alphabets spanning lands and time. Two of the most prominent are Elder Futhark, 24 runes used during the 2nd to 8th centuries BCE, and Younger Futhark, a simplified and specifically Scandinavian 16-rune alphabet (good guess, Josh!) used from the 9th-11th centuries BCE. There are plenty of modern misconceptions about runes, and one is how ancient and mysterious they are. For some context, Chinese characters still used today can be traced back to the Shang Dynasty (1200–1050 BC) and were standardized as a writing system in the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC), nearly 2,000 years earlier.

Still, over 1,200 years old is pretty impressive. As for the mysterious part, though "rune" literally comes from the German root run-, meaning "secret," the name just distinguishes it from the Latin letters we still use today. Runes have the same mystery and magic as any alphabet. Rune inscriptions tell us a lot about the life and history of the people who wrote them — and yes, some of them are magic incantations. ᚨᛚᚢ (ALU) was carved on jewelry, runestones, axe shafts and arrows, and while scholars agree it’s an early and common charm word, it literally means "ale" or "intoxicating beverage," so there’s some confusion about what exactly it meant in practice. With the Hårga handing out psychedelic punch to drink at dinner and dances, maybe it is that literal.

Though rune translations have given insight into ancient Nordic people and their daily life, the Midsommar symbols are more likely to confound you than bring about understanding. Every Hårga gets a hand-embroidered outfit with personalized runes, so when Dani receives a dress, I noted the letters she wore, figuring they had deeper import. Here are they:

Great! Except those runes don’t actually exist in any historical language. According to the film’s production notes, Aster went all-in creating Hårga mythology, even developing their own fictional language called Affekt, and a runic alphabet to go along with it. “Every symbol has a unique meaning, and we assigned those meanings to specific characters,” says the filmmaker. “On the costumes you see a combination of the runic alphabet and the Affekt alphabet. As a character grows up in the cult, he or she is assigned a specific rune, which corresponds with their unique background.”

Interestingly the symbols Dani sports are an inversion of , meaning "ride" or "journey," and , a 90-degree turn of "day." It’s almost like the runes are hinting she’s about to embark on a sunny perversion of a healing emotional odyssey. Hmm.

If you’re seeking some happier runic magic in your own life, look no further than your phone or computer’s Bluetooth connection – the logo is a combination of historic Danish and Norwegian King Harald Bluetooth’s rune initials. It’ll likely serve you better than the Hårga’s markings.

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These Photos of John Legend & Chrissy Teigen in Italy with Luna Are So, So Cute!

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen lift their adorable three-year-old daughter Luna into the air while going for a stroll around town on Tuesday afternoon (July 2) in Portofino, Italy.

The longtime couple are currently on a family vacation and they coordinated their outfits that day!

John, 40, and Chrissy, 33, were spotted showing off their hot bodies on a yacht that same day.

FYI: While we normally don’t post paparazzi photos of celebrity children, these photos fall within the guidelines of our No Kids Policy as Chrissy shared them on Instagram.

35+ pictures inside of John Legend and Chrissy Teigen looking so cute with Luna

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Dramatic Love Island teaser shows Amy and Curtis at war after he reveals true feelings

Amy Hart and Curtis Pritchard come to blows during Wednesday’s explosive teaser. 

The pair, who have stuck together since day one, hit the rocks after Curtis revealed his head has been turned when newbie Jourdan Raine walked through the villa doors. 

During her time in Casa Amor, the former air hostess didn’t crack on with any of the new arrivals and also confessed to Molly-Mae that their time apart has made her feelings stronger.

She said “Before I left the Villa, I had started to have an inkling that I might love Curtis.  

“He’s my absolute favourite person and I thought I loved him before I came away but then I thought, I don’t actually know what love is.  

“Do I just really like him? How do you know when it crosses over into love?  Being here and not being able to contact him, not being able to see him has been so gut wrenching for me. I’m like, this is love, 100 per cent.  I never thought it would happen to me.

She continued: “He’s my half boyfriend and my best friend rolled into one. I don’t think I’m going to tell him though, I’m happy with my little secret that I know I love him.”  

Amy’s happiness looks to be on the wane if the new dramatic trailer is anything to go by. 

