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    François Legault Wins Re-election in Quebec

    Voters in Quebec gave a second term to Premier François Legault, who has shifted the province from a once fervent-independence movement to a nationalism focused on French Québécois identity.MONTREAL — Voters in Quebec overwhelmingly re-elected Premier François Legault to a second term on Monday, embracing his appeals to French Québécois identity in a campaign marked by heated debates over the inflow of immigrants to Canada’s French-speaking province.Mr. Legault’s party, Coalition Avenir Québec, won a majority of seats in the provincial legislature — significantly increasing its share of seats to 93 from 76 — with an agenda that emphasized an identity-based nationalism and pro-business policies, but set aside the long-held separatist goal of turning Quebec into an independent nation, according to preliminary election results after polls closed at 8 p.m.With his victory to another four-year term, Mr. Legault, 65, who co-founded a successful budget airline before entering politics and is known for his pragmatism, continued to reshape Quebec’s political landscape. The two parties that had enjoyed a lock on the province since the 1970s — the federalist, pro-business Liberal Party and the separatist, social democratic Parti Québécois — came in a distant second and fourth respectively.For Canada’s federal government, which is already facing a brewing separatist movement in the oil-rich province of Alberta, the electoral results in Quebec could lead to more demands by Mr. Legault for greater control over immigration policy and other potentially hot-button issues.Mr. Legault’s party won 43 percent of the popular vote, compared with 37 percent in 2018, and 93 seats in the 125-seat National Assembly, according to preliminary results. His support was strongest in the suburban and rural districts that are home to the highest percentage of French Québécois voters, according to polls before the election.In Montreal, the multicultural and ethnically diverse city that has sometimes been a punching bag for Mr. Legault’s allies, his party was expected to come in second place behind the Liberal Party.During the five-week campaign, Mr. Legault accused Montrealers of “looking down’’ on the people of Quebec City, the provincial capital, in one of several comments that, critics and opponents said, were meant to acts as wedges between the French Québécois majority and the province’s English-speaking and other ethnic, racial and religious minorities.Enjoying strong approval ratings thanks to his economic policies and his leadership during the pandemic, Mr. Legault appeared to want to coast to re-election by running a low-key campaign that both the French and English news media described as lackluster.But the polarizing issue of immigration became one of the campaign’s dominant themes, and its most divisive, after Mr. Legault linked immigration to violence and extremism. He apologized for his remarks, but later described increasing immigration as “suicidal” for Quebec’s French identity.Immigration is not a major political issue for much of the rest of Canada, with the federal government planning to significantly increase the number of immigrants allowed into the country over the next few years to fill labor shortages. But in Quebec — the province with the greatest control over immigration policy — the arrival of immigrants is seen as altering the French Québécois’ linguistic and Roman Catholic heritage.Mr. Legault wants to maintain an annual cap of 50,000 immigrants permitted to settle in the province of 8.7 million. With Quebec also facing labor shortages as well as a low birthrate and an aging population, some political opponents and most business groups want that level raised by tens of thousands more.Mr. Legault started his political career in the separatist, social democratic Parti Québécois, which, for decades, led the province’s independence movement. Fighting on behalf of a French-speaking majority that had felt historically oppressed by an economically dominant English-speaking minority, the Parti Québécois identified with liberation movements throughout the world.But even as Mr. Legault has pushed aside the idea of independence, he has tapped into an identity-based nationalism that, critics say, marginalizes the province’s non-French Québécois minorities. In his first term, Mr. Legault’s government has further restricted the use of English and has banned the wearing of religious symbols by some government workers in public places, in a move that, critics say, effectively targeted veiled Muslim women.If Mr. Legault has reshaped Quebec politics, his strong popularity among French Québécois voters has nearly wiped the separatist Parti Québécois off the electoral map. According to preliminary results, it won only two seats in Monday’s election. More

