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May 13, 2019

Does Avengers: Endgame have what it takes to beat Avatar and become the new highest-grossing film of all time? It might, but doing so won't be easy.

Endgame's worldwide gross is now $2.48 billion, putting it about $300 million behind Avatar, which finished its historic run with $2.78 billion. This comes after Endgame, the second highest-grossing movie in history, took in another $63 million domestically and $102 million internationally in its third weekend, Box Office Mojo reports.

But after a record-breaking debut, Endgame has been slowing down faster than its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War. Domestically, Endgame dropped 57 percent in its third weekend compared to 45 percent for Infinity War. In fact, Endgame and Infinity War made almost the exact same amount of money in the U.S. in their third weekends, even though Endgame opened $100 million higher.

After this decline — which includes a 64 percent drop overseas — Forbes box office analyst Scott Mendelson noted on Sunday that beating Avatar is now "less likely," although "still possible." It will all depend on whether the film continues to experience steep drops like these in the coming weeks or if it can even out.

One of the problems with that, though, is that Endgame will soon face some tough competition that Avatar, which opened in the less crowded December, didn't. This includes Aladdin, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Dark Phoenix, and Men in Black: International, all of which open in the next month or so.

By any measure, Endgame's box office run has already been ridiculously impressive regardless of how things shake out. But it seems at this point that if it does beat Avatar, it will just barely do so, and it will take longer than some analysts thought after that explosive opening. This, it should be noted, doesn't adjust for inflation. In 2019 dollars, Avatar made more than $3 billion worldwide, a mind-blowing figure that could be nearly impossible for any film to reach for years to come. Brendan Morrow

1:30 a.m.

Lija Greenseid, "a rule-abiding Minnesota mom," just led a small caravan of Americas to Canada to buy analog insulin for her 13-year-old daughter, and "she and five other Americans paid about $1,200 for drugs that would have cost them $12,000 in the United States," The Washington Post reports. As other people dealing with Type 1 diabetes and the rapidly rising price of insulin hear about her journeys north of the border, the caravan is growing — the next one will be on a chartered bus.

These drug runs to Canada — where you can buy analog insulin without a prescription, unlike in the U.S. — may be illegal. "But the organizers of the caravan — their word, a nod to the migrants traveling in groups through Mexico to the U.S. border — are speaking out about their trip because they want Americans to see how drug prices push ordinary people to extremes," the Post reports.

Canadians get the caravan reference, too. While many of them were supportive of the American caravan, others expressed concern about the supplies of Canadian insulin. "We heard a lot of comments like, 'Canada needs to put up a wall,'" said caravaner Nicole Smith-Holt. "I was like, 'Oh, come on.'"

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobbying group blamed insurance companies for the cost of insulin, which doubled in the U.S. between 2012 and 2016, saying drug companies are increasingly offering rebates on insulin that aren't reaching patients.

Barry Power, the Canadian Pharmacists Association's director of therapeutic content, told the Post that the caravans and other cross-border drug purchasers haven't yet affected Canada's insulin supply. Canada keeps insulin prices low through a combination of price caps, negotiations with drug manufactures, and other policy, he added. "This is something the U.S. could do." Read more at The Washington Post. Peter Weber

12:32 a.m.

President Trump's re-election campaign is cutting ties with three of its pollsters, several news organizations reported Sunday, the apparent cause being leaked internal poll numbers that showed Trump losing to former Vice President Joe Biden in 15 of the 17 states polled. Those poll numbers have been trickling out for two months, and ABC News and NBC News obtained the full top-line results over the weekend. "While the campaign tested other Democratic presidential candidates against Trump," NBC News reports, "Biden polled the best of the group."

The numbers do look very bad, but Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale called them "ancient" and outdated, repeating Trump's claim that newer polls show him winning everywhere — at least against "defined" Democrats, meaning the pollsters gave respondents their own political descriptions of the Democrats' policies. Trump, who reportedly ordered aides to bury the terrible numbers, told ABC News "those polls don't exist."

The Trump campaign is retaining Tony Fabrizio — the pollster who conducted the leaked March 15-28 poll, and also calls the leaked numbers misleading — and John McLaughlin, Politico reports, and it is getting rid of Brett Lloyd, Mike Baselice, and Adam Geller.

