Turkey’s Syrian gamble
Turkey sent tanks into Syria on Wednesday, as part of a major offensive ostensibly against Isis – but also to contain Syrian Kurds. The move follows a recent coup attempt against President Erdogan and a deadly terrorist attack in the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep. Andrew England, the FT’s Middle East editor, speaks with Turkey correspondent Mehul Srivastava and former Turkey correspondent Daniel Dombey.
Donald Trump will have an unusual special guest on stage tonight when he holds a campaign rally in Jackson, Mississippi: Nigel Farage, the former leader of the UK Independence Party who along with Boris Johnson spearheaded the populist movement in Britain that led to Brexit. Read more
Hillary Clinton was on late-night television on Tuesday having her pulse checked by chat show host Jimmy Kimmel, as well as forcing open a jar of pickles.
The gags on ABC television were a response to mutterings about Clinton’s health by allies of Donald Trump including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Earlier this month Trump himself asserted that Clinton “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on Isis”. Read more
By Gideon Rachman
Two of the great political parties in the west — the Republicans in the US and Labour in the UK — are in a state of near collapse. That, in turn, threatens the health of democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.
Do you hear that leaky faucet? That’s the sound of the never-ending Hillary Clinton email saga, which 77 days out from Election Day continues to bring new revelations.
Today, Judicial Watch, the conservative legal group, revealed that Clinton and her lawyers had failed to release almost 15,000 work-related emails to the FBI. The State department now has one month to appraise those emails, after which it and Judicial Watch must set a timeline for them to be released. Read more
Another one bites the dust. Two months after firing his first campaign manager and two days after reshuffling his senior team, Donald Trump revealed on Friday morning that Paul Manafort, his campaign chairman who had been running the whole operation, had resigned. But was the departure a resignation? The evidence is unclear but suggests otherwise.
Exhibit A: On Wednesday morning, Manafort told me he was “staying” when I asked if the revamp meant he was out. Read more
Russia and Ukraine: a new crisis?
Russia has been back in the spotlight recently, after President Putin replaced his long-standing chief of staff Sergei Ivanov. Meanwhile, tensions have mounted in eastern Ukraine, prompting fears of a new Russian offensive. Russia is still heavily involved in Syria. Is a new crisis building? Gideon Rachman speaks with Kathrin Hille, the FT’s Moscow bureau chief, and Neil Buckley, Eastern Europe editor.
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Brazilians like to shrug off the country’s woes by saying that as long as they have football and carnival, everything is fine, or “tudo certo”. Now they have another reason to rejoice: US Olympic swimmers accused of allegedly fabricating a robbery in Rio de Janeiro. They may face charges for lying to officials. Read more
Theresa May, the UK prime minister, says that “Brexit means Brexit”. But when will it actually happen?
The whole question of the timing of Britain’s departure from the EU is now open to question. Britain has still not triggered Article 50, which gives formal notification that the UK intends to leave and fires the starting gun for negotiations. The Sunday Times claimed recently that Article 50 may not be triggered until late next year because of a mixture of administrative chaos in the UK and political uncertainty caused by elections in France and Germany in 2017.
Given that it will then probably take a minimum of two years to negotiate the divorce, that would mean that Britain’s exit from the EU would not happen until the end of 2019. Over at the Independent, however, Andrew Grice makes the case that delaying Brexit this long is not politically feasible. Read more
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One day after Donald Trump’s major campaign reshuffle, there is some more big news: for the first time since the general election began, Trump’s campaign is starting to air TV ads in crucial swing states, a sign that Trump is at least in some ways starting to play by the traditional campaign playbook.
On Thursday the Trump campaign started airing ads on TV networks in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and soon will begin airing ads in Virginia as well.
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Donald Trump has overhauled his campaign for the second time in two months as he falls further behind Hillary Clinton in the polls. In a move that surprised many people, he tapped Stephen Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker who runs the conservative anti-establishment Breitbart News to be chief executive of his campaign. He also promoted Kellyanne Conway, a veteran pollster, to campaign manager.
Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, told the Financial Times that he would remain in place, but some saw the changes as reducing the influence of the man who was tasked at building bridges between Trump and the Republican establishment.
A fixture of the Donald Trump rally during the Republican primary was the candidate reading out the many polls that showed him ahead in state after state.
A pair of swing state polls out Tuesday, however, illustrated why Trump no longer spends too much time on the stump dwelling on the horse race. A Washington Post poll of Virginia found him trailing Hillary Clinton by 14 points among registered voters, while a Monmouth University poll of Florida showed Clinton with a nine-point lead. Read more
Donald Trump has made his affinity for both Russia and foreign dictators well known throughout the campaign, so perhaps it was inevitable that someone tied the two together.
Leave it to Joe Biden, who made his debut campaigning for Hillary Clinton on Monday, to make the connection. In a speech in his hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania, the vice president lambasted Trump’s national security ideas as “not only profoundly wrong, they’re very dangerous and they’re very un-American”. Read more
By Gideon Rachman
Australians of a nervous disposition should probably avoid reading the Chinese press and social media at the moment. A combination of tensions over the South China Sea and the Olympics has made Australia the target of wild invective by Chinese nationalists.
One topic that I am following closely at the moment is the resurgence of Chinese nationalism and the growing nervousness of the country’s neighbours. This piece by the BBC’s Carrie Gracie on Chinese nationalism and the Olympics gives a broader insight into the country’s growing victim mentality.
The FT’s Jamil Anderlini wrote about the rising tide of Chinese nationalism in one of the best and most chilling pieces to appear in the paper this week. Read more
Donald Trump ended another turbulent week sarcastically. Yesterday we covered the Republican’s out-there statement that Barack Obama was the “founder of Isis”, an unambiguous claim that he repeated multiple times while turning down invitations to retract or revise it. But today he said we shouldn’t have taken it so seriously after all. “They don’t get sarcasm?” he tweeted of CNN (and the rest of us) who covered it.
Aside from Trump’s ability to dominate a day’s news cycle, the episode also highlighted a couple of other things. One is what Newt Gingrich, a steadfast Trump ally, described as the imprecision of his language. “He sometimes uses three words when he needs 10,” Gingrich said, exasperatedly. The other is that Mr Trump is ramping up the time he spends bashing the media. Reporters like myself have been getting emails from the campaign highlighting a daily “media bias offender”. Read more
It’s possible to become inured to Donald Trump’s outlandish statements. Trump perhaps knows that the bar for attention is gradually rising, but he has made a huge splash with his latest effort – a claim that Barack Obama is “the founder of Isis”.
Yes, that’s as barefaced as it came. Trump did not mean to say Obama was an “enabler” of Isis, or that he created the messy environment from which Isis emerged. He meant to say what he said: Obama founded Isis. Read more
This week, Donald Trump gave a major speech on the economy and Hillary Clinton fired back. While Trump attempted to appeal to a more traditional Republican base with many of his proposed policies, how is his trade protectionism being received? And is Clinton tacking to the left or heading for the centre ground? Gideon Rachman puts the questions to Shawn Donnan, the FT’s World Trade editor and Sam Fleming, US economics editor.
Donald Trump spent Wednesday campaigning, traversing from the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Virginia’s Abingdon, to a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where polls show him locked in a tight race with Hillary Clinton.
Back at his Manhattan headquarters, however, someone was doing a little traversing of their own. For most of Wednesday afternoon, camera crews trained their lenses on a spandex-clad climber who has been scaling Trump Tower using suction cups. The second cupping controversy of the week ended with the man being hauled in through a window by police officers. It was a distraction from the other campaign news of the day, which centered on the fall-out over Trump’s Tuesday comment about Second Amendment supporters stopping Clinton from nominating liberal justices to the Supreme Court. Read more
On Monday, Donald Trump read an economic policy speech from a teleprompter in an effort to reset his troubled candidacy and show that he has the discipline to run for president.
Today, he said this, about how rival Hillary Clinton’s nomination of judges to the Supreme Court would threaten the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right to bear arms: Read more