After learning about Curtis’s wandering eye, no doubt from the girls who were present during his uncomfortable speech, she pulls him to one side to blast him. 

Visiby upset, she shouts in his face: ‘I was coming back here to tell you I love you!” 

Love Island continues on ITV2 at 9pm. 

  • Love Island

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Love Island's Dennon claims Lucie is being used by George to get into the villa

Ex-Love Island star Dennon Lewis thinks George Rains is using Lucie Donlan to get into the main villa.

Dennon was dumped from Casa Amor after Maura Higgins decided to couple up with Marvin Brooks.

He has now given his thoughts on the other islanders, and he thinks Lucie is going to end up heartbroken.

Revealing which pairings he thinks can go the distance, Dennon said: ‘Ovie and Anna would last the distance but it depends whether the public support them in that sense. I could see them being together outside of the show.

‘George and Lucie I don’t think will last. He said to me she’s not his usual type. He’s with her because he was short of options.’

Ouch.

He also admitted that even if he had entered the main villa with Maura, he would have tried to crack on with Amber Gill.

Dennon said: ‘I had the instant attraction to Maura but I would have branched out, especially knowing what’s happened with Amber. I would have got to know her on deeper level.’

It’s a shame that Dennon is out as Amber is needing a shoulder to cry on after learning Michael Griffiths ditched her for Joanna Chimonides.

The couples as they stand, after tonight’s explosive recoupling, are Danny and Jourdan, Anton and Belle, Curtis and Amy, Tommy and Molly-Mae, Lucie and George, Maura and Marvin, Anna and Ovie and Michael and Joanna.

Maria, Nabila, Lavena, Stevie and Dan were all dumped from the island along with Dennon. Amber and Jordan are now the only single islanders in the villa.

Love Island airs daily at 9pm on ITV2.

Got a showbiz story?

If you’ve got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.

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10 Celebs Teamed Up With Amazon to Launch Early Prime Day 2019 Deals

While Amazon is always a mecca of deals and savings, its upcoming Prime Day is expected to be its biggest shopping event of the year with tons of impressive discounts including these new deals on celeb products. 

Kristen Bell, Kobe Bryant, Hilary Duff, Mark Wahlberg, and Jaden Smith are just a few of the stars who have teamed up with Amazon to launch special deals for Prime Day 2019, which is slated to begin on Monday, July 15. With deals on fashion finds, grooming products, food, and electronics, you’ll be able to save on just about everything loved by your favorite athletes, actors, musicians, and more a-listers. 

“Now through Prime Day, members can enjoy exclusive deals and brand new products offered to them by some of the most popular stars such as Mark Wahlberg, Jaden Smith, Kristen Bell and more,” Amazon Prime Vice President Cem Sibay said in a press release. “With incredible deals on top products from pop culture icons across entertainment, fashion, style and food, we’re bringing the best of shopping and entertainment to our members again this year.”

While Amazon’s big day is still weeks away, all of these lead-up Prime Day deals have already started, so you can start saving now. You can shop everything through Amazon’s new star-studded deals shopping page, or check out some of the most exciting deals and products here. And if you’re not a Prime member, don’t fret! You can still score these savings by signing up for a free 30-day trial. 

Amazon Prime’s New Celeb Collaborations:

  • From Hilary Duff: New Cubcoats hoodies for kids
  • From Chanel Iman Shepard and Sterling Shepard: New Levi’s 721 high-rise jeans for her and 501 jeans for him 
  • From Nickelodeon’s JoJo Siwa: New clothes, toys, and accessories

Amazon’s Best Exclusive Deals:

  • Jaden Smith’s JUST Water: Up to 25 percent off select products
  • Kristen Bell’s This Saves Lives snack bars: Up to 20 percent off
  • Kobe Bryant’s Art of Sport deodorants: 20 percent off select products
  • Mark Wahlberg’s Performance Inspired Whey Protein: Up to 20 percent off 50+ products
  • Zac Brown’s DemerBox: 20 percent off
  • Marshmellow’s Stuffed Puffs: 20 percent off 
  • Rhett and Link’s Mythical: Up to 20 percent off select grooming products

These are our favorite offers you can shop right now:

Cubcoats

To celebrate Prime Day, Hilary Duff announced the launch of four new Cubcoats designs — Dayo the Dinosaur, Uki the Unicorn, Light Fury Dragon, Toothless Dragon, which you can shop now. “They’re amazing for airplanes when your kid is cold or when they need a pillow,” she said. “This has saved me so many times!” Prime members can also score 30 percent off select hoodies from the brand now through July 16. 

