FirstFT: Democrats depend on turnout to avoid midterm election rout

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Hello. Democrats raced to rally their voters yesterday in a bid to avoid landslide defeats in Tuesday’s midterm elections, with Republicans holding a slim advantage in the polls, which should be enough for them to regain control of the House of Representatives after four years.

Early voting data indicated high turnout across the country and massive spending on political advertising as both parties made their final pitches to Americans, who will deliver their verdict on Biden’s agenda as well as the call from a Republican party that is still in the thrall of former President Donald Trump.

The Senate majority hangs in the balance and will come down to a handful of hotly contested races, including in Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia. The ruling party in the White House typically loses seats in Congress in its first midterm election. Moreover, this year, Biden and the Democrats face brutally negative ratings on issues ranging from inflation to crime and immigration.

In a series of rallies over the weekend, top Democrats, including Biden and former President Barack Obama, made appearances in states that voted for their party in the last presidential election, a sign of their political vulnerability. Biden campaigned Saturday in Pennsylvania – the state where he grew up – after a visit to Illinois, then flew to New York yesterday for an event with Governor Kathy Hochul, who faces a surprisingly tough challenge from Republican Lee Zeldin.

“This election is about Biden’s agenda. People don’t like high inflation, high crime, open borders, fentanyl, that’s what we’re talking about,” Rick Scott, a Florida senator and chairman of the Republican National Senate Committee, told NBC. Scott was campaigning with Trump yesterday on behalf of Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

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1. Beijing refutes market rumors of a faster end to the zero-Covid policy China’s National Health Commission reiterated the country’s commitment to eliminating Covid-19 at a press conference on Saturday, setting markets for greater volatility as officials warn of a winter flu season” severe and complex”.

2. Sweden distances itself from Kurdish groups to win Turkey’s support for NATO Many Western countries have backed the People’s Protection Units, a Kurdish militia that helped defeat the Isis terror group in Syria, but Sweden’s new centre-right government has said it will distance itself from the group because Turkey sees the militia as a direct threat.

3. Protests in Iran fuel ethnic tensions Mahsa Amini’s death in September after her alleged violation of the Islamic dress code sparked some of the largest and longest-lasting anti-regime protests in Iran. Today, Iran’s hardline politicians fear that a protracted unrest could leave the country vulnerable to threats from ethnic separatists and Islamist insurgents.

4. Japan to sign military pact with UK as allies monitor Chinese threat Japan and the United Kingdom plan to sign a major defense pact in December that will allow the countries to strengthen their cooperation with the United States in the Indo-Pacific. The pact will facilitate joint exercises and logistical cooperation between nations. It will also establish a legal framework to simplify the heavy bureaucratic formalities for the entry of troops into each other’s countries.

5. US oil producers rake in $200 billion from Ukraine war price spike Overall net income for publicly traded oil and gas companies operating in the United States was $200.24 billion for the second and third quarters of the year. The figure marks the most profitable six months ever for the sector and puts it on track for an unprecedented year.

The day ahead

Earnings Ryanair today announces its H1 figures. Lyft is also reporting results today, after announcing major job cuts late last week.

Economic indicators China today released its trade balance figures for the month of October.

Finances in the EU Eurozone finance ministers are meeting today ahead of tomorrow’s meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) of all EU finance ministers.

United States Supreme Court The highest US court will hear arguments in two important cases for regulators: Axon Enterprise v Federal Trade Commission; and Securities and Exchange Commission v Cochran. If the court sided with plaintiffs on the FTC and SEC, it would become easier for parties to challenge enforcement actions in federal court before regulators have concluded internal proceedings.

What else we read

COP27 shines spotlight on Egypt’s rights abuses As the United Nations Climate Change Conference gets under way in Egypt, activists hope to use the event to shine the international spotlight on the country’s dire human rights record, and that Western leaders will seize the opportunity to put pressure on the autocratic rulers of Cairo.

Sanaa al-Seif, left, is joined by climate activists Greta Thunberg and Andreas Magnusson, and Mona Seif, sister of imprisoned blogger Abd El-Fattah

Sanaa al-Seif, left, is joined by climate activists Greta Thunberg and Andreas Magnusson, and Mona Seif, sister of imprisoned blogger Abd El-Fattah © Hollie Adams/Getty Images

How Elon Musk’s ‘war room’ of advisers is transforming Twitter In his first week as owner, the billionaire operated with a cast of trusted lieutenants from a secret “war room” at the company’s headquarters in San Francisco to remove management, begin takedowns of massive jobs and launch new products.

Companies can no longer remain black boxes The opacity makes it difficult for regulators, investors, workers and customers to understand important facts. Today, many new laws in the United States require companies to publish pay scales in job postings. Pay transparency regulations should also force openness in other areas, writes Rana Foroohar.

  • Further reading: For more information on the latest trends in the world of work and careers, sign up for the FT’s Working It newsletter here.

How I Saved Energy and Stopped Worrying About Light Switches As energy conservation becomes a bigger issue, life becomes more complicated. For those struggling with bills (as in much of Europe) or hit by power outages (as in Ukraine), the energy crisis can be overwhelming. For those of us in more privileged positions, this poses a question: we want to do our part, writes Henry Mance, but how far will we go?

The cost of getting South Africa to stop using coal South Africa is one of the most coal-dependent countries in the world, but also one of the most inefficient at turning fossil fuels into economic output. And although rich countries pledged $8.5 billion a year ago to help the country shift away from dirty energy, negotiations are tense.


Series 5 of The crown is a long-awaited salacious portrayal of divorce, tell-all interviews and, uh, toe-sucking. Although for many viewers this is the crescendo the show has built, it has also already sparked a backlash, leading Netflix to add a disclaimer the show is indeed a “fictional drama”. .

Imelda Staunton, center, brings quiet dignity to her role as queen

Imelda Staunton, center, brings quiet dignity to her role as queen

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