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    Brazil Braces for ‘White-Knuckle Race’ Between Bolsonaro and Lula

    President Jair Bolsonaro had once looked doomed in the country’s high-stakes election. But now, in a runoff, the right-wing incumbent has a path to re-election.RIO DE JANEIRO — In the early morning hours on Monday, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil went to bed vindicated. The night’s election results had shown, just as he had claimed, that the polls had severely underestimated the strength of his right-wing movement.Hours later, he awoke to a new challenge: How to obtain millions more votes in just four weeks?On Oct. 30, Mr. Bolsonaro will face a leftist challenger, the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, in a runoff election to lead Latin America’s largest nation.Now the contest — a matchup between Brazil’s two biggest political heavyweights — could swing either way and promises to prolong what has already been a bruising battle that has polarized the nation and tested the strength of its democracy.“Lula is still the favorite, but you can totally imagine this becoming a Bolsonaro victory,” said Oliver Stuenkel, a Brazilian political scientist. “If you add up all the numbers of the third-party candidates, there are sufficient votes out there.”Mr. da Silva, known universally as Lula, finished first on Sunday with 48.4 percent of the vote, versus 43.2 percent for Mr. Bolsonaro. That put Mr. da Silva about 1.85 million votes shy of the 50 percent he needed for an outright victory in the first round, while Mr. Bolsonaro came up 8 million votes short.What now makes the race unpredictable is that so many other votes appear up for grabs. Nearly 10 million people cast ballots on Sunday for candidates who are now out of the contest, with roughly a third of those votes going to a center-left candidate and two-thirds to center-right candidates. An additional 38 million people cast blank ballots or did not vote.The former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva finished first on Sunday with 48.4 percent of the vote, versus 43.2 percent for Mr. Bolsonaro.Victor Moriyama for The New York TimesAs the campaign enters a second phase, both sides have expressed confidence. Mr. da Silva said he welcomed the opportunity to finally debate Mr. Bolsonaro head-to-head, while Mr. Bolsonaro said he believed his campaign had the momentum and a plan for victory.On Monday, Mr. Bolsonaro was already using the tools of his office to his advantage. He moved up to next week the delivery of $115 checks for low-income Brazilians, part of a monthly welfare program that he recently expanded in a last-minute bid to lure more support. On Sunday night, Mr. Bolsonaro cited that assistance as one reason he outperformed predictions by polls.Pollsters had forecast that Mr. Bolsonaro would receive roughly 36 percent of the vote, more than 7 percentage points below his actual tally. They had overestimated Mr. da Silva’s support only slightly.The question of why the polls had underestimated Mr. Bolsonaro’s support confounded Brazilian political circles on Monday. Pollsters speculated that voters were dishonest because they were ashamed to admit they were voting for the president, whose false claims on a variety of issues have made him a pariah in some circles, or that they simply lied to sabotage the forecasts. Mr. Bolsonaro has railed against the polling industry — on Sunday night he called them liars — and many of his supporters have followed suit.Things could get even more complicated ahead of the runoff. Mr. Bolsonaro’s chief of staff, Ciro Nogueira, urged the president’s supporters to reject any pollsters wanting to interview them.The vote on Sunday delivered good news for conservatives in most governor and congressional elections, including many candidates closely aligned with Mr. Bolsonaro. Dado Galdieri for The New York Times“That way, it’ll be certain from the start that any of their results are fraudulent,” he wrote on Twitter to his 100,000 followers. He then suggested the pollsters got it wrong on purpose. “Only a deep investigation will tell,” he said.Antonio Lavareda, the president of Ipespe, a top polling company, said he needed to examine the effect of voters staying home; 21 percent of the electorate did not vote, the highest share since 1998. He also speculated that many people who said they would vote for third-party candidates switched to Mr. Bolsonaro at the last minute.But despite his firm’s inaccurate forecasts for the president in the first round, Mr. Lavareda still made a bold prediction: Mr. da Silva’s 48.4 percent support on Sunday meant that “it’s practically impossible” he does not win on Oct. 30.Still, the fallout from the polls left a bad taste for many Brazilians and experts.