PepsiCo to acquire PopCorners maker for undisclosed sum

Hidden Common Ground: A project to foster productive conversations about difficult issues

Hidden Common Ground, a partnership between USA TODAY and Public Agenda, challenges the narrative of a hopelessly divided America by identifying and reporting on the areas where Americans agree on solutions to politically polarized issues. The project also seeks to foster productive, civil dialogue in communities across the country.

Hidden Common Ground is a partnership among Public Agenda, USA TODAY and IPSOS (Photo: USA TODAY)

Throughout the 2020 election season, Hidden Common Ground will involve public opinion research on major issues, innovative issues reporting and commentary, and community-based conversations and events. The research component focuses on areas of agreement among citizens on solutions to tough issues, such as health care, immigration, climate change and economic opportunity.

Will Frozen 2 Be Bigger Than the Original?

Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) posted another big win at the box office with its most recent movie “Frozen 2.” The original “Frozen” was wildly popular among both children and adults, with its soundtrack recognized around the world. “Frozen 2” looks to capitalize on the success of the original, and so far it’s off to a strong start.

The film set the record for Thanksgiving weekend bringing in $85.3 million in the United States and Canada over the weekend, with a total haul of $132.7 million from Wednesday through Sunday. In the first 10 days of its release, the film has earned $288 million domestically.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” held the previous Thanksgiving weekend record, grossing $109 million back in 2013.

The film made $451 million overseas in the first 10 days, bringing its worldwide total to roughly $739 million. With this trajectory, “Frozen 2” likely will join an elite club, becoming Disney’s sixth movie to gross more than $1 billion globally this year.

The Wall Street Journal said of the film’s holiday performance:

“Frozen 2” helped narrow the gap between cumulative domestic box-office receipts in 2019 and 2018, a bumper year. After the five-day weekend, this year’s total box-office receipts in the U.S. and Canada are behind last year by 5.6%. Before the holiday the deficit stood at 7%, according to media measurement company Comscore.

Duncan Hunter To Plead Guilty In Campaign Finance Case He Called ‘Witch Hunt’

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) appears poised to plead guilty to federal campaign finance charges on Tuesday morning after more than a year of claiming the federal investigation into his spending habits was a “witch hunt.”

The court docket in Hunter’s case indicated on Monday that Hunter has a change of plea hearing set for Tuesday morning, as first reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune. He’ll appear before U.S. District Judge Thomas Whelan, according to the notification. 

Hunter was indicted in August 2018. Months later, he won reelection after launching false, racist attacks against his opponent, who was of Palestinian and Latino descent. 

Hunter’s wife previously pleaded guilty in the campaign finance scheme, admitting that the couple used campaign funds for a wide variety of family expenses, including flying their pet rabbit around. Hunter also used campaign money to fund extramarital affairs, according to federal prosecutors. 

Hunter was one of President Donald Trump’s earliest supporters, and Trump lashed out at former Attorney General Jeff Sessions for allowing Hunter and fellow Trump supporter former Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) to be indicted. Collins pleaded guilty to insider trading in October.

Hunter’s trial had been set to take place early next year.

Aldi’s new New Year countdown calendar goes on sale Wednesday and is expected to sell out

Aldi is releasing a new boozy countdown calendar to cheer in 2020.

On Wednesday, nearly a month after Aldi’s wine and beer Advent calendars sold out, the discount grocer will start selling the Sparkling Wine Countdown to the New Year calendar for $24.99 at participating stores.

The new set includes seven mini bottles of sparkling wine to drink starting Christmas through New Year’s Eve.

Although this isn’t an Advent calendar – which typically has 24 treats and is used to count down the days of Advent, the religious days leading up to Christmas – it’s expected to sell out just as fast as Aldi’s alcohol calendars did in early November. Some locations still have some of the toy and cheese calendars available, according to the Aldi website.

Keep the holiday magic alive: Hide Christmas gifts from porch pirates and snooping family

Christmas shipping deadlines 2019: The last day to send gifts with FedEx, UPS and USPS

PepsiCo to acquire PopCorners maker for undisclosed sum

PepsiCo Inc. PEP, +0.04% said late Monday it plans to buy BFY Brands Inc., which makes PopCorners snacks, for an undisclosed sum. PepsiCo stock was flat in after-hours trading. PepsiCo said BFY Brands will report to the company’s Frito-Lay North America division. "BFY Brands offers distinctive products that deliver the great taste and ingredients consumers are looking for," PepsiCo Chief Executive Steven Williams said in a statement. "Their production capabilities will support the growth of our existing, more-nutritious snack brands." PepsiCo stock has gained 23% this year, as the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.86% rose 24%.