Chinese President Solidifies Power.
Xi Jinping, current General Secretary of China's Communist Party and the country's president, named the seven members of China's Politburo Standing Committee today - the most powerful committee in the country. While past leaders used the opportunity to install successors, Xi - President since 2012 - did not indicate an heir apparent in a decision that many believe is a move to maintain power beyond the next five years. Chinese leaders generally serve for two five-year periods. The announcement came one day after the broader Communist Party Congress voted to enshrine Xi's philosophy, or "Xi Jinping Thought", into the party's constitution. The addition elevates Xi to a stature equal to Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping, China's two most prominent rulers of the last century.

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake to Step Down after 2018.
Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), announced he will not seek reelection next year saying he felt "out of step" with his party. Flake, the junior senator has occupied the seat since 2013 after serving in the US House for 10 years, and has been a leading Republican critic of President Trump. Early polls showed Flake facing a tough primary challenge from Trump-aligned former state Senator Kelli Ward, followed by a tough general election against likely Democratic candidate and current US Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. Flake joins his fellow establishment Republican Bob Corker (R-TN) - who got in another highly publicized spat with the White House - in announcing their end-of-term resignations.

Heat Wave Breaks West Coast Records.

Capping a summer of dry air and high temperatures, California is ending the month of October with a record heatwave that is sparking brush fires and forcing school closures. Downtown Los Angeles saw temperatures hit 103 degrees yesterday, breaking a nearly 110-year-old record of 99 degrees, while Santa Ana hit 104 degrees, breaking its old record of 98 degrees. The National Weather Service extended an extreme heat advisory for the region through Wednesday - except on the beaches where temperatures are typically 10-15 degrees cooler than inland. The high temperatures combined with strong, dry wind gusts caused spontaneous brush fires, while the triple digit heat made last night's World Series opener between the Dodgers and Astros the hottest on record
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Culture, Entertainment & Sports.

> Robert Guillaume, Benson titular character & Emmy winner, dies at 89 (More)
> Former Fox exec Randy Freer named new Hulu CEO as Mike Hopkins makes move to Sony TV (More)
> LA Dodgers best Houston Astros 3-1 to take Game 1 of World Series (More)

Science & Technology.

> Energy Information Administration projects electric cars to have 8% to 26% market penetration by 2040 (More)
> Anti-aging procedure that kills off non-replicating 'zombie' cells to be tested in humans (More)
> Georgia Tech researchers link efficient brains with daydreaming using MRI scans (More)

Business & Markets.

> Manufacturing giant & general economic bellwether Caterpillar reports 24% Q3 revenue growth, stock surges 6% (More)
> AT&T misses estimates after losing 89k video subscribers, stock down 1.5% in after-hours trading (More)
> Warren Buffett ($2.9B), Melinda & Bill Gates ($2.1B), Michael Bloomberg ($600M) top Forbes Top Givers List (More)

Politics & World Affairs.

> VP Pence casts tie-breaking vote that rolls back rule allowing consumers to sue banks, credit card companies (More)
> Reports say Clinton campaign, Democratic National Committee funded Russia dossier with Trump opposition research (More)
> House Republicans signal they will defer to Senate tax reform package once finished (More)
Divisions within parties are as important as divisions between parties (new data from Pew Research).

Average Americans are giving away less money and it's a big problem.

Take a virtual tour of Mars, thanks to Google and NASA's Curiosity rover.

Chinese scientists use gene editing to make low fat pigs.

Some economists think the medieval 'trial-by-ordeal' wasn't that bad of an idea.

Don't Mind This Doggo: French President Emmanuel Macron's new dog interrupts meeting by urinating in palace fireplace.

Kid Rock is definitely NOT running for US Senate.

Rapper Lil Jon opens an elementary school in Ghana.

Clickbait: Michael Bay - director of Bad Boys, Armageddon, and Transformers - to produce a live-action Dora the Explorer movie.

Historybook: RIP Chaucer (1440); HBD Pablo Picasso (1881); UN expels Taiwan in favor of People’s Republic of China (1971); HBD Katy Perry (1984).
-Pablo Picasso
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