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0 Standing Committee members
China’s new Politburo Standing Committee was revealed on Tuesday, with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang the only two holdovers and five new ministers. Two interesting things to note: First, this is the first time that the Standing Committee has zero members born before the 1949 Communist revolution. Second, there is no obvious successor to Xi among the group. [Reuters]
“Geostorm,” the timeless story of a globe-spanning natural disaster and the attractive man (Gerard Butler) who tried to stop it, tanked at the box office. It hauled in just $14.7 million domestically and $66.8 million worldwide on a budget of $120 million (including $15 million for reshoots). This is a huge disappointment. To begin with, “Geostorm” was initially scheduled for release nearly 20 months ago. Also, its break-even point is upwards of $300 million, which by my calculations is way bigger than $67 million. [The Wrap]
Sen. Jeff Flake announced yesterday that he would not seek re-election. That doesn’t mean a ton for the U.S. Senate race in Arizona in 2018 — at least not yet. It’s still perhaps the Democrats’ best pickup opportunity in the upcoming midterms, although still not a slam dunk. A HighGround Public Affairs survey found likely Democratic nominee Rep. Kyrsten Sinema slightly ahead of potential GOP nominee Kelli Ward, 32 percent to 31 percent, but with 38 percent of respondents still undecided. [FiveThirtyEight]
A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of Boston’s forthcoming mayoral election found that half of respondents had personally met Mayor Marty Walsh. Retail politics still means something up there, it would appear. Which is nice … I’ve never met New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. [The Boston Globe]
With Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, Senate Republicans successfully passed legislation killing a rule that would have allowed Americans to form class-action lawsuits against banks and credit card companies. The rule was created after the 2008 financial crisis to combat arbitration clauses inserted into contracts that prevented people from pooling resources and suing financial institutions in class-action suits. It was set to take effect in 2019. [The New York Times]
247 million hectoliters of wine
Catastrophe: The planet will produce only 247 million hectoliters of wine, one of the better things that Earth manages to make, this year. That’s the lowest production level in more than 50 years, and down 8 percent from last year. Extreme weather in the three nations that produce the most wine is to blame. [BBC]
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