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Going into Sunday's elections in Bavaria, Katharina Schulze and her Green party are posed for historic results. If they do as well as the polls suggest, she and her fellow party leader, Ludwig Hartmann, could become the kingmakers of Bavarian politics. Her party has been able to tap into deep political unease felt by many mainstream voters partly because she comes from the centrist side of the Green party and has always been willing to make pragmatic choices, Tobias Buck writes in a profile.

Just 33, she rose to prominence as spokeswoman for the successful grassroots campaign against Munich’s bid to host the Winter Olympics in 2022. She also helps the party by being personally appealing — she likes to wear dirndls on the campaign trail and draws plaudits for her enthusiasm. “She is the very opposite of a grouchy Green,” says said Ursula Münch, director of the academy for political education in Tutzing, Bavaria.

Sophia Gaston tackles the complex battle between feminist and transgender activists over access to single sex spaces in this age of gender fluidity.

Harry Robertson, our Opinion section intern, pens a defense of drinking in the wake of news that many of his under-25 compatriots are abstaining from booze.

Graham Allison takes a hard look at US vice-president Mike Pence's declaration that American is in a second cold war with China. He asks, can the US create a correlation of forces that can tame China and if the US leads will anyone follow. 

Ruth Lea argues that the British economy remains remarkably resilient, despite the uncertainties arising from the Brexit negotiations.

Best of the week

Democrats need their own Mitch McConnell— Janan Ganesh

Climate catastrophe warnings were greeted with global silence— Anjana Ahuja

A second Brexit poll is a bigger risk than leaving— Robert Shrimsley

Jair Bolsonaro and the return of strongman rule— Gideon Rachman

Twitter apologies that really would have gone viral— Henry Mance

Nicotine is a healthier habit than tobacco— John Gapper

Pret has mishandled the food allergy issue— Brooke Masters

Khashoggi disappearance spotlights rising repression— Roula Khalaf

Dodgy data makes it hard to judge Modi on jobs— Amy Kazmin

What you've been saying

Credit the British public as capable of sober reassessment: letter from Patrick O’Brien, Capel Seion, Aberystwyth, UK

Robert Shrimsley, in “A second Brexit poll is a bigger risk than leaving”, says that advocates of a second referendum “do not believe in a new vote; just in a new answer”, and that such is “entirely a device to stop Brexit”. If that is what they believe, it would be completely beside the point. A second vote would simply be a most necessary opportunity to revise opinions in the light of information, and of economic projections, that have, entirely unsurprisingly, emerged since June 2016.

In response to “Investors must heed warnings about a splintering of the internet”, internetMan says:

This is not a bold prediction but rather very much the current status quo. Western internet companies have been essentially blocked from China. We have already splintered.

We have not shed the shackles of the last crisis: letter from Stephen Butcher, Hambleton, Rutland, UK

Martin Wolf overlooks one vital point: namely that we have not shed ourselves of the shackles of the last one. Bank capital requirements have been increased and adhered to, but partially as a function of the reduction in risk-weighted assets. Banks are not likely to fail as they have cleverly shifted their credit risk to the saver by refinancing a so-called wall of leveraged loans in the bond market. It is the saver who is now exposed to credit risk, in the form of passively managed exchange traded funds and bond funds that will record negative returns in 2018 and likely far worse in 2019.

Today's opinion

Why do Americans cling to their European heritage?
‘I find nothing about the country harder to explain than the quest for extra-American identities’

FT Alphaville: Markets Live: Friday, 12th October 2018

FT Alphaville: Further Reading

Opinion today: building a new world order
Few think there is now anyway back to multilateralism and a new approach is in order

Lex: BMW/China: Brill seeker
German carmaker gambles with deal to increase stake in Chinese joint venture

The Big Read: Saudi Arabia: a kingdom in the dock
Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance has sparked worldwide anger, accusations and boycott threats against Riyadh

The FT View: The long bull market enters its twilight period
Stocks may bounce again this time, but global headwinds are growing

Fiscal discipline points to calmer weather ahead for the UK
Steady growth is on the cards, but public spending must be kept under control

The US is hunkering down for a new cold war with China
Mike Pence says Beijing has been fighting for years and that America will respond

Lex: China/US trade: stern warning
Container traffic across Pacific surges despite tensions

Lex: JPMorgan/US banks: cash back
Ever larger proportions of profits have been returned to shareholders

Charlie Robertson, advertising planner, 1954-2018
Enthralling Glaswegian whose campaigns redefined cool

Lex: Ashmore/emerging markets: bonding agent
UK-listed fund group performs stoically, so far

Lex: Square/Jack Dorsey: double trouble
Chief should listen to what the market is telling him

Lex: China equity/loans: security breach
Borrowing using shares as collateral is widespread — and cause for concern

Inside London: Douglas Flint will have his work cut out at ‘Staberdeen’
Merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management has not been a winner for shareholders

Where to invest when asset values are shredded
Italy, tech stocks, US midterms and trade tensions combine to spook the markets

Gender fluidity leaves policymakers floundering
Spaces women have forged for themselves are being carved up in the name of inclusion

beyondbrics: China may hit US harder as economic rivalry mounts
Beijing could restrict exports, stoke nationalism and pressure US companies in China

Why America’s favourite adjective is beginning to grate
From the Great Depression to the Great American Novel, the superlative speaks to a competitive spirit

A floor show in London’s King’s Cross
The gardens throughout the Aga Khan Centre refer to Muslim traditions

FT Magazine: Living with a teenage vegetarian
‘On one hand, inhumane levels of animal cruelty; on the other, cheeseburgers’

Free Lunch: Nobel prize for economics rewards the deepest questions
Two laureates show how markets alone lead us astray from the best long-term growth path

The Top Line: Boards must stop spawning zombie CEOs
Bosses who are fired and then stay put are bad for both sides

The FT View: Tourist jaunts into space are not the final frontier
Governments should still be funding unmanned exploration

FT Alphaville: If the Treasury names China a currency manipulator, it's purely political

Ingram Pinn’s illustration of the week: Irish backstop
DUP threaten to withdraw support

Push payment scams — or modern day bank ‘robbery’
Is that text really from your bank? Sometimes it’s impossible to know

Indonesia is showing the way on sustainable growth
Shifting to low carbon industry is good for both the climate and the economy

Undercover Economist: Let’s innovate our way out of climate change disaster
Economic growth does not have to destroy the planet

beyondbrics: Africa’s banks must bank on women
Offering gender-sensitive products would boost incomes and growth

FT Alphaville: Sorry Civil, 'crypto-economics' and 'constitutions' won't save journalism

FT Alphaville: Pakistan's IMF bailout adds to Belt and Road woes

FTfm: Foreigners can no longer underwrite US economic expansion

City Insider: Double knight delight for Douglas Flint
New chair of SLA is to be knighted soon, alongside his footballing hero Kenny Dalglish

FT View

The FT View: The long bull market enters its twilight period
Stocks may bounce again this time, but global headwinds are growing

The FT View: Tourist jaunts into space are not the final frontier
Governments should still be funding unmanned exploration

The Big Read

The Big Read: Saudi Arabia: a kingdom in the dock
Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance has sparked worldwide anger, accusations and boycott threats against Riyadh

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