“I’ve sworn off polls for the next four weeks,” said Brian Winter, a Latin America analyst with Americas Society/Council of the Americas, a group that pushes free trade in the Americas. “Their methodology is broken.”The survey forecasts and lack of clarity in the race could lead to a tense situation when the results are revealed on Oct. 30. Mr. Bolsonaro has for months told his supporters to suspect voter fraud — despite offering no evidence — and he has suggested that the only way he could lose is if the election is stolen.Those unsubstantiated claims appear to have persuaded millions of voters in Brazil. On Sunday night, many of Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters were already claiming foul play. “It’s fraud. Lula can’t be ahead of Bolsonaro,” said Yasmin Simões, 28, a retail employee gathered with other supporters of Mr. Bolsonaro outside his home in a beachside neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. “If Lula is elected — by fraud — there’s definitely going to be a revolt, and I’m in.”The success of Mr. Bolsonaro’s allies and his stronger-than-expected support also shows that he maintains a firm grip on the conservative movement in Brazil.Maria Magdalena Arrellaga for The New York TimesSome prominent conservative pundits also began pushing claims, without evidence, that something fishy had occurred in Sunday’s voting.“I think it’s VERY possible that there was fraud,” Rodrigo Constantino, a right-wing Brazilian pundit who lives in Florida, wrote to his 1.3 million followers on Twitter. “The ONLY GOAL has to be to win so many votes for Bolsonaro that not even a strange algorithm can change it!”The vote on Sunday delivered good news for conservatives in most governor and congressional elections, including many candidates closely aligned with Mr. Bolsonaro. At least eight of his former ministers were elected to Congress, including several who were once shrouded in scandal. Overall, Mr. Bolsonaro’s political party picked up 29 seats in Congress, giving it 112 in total, the biggest party in both the House and Senate.As a result, if elected to a second term, Mr. Bolsonaro could be emboldened by his effective control of Congress and more significantly remake Brazilian society in his vision. For Mr. da Silva, the conservative Congress could complicate his efforts to govern.The success of Mr. Bolsonaro’s allies and his stronger-than-expected support also shows that he maintains a firm grip on the conservative movement in Brazil.“Brazil’s moderate right is a political wasteland,” Mr. Stuenkel said. “Part of the extreme polarization in Brazil is that, on the right, Bolsonaro reigns supreme.”Over the next four weeks, Mr. Bolsonaro’s team plans to target the swing state of Minas Gerais, where it believes it can pick up one million votes, and looks to improve its results in Mr. da Silva’s stronghold in Brazil’s Northeast, said Fábio Faria, Brazil’s communications minister and a senior adviser to the president. “We are really confident,” he said.Mr. da Silva’s campaign plans to highlight Mr. Bolsonaro’s string of false statements and show that the economy performed far better during Mr. da Silva’s two terms, from 2003 through 2010, than during Mr. Bolsonaro’s tenure.Mr. da Silva during a rally on Saturday. Analysts predict that he will moderate his stump speech in order to attract more centrist voters.Victor Moriyama for The New York Times“It will be the first chance for us to have a tête-à-tête debate with the president,” Mr. da Silva told supporters Sunday night. “Is he going to keep telling lies or will he, at least once in his life, tell the truth to the Brazilian people?”Mr. da Silva had focused his campaign on raising taxes on the rich to expand services for the poor, but — after Sunday’s results — analysts predicted that he would moderate his stump speech in order to attract more centrists.“You have to go to the Bolsonaro corners of the country,” said Senator Jean-Paul Prates, a senior adviser to Mr. da Silva’s campaign. “You have to show your face, smile at these people in the south, the midwest, and talk about the things that concern their lives.”In the eight previous presidential elections in Brazil’s modern democracy, the candidate that has led in the first round has never lost in the second. But the 5 percentage points separating Mr. Bolsonaro and Mr. da Silva are also the slimmest margin between two candidates in a runoff.As a result, Mr. Winter said, “this is going to be a white-knuckle race.” More

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    Your Tuesday Briefing: Indonesia Investigates Its Soccer Tragedy

