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March 24, 2014

The new trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past begins by assuring audiences that this is far bigger than your average X-Men sequel. "So many battles waged over the years," says Patrick Stewart's Professor X in the new trailer. "And yet, none of them like this. Are we destined to destroy each other? Or can we change who we are and unite? Is the future truly set?"

It's hard to argue with director Bryan Singer's ambitious vision. Days of Future Past uses a mind-bending time travel storyline to unite the casts from the original X-Men trilogy and the Cold War-era prequel First Class, resulting in a sprawling, star-studded superhero sequel. This new trailer offers glimpses at a number of intriguing elements, including new villain Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), the terrifying Sentinels, and a fraught conversation between Professor X and his younger self (James McAvoy).

Will this massive X-Men story score with audiences? We'll find out when Days of Future Past hits theaters on May 23. --Scott Meslow

10:28 a.m. ET

Some politicians are painters. Others, the muses.

Bernie Sanders evidently falls in the latter category, as an entire pop-up installation of Sanders-themed media has temporarily taken over the famous vacant L.A. fixture, Johnie's Coffee Shop Restaurant:

"We view this as an art piece," said Howard Gold, who was busy on Wednesday afternoon painting and fixing at the former diner. It closed in 2000, but it is still available for film shoots.

The idea, said Mr. Gold, whose family owns the property, is to deck the place in Sanders murals, posters and diner-style logos — the Bernie Sanders chicken bucket faces Wilshire — then open on Thursday for a reception that is expected to draw artists, movie stars and Sanders supporters. [The New York Times]

Anticipated attendees include actresses Shailene Woodley and Frances Fisher, as well as film producer and real-life inspiration for The Big Lebowski, Jeff Dowd. Kii Arens, who has done art for The Who and Radiohead, among other bands, is one of the contributing artists as well as Donny Miller.

See more of the art at The Hollywood Reporter. Jeva Lange

10:22 a.m. ET
Mark Lyons/Getty Images

Donald Trump has reached the required 1,237 delegates to clinch the GOP nomination, according to a count by The Associated Press. Trump was pushed to victory by his win in the Washington state primary on Tuesday, and now has 1,238 delegates; other reports, such as one by CNN on Wednesday, have Trump just short of the required number. Unbound delegates exclusively told the AP they would support Trump, thereby tipping him to victory.

Trump became the presumptive nominee earlier this month after a major win in Indiana when his only remaining competitors chose to suspend their campaigns. Jeva Lange

10:15 a.m. ET
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has a vision for the future of the Republican Party, and he is describing it in language Marxists would recognize.

In an an interview with Bloomberg this week in which he commented that his "views are what everybody else’s views are," Trump answered a question about his plans for the GOP. "Five, 10 years from now — different party," he said. "You’re going to have a workers' party."

"Workers' Party" is a common name worldwide for political groups of a Marxist, socialist, communist, Leninist, Maoist, and/or Trotskyite persuasion. The single governing party of North Korea, for instance, is called the "Workers' Party of Korea." And here in the United States, the Communist Party USA was originally called the "Workers Party of America." Bonnie Kristian

9:19 a.m. ET
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wrestle over the fate of the Democratic Party and their congratulatory calls to one another after primary victories fade to a thing of the past, it can be difficult to remember a time when the two actually liked each other.

Even as some say Sanders risks cleaving the party by staying in the race — with others murmuring that he is threatening to hand the White House to Donald Trump — it was not so long ago when the two candidates considered each other with admiration:

The pair had something of an intellectual rapport. In a photo signed "Hillary Rodham Clinton, 1993," she wrote to Sanders, "Thanks for your commitment to real healthcare access for all Americans." Television footage showed Sanders standing directly over Clinton's left shoulder as she spoke on the topic at Dartmouth College. Even after their campaigns started going in different directions last year, they remained amiable. They ran into each other in the Amtrak Acela waiting room in New York City's Penn Station in June. "Bernie!" Clinton shouted across the room as he walked over to greet her. Sanders said quietly to an aide as they walked away, "Maybe I shouldn't say this, but I like her." [Time]

Still, if Sanders in fact loses to Clinton at the Philadelphia convention, as it appears he likely will, the terms of his surrender could get ugly. "Let's all remember, there is far more that unites us than divides us," Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson told Time — but perhaps these days, that's only wishful thinking. Jeva Lange

9:17 a.m. ET

Elephants, it turns out, really do seem to have exceptionally good memories. So good, in fact, that one elephant at a zoo outside of Seoul, South Korea, is able to recall five of the words his Korean trainers say to him most often — and then repeat them. The 26-year-old elephant, named Koshik, can quite literally emulate human speech, and there's video footage to prove it:

In case you aren't fluent in Korean, Koshik was having a conversation with his trainer in Korean there:

Koshik: "choah" (good)

Trainer: "choah choah annyong" (good good hello) [YouTube]

Koshik is able to say the Korean words for hello, sit down, lie down, good, and no. He does it by putting his trunk inside of his mouth, which The New York Times explains he then uses to "modulate the tone and pitch of the sounds his voice makes, a bit like a person putting his fingers in his mouth to whistle." Korean native speakers say that Koshik's pronunciation is so good that they can "readily understand and transcribe the imitations." Becca Stanek

9:03 a.m. ET
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump's top adviser Paul Manafort says the Trump campaign has good reason for not considering any women or minorities for the position of vice president. "That would be viewed as pandering, I think," Manafort said in an interview with The Huffington Post, ruling out both groups as potential contenders.

Rather than limit its selections to this or that demographic, Manafort said the campaign will focus its attentions on finding "an experienced person to do the part of the job [Trump] doesn't want to do." "He sees himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO," Manafort said.

So does Team Trump have a certain dream veep in mind? Right now, Manafort said, there is a "long list of who that person could be ... and every one of them has major problems."

Head over to The Huffington Post for Manafort's perspective on other aspects of the race — including why his boss is definitely "gonna win," and easily. Becca Stanek

8:11 a.m. ET

Morning Joe host and part-time rocker Joe Scarborough somewhat inexplicably put Donald Trump in the terms of indie rock on Thursday, saying the presumptive Republican nominee would never reach the status of the Montreal band Arcade Fire.

"He's basically playing a gig where he gets 2,500 really intense fans, and they come out, and they scream every night and they think he's the greatest indie band in the world. But he wants to get to the hockey arenas...but he can't ever discipline himself and be Arcade Fire," Scarborough said during his bizarre, somewhat convoluted analogy:

Outspoken Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler, for what it's worth, ironically donned Trump 2016 clothes at a recent concert in Florida. "If you guys wanna move to Canada when Trump gets elected, we'll welcome you with open arms," he told the crowd. Jeva Lange

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