Labeling a politician a fascist is not usually helpful. The word is chucked around so much that it has lost most of its explanatory force. As long ago as 1944, George Orwell wrote that – “It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless …I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting … Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek … and I do not know what else.”

And yet, this US presidential election has seen some of America’s most prominent political commentators describe Donald Trump as a fascist. So does the Republican candidate deserve this description? Might America, indeed, be on the brink of electing a fascist as its next president? Read more

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Last night the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, fulfilling the prophecy of the 1989 classic Back to the Future II, in which the idea of the Cubs winning their first championship since 1908 was treated as a sort of preposterous joke (in 2015, as it happens in the flick). Among the other phenomena prophesied: hoverboards, self-lacing shoes, and the rise of a brash, braggadocious, bullying businessman with a straw-coloured combover and a penchant for yelling who uses the profits from his casino to take over the Republican Party. Read more

Tonight, the Cleveland Indians host the Chicago Cubs for Game 7 of the World Series, which will pit a team that hasn’t won a baseball championship in nearly 70 years against one that hasn’t won one in 108 years. Read more

China’s return to strongman rule

Chinese president Xi Jinping was anointed as the “core” leader of the Communist party last week, paving the way for a return to strongman rule. So is China moving towards a more autocratic system? Gideon Rachman discusses the question with the FT’s Beijing correspondent Lucy Hornby, and James Kynge, former bureau chief in the capital.

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There’s just one week left in the most surprising election in recent memory.

Here’s where we’re at: polls are tightening amid a flood of stories that probably would have upended most races. Read more

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When FBI director James Comey sent a letter to congress on Friday, he upended the 2016 race. Read more

By Gideon Rachman

From Moscow to Manila, Beijing to Budapest, Ankara to Delhi, the nationalist “strongman” leader is back in fashion. If the US elects Donald Trump next week, it would be following an international trend, not leading it.

Let’s talk about the recent flooding in Cedar Rapids, said Hillary Clinton on Friday as she stood before a crowd in Iowa. It’s safe to say that most onlookers had another topic on their minds.

With just 11 days to go to the election, the email scandal that has hung like an albatross around the Democratic presidential candidate’s neck was backRead more

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Bill Clinton is widely acknowledged as one of the brightest political minds of his generation. But during Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency this year – and, indeed, during the 2008 primary race – the former president has sometimes proven himself to be a liability (see: his vexing decision to pop onto Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s plane for a half hour amid the probe into his wife’s email server).

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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