    Plus Brazil’s elections move to a runoff and Ukraine surges forward in the Donbas.Relatives mourn victims killed at a soccer match in Malang, Indonesia.Mast Irham/EPA, via ShutterstockAnger mounts in IndonesiaAn independent commission in Indonesia will investigate the deaths of at least 125 people, including 33 children, who were killed at a soccer game on Saturday. After soccer fans at a stadium in Malang rushed onto the field following a 3-2 home-game defeat, the police fired tear gas into the stands. Panic ensued.The authorities have interviewed 18 officers who fired tear gas. Military personnel who were seen hitting fans would face punishment, according to the national police chief. The police chief in Malang was among nine local officers suspended yesterday.The deadly clash has inspired widespread accusations that the police helped turn minor unrest into one of the deadliest stadium catastrophes in history. Indonesia said that officers suspected of wrongful violence would face criminal charges.New details: Many people were trampled as they rushed for the exits, only two of which were open, according to a human rights official. Some victims died in the stadium’s changing rooms, where players tried to help them.Analysis: Members of Indonesia’s police system are almost never held accountable for their actions. Under the government of President Joko Widodo, officers have used brute force to suppress crowds, accepted bribes and largely operated with impunity.Background: At the stadium in Malang, tear gas fired by the police had also turned deadly in 2018.Brazilians use soccer jerseys as a show of support for Jair Bolsonaro, the president.Victor Moriyama for The New York TimesA runoff in BrazilBrazil’s national elections went to a runoff after Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right president, outperformed in the polls. He received 43.23 percent of the vote; his opponent, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former leftist president, received 48.4 percent.The two political titans will face off again on Oct. 30, for what is widely regarded as the most important vote in decades for the largest nation in Latin America. Over the next four weeks, Bolsonaro will have to make up ground on Lula.The election is considered across the world as a major test for democracy. For months, Bolsonaro has criticized, without any evidence, electronic voting machines as rife with fraud, suggesting that the only way he would lose is if the election were rigged.The State of the WarAnnexation Push: After Moscow’s proxies conducted a series of sham referendums in the Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk, President Vladimir V. Putin declared the four territories to be part of Russia. Western leaders, including President Biden in the United States, denounced the annexation as illegal.Retreat From Key City: Russian forces withdrew from the strategically important city of Lyman, in Donetsk Province, on Oct. 1. The retreat was a significant setback for Moscow, coming just a day after Mr. Putin declared the region to be Russian territory.Putin’s Nuclear Threats: For the first time since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, top Russian leaders are making explicit nuclear threats and officials in Washington are gaming out scenarios should Mr. Putin decide to use a tactical nuclear weapon.Russia’s Draft: The Kremlin has acknowledged that its new military draft is rife with problems, as protests have erupted across Russia, recruitment centers have been attacked and thousands of men have left the country.Issues: Brazil faces environmental threats, rising hunger, a sputtering economy and a deeply polarized population. The two candidates radically differ in their approaches to each issue.Region: A victory by Lula would extend a string of left-wing victories across Latin America, fueled by anti-incumbent backlash. Brazil could become the sixth of the region’s seven largest countries to elect a leftist leader since 2018.After capturing Lyman over the weekend, Ukrainian forces moved toward new positions.Nicole Tung for The New York TimesUkraine advances in the DonbasRussian forces in Ukraine were on the run across the frontline yesterday, as the Ukrainian military pressed toward the eastern Donbas region and made gains in the south.Over the weekend, Ukrainian forces captured Lyman, in the Donetsk region, before word of Vladimir Putin’s illegal annexation of the territory a day earlier could even reach its residents.With Russian troops in disarray on the battlefield, the Kremlin fared no better. It acknowledged that it does not even know the boundaries of two regions it recently declared to be part of Russia — a move that Kyiv and Western leaders said was illegal.