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With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are making their closing arguments. But they are taking two very different approaches. Read more

The EU’s trade conundrum

Wallonia, a Belgian region, has rejected the proposed Ceta trade deal with Canada, all but torpedoing the agreement for good. What does this mean for the EU’s trade liberalisation agenda, transatlantic trade and the UK’s Brexit negotiations? The FT’s world news editor Ben Hall speaks with Brussels bureau chief Alex Barker and our diplomatic correspondent, Arthur Beesley.

Could the 2016 presidential election, once again come down to Florida? To judge by the two candidates’ travel schedules – it certainly might. Over the past week, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both been campaigning hard in the Sunshine State.

I went to see Trump speak at Orlando-Sanford airport on Tuesday afternoon. Several concerned friends told me to take care at the Trump rally – assuming it would be full of angry, violent racists. As it happens, I did not find the atmosphere particularly threatening. This was partly because the audience was extremely geriatric (see photos). Read more

With only fourteen days until Election Day, it’s only fitting that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have spent the day shadowing each other in Florida, a state that has decided many a presidential election – perhaps even this one. Read more

Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director of the IMF's African Department

Frustration is not an emotion the International Monetary Fund exhibits regularly. It likes to maintain cordial relations with governments to ensure economic growth and prosperity flourish.

But there is no hiding the fund’s waning patience with the commodity exporters of sub-Saharan Africa. Six months ago Antoinette Sayeh, the IMF’s then Africa director, diplomatically described the policy response of many regional governments to the slump in commodity prices as “behind the curve”.

Her successor, Abebe Aemro Selassie, is pulling fewer punches. Read more

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Put simply (but with a massive hedge): probably not. Read more

By Gideon Rachman

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are criss-crossing America in the last frantic weeks of the presidential election campaign. But events will not stand still, while “America decides”. On the other side of the world, the US has just suffered a significant strategic reverse.

Hillary Clinton said Donald Trump was so concerned about her health that he sent a car to take her to a dinner they both attended last night. “Actually it was a hearse,” she joked. Trump said that Clinton had accidentally bumped into him and said: “Pardon me.” He politely replied: “Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.” Read more

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So there’s good news for Republicans running for reelection and, well, democracy : Donald Trump said today that he will “totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election”.

But there’s some bad news, too. He ended that statement with a caveat: “if I win”Read more

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi Announces Interest Rate Decision

The European Central Bank’s governing council has kept interest rates on hold and once again reaffirmed plans to maintain its quantitative easing programme at €80 billion to March 2017 or beyond if needed.

President Mario Draghi SAYS that the next meeting on 8 December “will define the coming months” as he warns the eurozone is subject to “downside risks”. He says there has been no discussion about extending QE beyond next March but that “an abrupt end” to quantitative easing is “unlikely”. He says the governing council had discussed “various options in case we are confronted with a shortage of purchasable bonds in some jurisdictions”

Key points

  • Interest rates are kept on hold in October

  • The ECB’s asset purchase target is unchanged at €80bn per month

  • Draghi signals next meeting in December will be key

  • Draghi says no discussion about extending QE beyond next March

By Mehreen Khan and Gavin Jackson


Republican nominee Donald Trump speaks a

The final US presidential debate was marked by Donald Trump’s refusal to pledge that he would accept the US election result if he loses. In a fierce exchange, Hillary Clinton called her Republican opponent a “puppet” of Russian leader Vladimir Putin. There was everything to fight for: Mrs Clinton led by 7.2 points in the polls ahead of the debate and was on track to get 49.1 per cent of the national vote, based on a two-way race, according to a Real Clear Politics average of recent polls. The FT’s DC bureau delivered the action and reaction, while Patti Waldmeir filmed voters in a Republican stronghold in Wisconsin, and Charles Clover gave the view from Beijing, all curated by US online news editor Emiliya Mychasuk. 

If there is a chance for Donald Trump to turn this race round, tonight is the night.

He will meet Hillary Clinton for the third and final presidential debate in Las Vegas in the midst of perhaps the worst October for any presidential candidate in modern history. Read more

Putin: opportunist or master strategist?

Vladimir Putin has been playing brinkmanship in Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere. Is the Russian president a master strategist or are his moves merely opportunistic? Gideon Rachman discusses the question with Neil Buckley the FT’s East Europe editor.

Barack Obama said this week that he would like to see Matteo Renzi “hang around” as Italian prime minister even if he loses a pivotal constitutional reform referendum in December. Such a scenario would represent a reversal of Mr Renzi’s vow to leave office if he is defeated, but may be reassuring for markets and investors looking for political stability in the eurozone’s third-largest economy. But it might not be that simple. So what are Mr Renzi’s options?

Rexit Read more

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Hillary Clinton may be abiding by the (potentially apocryphal) wisdom of Napoleon: “Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself.”

The Donald Trump campaign is reeling from allegations that the Republican candidate sexually assaulted women – including today’s news that six witnesses are corroborating a People magazine writer’s story, one of many that Trump has denied. A slew of recent polls has shown Clinton extending her lead over the former reality TV star, who has attacked his accusers, including suggesting that some were too unattractive for him to grope. Yesterday he said he could see himself meeting Vladimir Putin before the start of his administration. He also suggested his party’s highest-elected official, Paul Ryan, might not want Trump to win “because maybe he wants to run in four years“.

As a result, Clinton may just have a chance of winning Texas (Texas?!). Read more

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This time next year could die-hard Donald Trump supporters be tuning into Trump TV?

Trump’s inner circle is exploring the possibility according to a big scoop by my colleagues Matt Garrahan and James Fontanella-Khan, who report that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has informally approached a top media industry banker about the prospect of setting up Trump TV after the presidential election in November.

 Read more

By Gideon Rachman

The assault on the Iraqi city of Mosul that began this week underlines the fact that the next three months will be a perilous period in international politics. Fighting is intensifying in the Middle East. Tensions are rising between Russia and the west. And relations between China and its Asian neighbours are getting edgier. All this is happening while the US is diverted by the Trump-Clinton melodrama and the transition to a new president.

At the end of a disastrous week, Donald Trump is doubling down on the put-downs.

The polls are showing the damage wrought by the video of him talking in lewd terms about groping women, followed by accusations from multiple women who said he had assaulted them. With those tumbling numbers in the background, the billionaire’s response on Friday was to ramp up attacks on his accusers. Read more

South Africa’s political turmoil

South Africa has been shaken by news that the country’s respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan is facing fraud charges in what appears to be the latest episode in a power struggle with President Jacob Zuma and his allies. Many suspect the charges are trumped up and designed to give Mr Zuma total control of the levers of power. Ben Hall discusses what happens next with Joseph Cotterill and Andrew England