Today marks the end of a long week, but for so many Harry Potter fans out there, it really marks the end of an era. With the release of the final movie in the Potter series, Hollywood’s most successful franchise comes to an end today. Read on for early box-office predictions and other news happening this Friday.
- News International chief executive and head of Murdoch’s British operation, Rebekah Brooks resigned this morning, part of the ongoing aftermath of the phone hacking scandal. There have been allegations of payments to police and allegations that the News of the World may even have hacked into the phones of 9/11 victims. Last Thursday, Brooks announced to the News of the World staff that the paper was being shut down. (UK Guardian)
- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the Obama administration has decided to formally recognize Libya’s main opposition group as the country’s legitimate government. Diplomatic recognition of the council means that the US will be able to fund the opposition with some of the more than $30 billion in Gahdafi-regime assets that are frozen in American banks. (Washington Post)
- President Obama is set to address at a news conference at the White House this morning. He will discuss his negotiations with congressional leaders over raising the national $14.3-trillion borrowing limit and decreasing the deficit. If the borrowing limit is not raised by August 2, the U.S. may have to stop payments on some of its obligations. But talks have stalled over disagreements about the need to raise taxes. (Voice of America)
- The final installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, officially opened in theaters at midnight. Early predictions show that the film will most likely smash box-office records,breaking the $158.4 million opening weekend record of The Dark Night. The final film is also the first 3-D installment in the Potter franchise, which means higher ticket prices. The movie had already made $45 million at the box office by Thursday before the doors even opened. (MTV)
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened at 12,437.12 this morning, and is currently 17.45 points. (MSN Money)