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March 19, 2014
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HBO's Game of Thrones delivers no shortage of blockbuster action on the small screen — but how much cooler would it be to go to a movie theater for an original adventure in Westeros? Believe it or not, that's not just a green dream: According to author George R.R. Martin, the possibility of a Game of Thrones movie is being "actively discussed."

"It all depends on how long the main series runs," said Martin in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "Do we run for seven years? Do we run for eight? Do we run for 10? The books get bigger and bigger. It might need a feature to tie things up. Something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours. Those dragons get real big, you know."

Martin also teased the possibility of a prequel movie based on his Tales of Dunk and Egg novellas, adding that he has "about a dozen more" stories he plans to write in the series — and, we presume, that long-rumored Hot Pie spinoff. Scott Meslow

12:34 p.m. ET
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Roughly 3.3 million years after ancient humanoids invented the earliest known tools, mankind is on the cusp of perfecting sophisticated self-driving technology that has the potential to revolutionize transportation as we know it.

There is only one problem: kangaroos.

Volvo's new self-driving technology uses a "large animal detection" system to prevent its S90 and XC90 car models from plowing into deer or moose while on the go, the BBC reports. But during tests in Australia, researchers realized the technology is completely befuddled by the hops of kangaroos.

"We've noticed with the kangaroo being in mid-flight when it's in the air, it actually looks like it's further away, then it lands and it looks closer," Volvo Australia's technical manager, David Pickett, told ABC.

To fix the problem, Volvo first needs to "start identifying the roo," Pickett explained. That would make sense, seeing as the company initially developed its large animal detection software by dodging moose in Sweden.

Determined, Volvo has spent the past 18 months in Australia teaching its software not to hit kangaroos. The company needs to get it exactly right, after all, as there are more than 16,000 roo collisions a year in the country, NRMA Insurance reports.

"We identify what a human looks like by how a human walks, because it's not only the one type of human — you've got short people, tall people, people wearing coats," Pickett explained. "The same applies to a roo." Jeva Lange

12:29 p.m. ET
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Just a month after releasing a budget proposing drastic cuts to AIDS treatment programs, President Trump delivered a heartfelt statement on National HIV Testing Day.

Trump in the statement encouraged people to "take the first step — discovery — in fighting" HIV and expressed gratitude for the "concerted efforts to diagnose and treat more and more people," which have allowed Americans with HIV to live "longer, healthier lives than ever before." He vowed his administration would "build upon those improvements and continue supporting domestic and global health programs that prioritize testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS."

However, The New York Times reported in May that the Trump administration has proposed slashing funding for "programs that buy antiretroviral drugs for about 11.5 million people worldwide who are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, by "at least $1.1 billion — nearly a fifth of current funding." The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) estimated that the proposed budget cuts to AIDS programs could "cost more than 1 million lives and orphan more than 300,000 children."

BuzzFeed News reported earlier this month that six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS resigned because they felt Trump "simply does not care" about combating the disease. On Tuesday, Trump said AIDS "has been one of the world's most significant health challenges." Becca Stanek

11:28 a.m. ET

A massive worldwide cyberattack is causing disruptions from Spain to India, with Ukraine the heaviest hit and the apparent initial target, The Independent reports.

The attack is the biggest in Ukraine's history, affecting everything from the banks to the electricity grids and metro. Ukraine's prime minister called the attack "unprecedented," but clarified that "vital systems haven't been affected."

Ukraine has faced a history of cyberattacks or hacking attempts in the past several years. The country has blamed such attacks, including one on its power grid in 2015, on Russia, The Guardian reports. Russia has denied the charges.

Abroad, other companies, including Russia's Rosneft oil company and the Danish shipping company AP Moller-Maersk, have also reported being hacked. Security experts believe the virus is a variant of the "Petya" ransomware and are already likening the attack to the WannaCry ransomware attack in May, which infected an estimated 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries.

Some already fear the Petya attack could be even bigger than the WannaCry attack. Jeva Lange

10:37 a.m. ET
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After Monday's news that Seattle's $15 minimum wage experiment is actually lowering low-wage employees' income, restaurant workers in Maine must be feeling pretty prescient. Their minimum wage saga started back in November, when voters approved a referendum raising their minimum wage from $3.75 an hour in 2016 to $12 by 2024.