Lloyd heads up the Polling Company, "a firm started by Kellyanne Conway in 1995," Politico notes. "Conway is now a senior White House adviser to Trump and is no longer formally connected to the company." Geller is founder and CEO of National Research Inc. and Baselice founded Baselice & Associates. "There is widespread speculation within the re-election campaign that Geller and Baselice, who still enjoy the confidence of top Trump aides, will join the pro-Trump super PAC," Politico adds. Peter Weber

June 16, 2019

Do you love President Trump and contested land? Consider a move to Trump Heights.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet met in the disputed Golan Heights to dedicate a small settlement, previously known as Bruchim, to Trump. Now called Ramat Trump, or "Trump Heights," the president can't say it's the biggest, most beautiful settlement — only 10 people live there and it's surrounded by land mines — but it does now have a giant sign, trimmed in gold and flanked by U.S. and Israeli flags. The Syrian border is 12 miles away, while the closest Israeli settlement, Kiryat Shmona, is 30 minutes away.

Netanyahu moved fast; it was only in April that he announced he was renaming the outpost in honor of Trump, to thank him for reversing U.S. policy toward the region. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War, and annexed the territory in 1981, a move most governments consider illegal under international law. During Netanyahu's visit to Washington in March, Trump signed an executive order acknowledging the area, home to about 50,000 people, as Israeli territory. Israel said it hopes the name change will encourage more people to move to Ramat Trump. Catherine Garcia

June 16, 2019

Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Sunday vowed to fully investigate the massive electrical failure that plunged Argentina and Uruguay into darkness.

Both countries share an electrical grid, and when the electricity was cut off, tens of millions of people were without power. Parts of Chile and Paraguay were also affected. The lights went out on Sunday morning, and by Sunday evening, officials said more than 80 percent of customers in Argentina and 88 percent in Uruguay had power again.

Gustavo Lopetegui, Argentina's energy minister, said the electrical system is "robust," and while "we're not ruling out any possibility ... we don't think it is down to a cyber attack." Argentine media reports that officials are linking the outage to a failure in the transmission of electricity from a hydroelectric dam, BBC News reports. Catherine Garcia

June 16, 2019

Gary Woodland won the U.S. Open Sunday in Pebble Beach, California, his first major championship.

He was able to defeat Brooks Koepka, the two-time defending champ. Woodland, 35, was in the lead most of Sunday, and shot 2-under-par 69 to finish at 13 under. He started the week ranked No. 25 in the world, with three PGA Tour titles under his belt. Koepka is ranked No. 1 in the world, and was hoping to become the second person to win the U.S. Open three years in a row. Catherine Garcia

June 16, 2019

Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, admitted to misusing state funds, and on Sunday was ordered to pay a $15,000 fine.

Netanyahu took a plea deal, with the charges reduced from fraud to intentionally exploiting another person's error. She will have a criminal record. Her lawyer, Yossi Cohen, claims that his client is innocent, and this was an attempt to bring down her husband.

The case was in court for four years, with Netanyahu accused of spending $100,000 on catering between 2010 and 2013, despite having her own personal chef provided by the state, The Guardian reports. Benjamin Netanyahu is also the focus of several corruption investigations, and Israel's attorney general announced earlier this year that he plans on indicting him. Catherine Garcia

June 16, 2019

In recent weeks, a record number of African migrants have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, fleeing from political persecution and economic hardship.

During one week, Border Patrol agents in Texas' Del Rio sector stopped more than 500 African migrants; only 211 African migrants were detained along the entire southern border during the 2018 fiscal year, The Associated Press reports. Most of the migrants are from the Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, and Cameroon. They fly to South America from Africa, then travel by land to the U.S.-Mexico border, with many seeking asylum at ports of entry.

Migrants from Cameroon have said they fly to Ecuador because there is no visa requirement, and it takes about four months to get from there to Tijuana. While in Panama, they are often robbed, AP reports, and held in camps run by the government.

Over the last several days, 170 asylum seekers were bused to Portland, Maine, where Somali refugees were resettled in the 1990s. Hundreds more are expected to arrive in the near future. Catherine Garcia

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