“In terms of the borders, we’re going to continue to consult with the population of these regions,” Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, told reporters yesterday.Russia also continued to struggle with its military draft. Half of the several thousand residents who had been drafted in the far eastern region of Khabarovsk were returned home. The region’s governor, Mikhail Degtyarev, said they “did not meet the criteria for military service.”Background: Since Putin announced a “partial mobilization” last month, protests have erupted across Russia, recruitment centers have been attacked and thousands of men have fled the country.In other updates:Denmark said that the Nord Stream pipelines have stopped leaking. The cause remains unknown, but political leaders in Europe and the U.S. have speculated it was an act of sabotage by Russia.THE LATEST NEWSAsia PacificBrittany Higgins was 26 when she accused a colleague, Bruce Lehrmann, of rape.Jamila Toderas/Getty ImagesBrittany Higgins, a former employee of Australia’s government, said that a colleague raped her in the country’s Parliament in 2019. His trial begins today.The U.S. is preparing to announce new measures to try to cut China’s access to advanced semiconductor technology.Heavy rains are worsening floods in Thailand, The Associated Press reports.The Associated Press found that as many as 52 people died in a suicide bombing last week in Kabul, more than twice the Taliban’s official count of 25.World NewsThe last Supreme Court term ended with a bombshell decision that eliminated the right to abortion.T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York TimesIn the U.S., a new Supreme Court term began yesterday. The six-justice conservative supermajority is expected to continue steering the court right on issues including affirmative action and gay rights.Liz Truss, Britain’s prime minister, reversed plans to cut tax rates on high earners, after her proposal sent the British pound into a tailspin.Oil prices jumped yesterday after news that OPEC Plus may cut production. The move would reverse increases that had pushed prices down.What Else Is HappeningSvante Pääbo, a Swedish geneticist, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for sequencing the Neanderthal genome.Sacheen Littlefeather, the Apache activist and actress who declined Marlon Brando’s Academy Award on his behalf in 1973, has died at 75.Kim Kardashian will pay $1.26 million as part of a settlement for not disclosing that she had been paid to promote a crypto token.A Morning ReadFor Kana Komatsubara, 26, a nail stylist, a tiny apartment offered a gateway to long-deferred independence from her parents.Noriko Hayashi for The New York TimesSome young people in Japan are choosing to live in teeny tiny apartments. They’re stylish and located in trendy neighborhoods near subway stations, perfect for those who work long hours and are rarely at home.“I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” said Yugo Kinoshita, 19, who uses a lint roller to clean his floor.Lives lived: Antonio Inoki, a Japanese wrestler who faced Muhammad Ali in an anticlimactic stunt match in 1976, later became an unlikely diplomat. He died at 79.ARTS AND IDEASA rabbi for allRabbi Delphine Horvilleur is one of only five female rabbis in all of France. And she has a particular preoccupation with death — one she attributes to officiating at least two funerals a week and being a grandchild of Holocaust survivors.In 2020, when the coronavirus forced Paris to shut down, she found herself conducting funerals over Zoom, while her two youngest children watched cartoons in the next room. With Passover under lockdown, she decided to deliver weekly talks about Jewish texts. Her reflections on the Talmud, Jewish mysticism and death have since reached well beyond her congregation of 1,200 in the French capital, drawing thousands of Jews, Muslims, Christians, believers and nonbelievers.“She is my rabbi,” said Edith Gillet, 49, a French atheist with a Catholic grandmother and no plans to convert. “I got hooked on her because she’s so inspirational in such dark times,” Gillet, who watches Rabbi Horvilleur from her home in California, said. “I’m drawn more to her philosophy than to any notion of God.”PLAY, WATCH, EATWhat to CookArmando Rafael for The New York TimesMake Yossy Arefi’s peanut-butter chocolate-chip cookies in just 30 minutes.What to WatchThe British filmmaker Peter Strickland crafts strange, unconventional cinematic universes. His latest, “Flux Gourmet,” reveals his affinity with sound in new ways.RomanceDating with chronic illness involves unique challenges.Now Time to PlayPlay the Mini Crossword, and a clue: Thai currency (four letters).Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.You can find all our puzzles here.That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Jessica and AmeliaP.S. The Times won five Emmys, and three Gerald Loeb Awards for business journalism.The latest episode of “The Daily” is on Latino voters in the U.S.You can reach Jessica, