FirstFT: Today's Top Stories |  Financial Times

FirstFT: Today’s Top Stories | Financial Times

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Democratic officials in key swing states slammed Donald Trump after pledging to initiate a legal challenge before all votes are counted as the US poised for a chaotic election.

Democrats fear Mr Trump is trying to increase his re-election chances by making unsubstantiated claims of election fraud to undermine the outcome if he loses. Mail-in and early polls, which can take days in the major swing states of the Midwest, were more likely to be cast by Democrats in most regions, meaning that breaking the count early could put Democratic candidate Joe Biden at a disadvantage.

Pennsylvania, a major battlefield state where both candidates spent their last day of election campaigning, accepts postal ballot papers that are postmarked by election day and arrive within three days of the election. The Supreme Court recently denied a Republican motion to block this move but did not rule out re-examining the matter.

As the media prepares for a chaotic election night, the Associated Press is a media organization committed to greater transparency in the delivery of results. This is how social media platforms will deal with election day.

On the eve of the election, Mr. Biden leads nationwide with 8.5 points, according to our survey tracker. The US stock market rallied before election day. (FT, NYT, AP)

Subscribe to Swamp Notes, our newsletter on US Politics and Power, today for our post-election special on Wednesday. Don’t miss the FT Guide for Election Night.

Coronavirus digest

In the news

Beijing interviews Jack Ma about Ant’s $ 37 billion initial public offering People’s Bank of China and three other Chinese regulators announced Monday that they had asked Ant founder Jack Ma and two other executives to ask questions ahead of the company’s $ 37 billion public offer. The shares are due to start trading on Thursday. (FT)

Army deployed after the Vienna terrorist attack Austria was rocked by several shootings across Vienna on Monday evening, which the police described as a serious terrorist attack. Police reported multiple injuries and at least one death in incidents across the capital, including an attack outside the city’s main synagogue. (FT)

Miscellaneous cabinet for New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has appointed the most diverse cabinet in New Zealand history. A quarter of the 20 members are made up of indigenous Maori ministers, women holding eight posts, and the nomination of a gay deputy prime minister. (FT)

The new Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta is one of eight women in the cabinet © Getty Images

Fatal attack at the Afghan university Islamic State militants stormed Kabul University on Monday, leaving at least 22 dead and 22 wounded in the second attack on an educational institution in the city in as many weeks. The three armed men were killed by Afghan security forces and US troops after hours of fighting. (AP)

Tory group pushes for China Interference Watchdog Britain should set up a watchdog for “foreign interference” to combat espionage and influence operations in hostile countries like China, according to a report by the Conservative Party’s Sino-British liaison group. (FT)

US earnings are falling far less than Wall Street feared The US third quarter earnings season is less optimistic than Wall Street analysts forecast. Companies, by and large, are reporting less declines in profits and revenue than expected. (FT)

Constitutional conflict in Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will face the Ukrainian Constitutional Court this week on a ruling undermining its anti-corruption policy, which allies and analysts are calling a crucial moment for his presidency. (FT)

Johnny Depp loses high profile libel case The Pirates of the Caribbean Stars lost a defamation lawsuit against Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers for alleging he was a “wifebeater” in what lawyers are calling the libel case of the century. (FT)

Johnny Depp arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in July during the defamation trial. © Leon Neal / Getty Images

the following days

Lam travels to Beijing Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will begin a visit to Beijing Tuesday, where she will meet central government officials to expedite plans for her city’s economic recovery. (SCMP)

© AP

US presidential election It’s finally here. Americans will vote on Tuesday to decide whether Donald Trump or Joe Biden will become President of the United States. There is little doubt among analysts that the worst-case scenario for the markets would be a contentious outcome, leaving some investors with volatility. Here’s what the choice could mean for emerging markets. (FT)

Summary of results The chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer will publish its results for the third quarter. BNP Paribas reports after a positive second quarter. The state-owned oil company Saudi Aramco, which is expected to cut its investments drastically in order to give shareholders the promised dividend, reported on Tuesday together with the German meal set supplier HelloFresh and the car manufacturer Ferrari. (FT)

What else are we reading?

The Chinese economy outperforms the US While Donald Trump and Joe Biden were busy beating up Beijing, the Chinese economy has become the engine of global growth. The irony is striking, writes John Plender. Despite his attacks on democratic norms, Mr Trump is the preferred candidate for some pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong. (FT, Atlantic)

Democracy can fail – in America too Democracy failure is something most Americans thought only happened in foreign countries, but democracies can fail anywhere, he writes Gideon Rachman. Painful lessons from the nation’s own hesitant efforts to “promote democracy” abroad may also apply in the United States. (FT)

© James Ferguson

The global liquidity trap requires a major fiscal response The central banks’ pandemic actions were essential to meet the liquidity needs of businesses and households and to preserve jobs. However, such measures are limited in their ability to stimulate demand. Solvency risks now predominate, he writes Gita Gopinath, Chief economist at the IMF. (FT)

The growing political influence of American Indians Indian-Americans are exerting increasing influence in the elections, he writes Amy Kazmin. About 50,000 to 60,000 Indian immigrants can be naturalized annually for the next ten years, and about 40,000 American-born children of Indian descent come of age each year. (FT)

Trump encourages flood of democratic donations In the 2020 election cycle, more than 13.6 million Americans donated to Democratic candidates and causes through ActBlue, the premier platform for Democratic online donation. Donations totaled more than $ 3.8 billion by the end of September – three times the 2018 cycle and nearly six times the 2016 cycle. (FT)

Christine Lagarde’s first report card The President of the European Central Bank began her position at the Central Bank with the words: “I will be myself and therefore probably different”. Indeed, her tenure to date has broken with the past, even given the extraordinary events that marked her tenure. (Bloomberg)

Console Wars As Microsoft and Sony prepare to unveil the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 this month, both companies are hoping to meet the hype surrounding earlier hardware launches despite the industry’s rapid shift towards users streaming games on their phones. Is the Post-Covid Consumer here to stay? (FT)

Life on board the International Space Station This week is 20 years since the first astronauts reached the International Space Station. While the ISS offers a view that is literally out of this world, it’s also “smelly, noisy, messy, and full of skin cells and crumbs” much like a “terrible shared house.” (The guard)

Video of the day

America’s next housing crisis threatens Trump’s re-election The US editor-in-chief Peter Spiegel travels to Philadelphia to ask if the housing crisis caused by the coronavirus could destroy Donald Trump’s hopes for re-election. (FT)

Video: Why America’s Next Housing Crisis threatens Trump’s re-election

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