Buy It! Dayo the Dinosaur, $35; amazon.com, Uki the Unicorn, $35; amazon.com

Levi’s Jeans

NFL player Sterling Shepard and supermodel Chanel Iman Shepard partnered with Levi’s to design and launch two new pairs of jeans for Prime Day. The husband and wife duo reimagined Levi’s 501 for him and high-rise 721 for her both of which are exclusive to Amazon and available for a limited time. 

Buy It! Levi’s Men’s 501 Original Jeans Customized by Sterling Shepard, $68.25–$74.33; amazon.com; Levi’s Women’s 721 High-Rise Jeans Customized by Chanel Iman Shepard, $87.33–$92.74; amazon.com

Art of Sport 

Kobe Bryant’s Art of Sport line features body care products made with fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients like coconut oil and tea tree oil — and for a limited time, Prime members can get tons of popular products for 20 percent off. Save on body wash, aluminum-free deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and much more.

Buy It! Art of Sport 8-Piece Athlete Collection, $36.76 (orig. $45.95); amazon.com

This Saves Lives snack bars

Save up to 20 percent on healthy snacks, like this wild blueberry pistachio granola bar, from Kristen Bell’s This Saves Lives brand now through Prime Day. “They taste good, they’re good for you, and most importantly, every time you buy a bar you provide life-saving food to a child in need,” Kristen said. 

Buy It! This Bar Saves Lives Wild Blueberry Pistachio Granola Bars 12 pack, $19.54 (orig. $24.99); amazon.com

Performance Inspired Nutrition

Save on over 50 popular products from Mark Wahlberg’s all-natural line of sports nutrition products, Performance Inspired Nutrition. His favorite’s include the Explosive Pre-Workout complex and the Ripped Whey Protein, both of which are 20 percent off for Prime members.  

Buy It! Explosive Pre-Workout, $34.41 (orig. $43.01); amazon.com, Ripped Whey Protein $27.34 (orig. $34.18); amazon.com

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Why I'll Never Travel Solo

I love to travel. One of my most beloved perks of working as a freelancer is my ability to pick up my laptop and go wherever I choose, for as long as I choose, while still being able to maintain the same work schedule I have when sitting in my New York City apartment. That said, traveling solo is not something I will ever elect to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read countless articles on the advantages of traveling solo and I’ve listened to so many friends gush about the ways it pushes you outside of your comfort zones, helps you find yourself, and gives you the freedom to experience things you really want to experience. “It will change your life,” some say. Others claim, “You’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought you would.” Many more exclaim it was “the best decision of their life.” Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s OK if you don’t fall into that category. I certainly don’t.

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‘The Walking Dead’ Comic Book Series Is Ending This Week

Robert Kirkman has announced that his beloved comic book series “The Walking Dead,” which served as the inspiration for the smash-hit television series, is ending this week.

The news comes as a surprise to fans as it was never revealed that the end was near for the comics. Issue #193 will be published on Wednesday (July 3) and it ends with a letter to the reader.

“This is the end of The Walking Dead,” Kirkman wrote in the letter (via ComicBook.com). “That’s it… it’s over… we’re done.”

“It just felt wrong and against the very nature of this series not to make the actual end as surprising as all the big deaths… from Shane all the way to Rick,” he added. “I’m upset, too. I’m going to miss it as much as you will, if not more so. It breaks my heart that I had to end it, and we have to move on… but I just love this world too much to stretch things out until it doesn’t live up to what I want it to be.”

“I got to tell my story exactly how I wanted to, for 193 issues, and end it on my terms, with no interference at all along the way… at any point,” Kirkman said. “That’s such a rare thing, and it doesn’t exist without the unyielding support this series got from readers like you.”

The ending of the comic book series is not expected to impact the television series.

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