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Trump woos elderly, Covid-19 roils Europe: Weekend Reads

Balance of Power

U.S. President Donald Trump, trailing badly in opinion polls with just over two weeks before the election, is stepping up attempts to woo elderly voters and sharpening his rhetoric against Democratic rival Joe Biden by calling for Biden and his family to be jailed

European leaders are imposing more curbs to fight a resurgence in the coronavirus while trying to avoid the nationwide lockdowns that decimated their economies in the second quarter. 

In New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern led her Labour Party to a commanding victory in today's general election. 

Take a look at these and other major topics from the past seven days in this edition of Weekend Reads.

Karl Maier 

Ardern supporters watch results coming in at the Auckland Town Hall. 

Photographer: Mark Coote/Bloomberg

Click here for this week's most compelling political images. Tell us how we're doing or what we're missing at

Florida Seniors Could Seal Trump's Fate on Election Night
Trump has no realistic path to reelection without winning Florida in the election. Joshua Green explains why the elderly in the state could hold the key to the president's chances of defeating Biden.

Trump's Mideast Friends Eke Out Last Gains and Brace for Biden
Some leaders in the Middle East are trying to capitalize on a uniquely friendly White House before a possible U.S. leadership change. Ivan LevingstonZainab Fattah and Vivian Nereim report that they particularly fear a Biden administration could re-enter the nuclear accord with Iran. 

Graham, speaking at Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, delivered some sober and candid remarks about the elections he and his close ally Trump are facing.

Ardern Storms to Historic Election Victory After Crushing Covid
Ardern said she will use her mandate to rebuild an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic and tackle social inequality. Tracy Withers and Ainsley Thomson write that Ardern, 40, captured the hallowed center ground in New Zealand politics with a blend of empathetic leadership and skilled crisis management that also won her fame abroad

Europe Cracks Down on Virus With Curbs in London and Paris
As infections soar across Europe, the U.K. and France and imposing more curbs on their major cities. As Richard VinesAngelina Rascouet and John Follain explain, European officials are eschewing broad lockdowns in favor of local restrictions targeted mainly at urban virus hot spots.

Brexit Promises Catch Up With Boris Johnson in Covid Hotspots
U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's strategy for dealing with surging infections with localized restrictions has sparked an insurrection in some northern regions. It's also complicated his relationship with the places that propelled him to power on the back of his promises to deliver Brexit and tackle economic inequality, Emily Ashton and Andrew Atkinson report.

Thai Leaders Have No Easy Options to End Anti-Monarchy Protests
Thailand's establishment has dealt with street protests before, but this time it faces a bigger problem, Randy Thanthong-Knight writes. The student-led protest movement doesn't want power for itself — it wants to fundamentally change a political system.

Pro-democracy protesters hold up their phones' flashlights during a demonstration in Bangkok on Oct. 15. 

Photographer: Jack Taylor/AFP via Getty Images

He Was Mexico's Defense Chief. The U.S. Says He's a Drug Dealer
Former Mexican Defense Minister General Salvador Cienfuegos, with his stern visage and ramrod salute, presented the image of a front-line warrior against narcotics traffickers. Now, as Max De Haldevang reports, he's been arrested by the U.S. on charges of being a drug dealer.

Huawei Besieged on New European Front After U.S. Targets Cloud
Chinese tech giant Huawei is already being squeezed out of Europe's vast market for the next generation of telecom equipment. Now, as Helene Fouquet reveals, it's under siege in another fast-growing business: cloud computing.

  • China's top legislative body passed a new law today to restrict sensitive exports to protect national security, helping Beijing gain reciprocity against the U.S. as tech tensions mount.

Amid Fire and Clashes, Chile's Mapuche See Road to Reparations
The indigenous Mapuche people's campaign for compensation for land taken in Chile's timber-producing south has intensified. As Eduardo Thomson explains, Chileans vote this month whether to draft a new constitution, and that could pave the way for reparations.

A Mapuche woman plays a drum as riot police use water cannons to disperse demonstrators in Santiago on Sept. 4.

Photographer: Martin Bernetti/AFP via Getty Images

Economist Shakes Up Guinea's Male-Dominated Leadership Race
Pauline Bax speaks with Makalé Traoré, a 59-year-old economist and head of an umbrella of women's associations who is defying the male domination of Guinea's political scene by vying for the presidency on Sunday against the two men who dominated the past two elections.

And finally ... Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent measures to liberalize farm sales could turn out to be the most far-reaching of his controversial reforms. Atul Prakash and  Pratik Parija explain that three laws passed by parliament may pave the way for India to upend the global food trade, while others fear it will wreck the livelihoods of millions of farmers.

Farmers protest against the agriculture reform bills on the outskirts of Amritsar on Oct. 13.

Photographer: Narinder Nanu/AFP via Getty Images



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