The intention was to lessen servers' reliance on tips, a plan that only sounded good to people who aren't servers. Since that vote, restaurant workers have lobbied the state legislature to undo the change, arguing it will mean lower income and preferring to maintain the tips system instead. This month, lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in their favor, and Gov. Paul LePage (R) signed the bill into law late last week.

The servers' stance has them at odds with labor activists who insist tipped wages expose restaurant workers to exploitation. "I don't need to be 'saved' [by activists], and I’ll be damned if small groups of uninformed people are voting on my livelihood," said Sue Vallenza, a Maine bartender who saw her tips decrease after the referendum. "You can't cut someone off at the knees like that."

Similar wage debates are brewing in other states, including Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New York. There too, tipped workers have begun to organize to oppose changes to their pay. Bonnie Kristian

10:20 a.m. ET

On Monday night, a group of Democratic lawmakers sat down on the steps of the U.S. Capitol to talk about Republicans' plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. The impromptu event started with Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) streaming a Facebook Live talk about TrumpCare, and it quickly grew from there.

Democratic Sens. Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), and Bob Casey (Penn.), among others, joined Booker and Lewis on the Capitol steps, as did a crowd of about 20 people. Ben Wikler, the Washington director of progressive public policy group Move On, estimated that by 11 p.m. ET Monday, "hundreds of people" were outside the U.S. Capitol "promising to show up every day this week to fight TrumpCare."

People shared stories about their life-saving health-care experiences, which Wikler tweeted out:

"I don't know if we beat TrumpCare," Wikler wrote. "But I know that tonight gave me hope for a movement that believes health care is a right."

This week, Senate Republicans are pushing to vote on their health-care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated Monday that under the BCRA, an additional 22 million people would be uninsured by 2026 than under the current law, ObamaCare. Becca Stanek

10:12 a.m. ET

After fueling speculation that he might set aside the spray tan forever, Alec Baldwin has confirmed he'll reprise his role as President Trump for Saturday Night Live when the show returns for its 43rd season this fall. "Yeah, we're going to fit that in," he told CNN. "I think people have enjoyed it."

Earlier this year, the actor suggested he might be done with the impression after a single season of SNL. "There's a style the president has to have, and I think the maliciousness of this White House has people very worried," he said in March. "Which is why I'm not going to do it much longer, by the way, the impersonation. I don't know how much more people can take it."

NBC has yet to announce an official SNL premiere date, but in the meantime, here's Baldwin as Trump weighing in on the Russia investigation. Bonnie Kristian

10:08 a.m. ET
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The Supreme Court's nine-month term ended Monday, marking a historic period of time for the judicial branch as the justices set a modern record for reaching consensus. Because the court operated with just eight justices for the majority of its term, the breakdown "probably required having a lot more discussion of some things and more compromise and maybe narrower opinions than we would have issued otherwise," said Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr.

The term had the highest share of unanimous cases ever after 2013, but it also had the highest share of votes in the majority opinion in at least 70 years, The New York Times reports. Additionally, the share of cases decided by a margin of 5-3 or 5-4 was well below the court's average.

"It has been a quiet term, and that is a good thing for the country," said University of Chicago law professor William Baude. "Overall, this year the court was the least dramatic, and most functional, branch of government."

That could soon change. Notably, the 2016-2017 term did not have the same high-profile cases of terms past, like recent gay rights, health care, and abortion rulings. "We got used to the idea that every year the court decides several of the biggest national political issues — six or seven consecutive 'terms of the century' — but this year saw a regression to the mean," said Cato Institute lawyer Ilya Shapiro.

That won't last, though. The court has agreed to hear cases on "a clash between gay rights and claims of religious freedom, constitutional limits on partisan gerrymandering, cell phone privacy, human rights violations by corporations, and the ability of employees to band together to address workplace issues," The New York Times writes.

And that's not to mention the October arguments on President Trump's travel ban. Jeva Lange

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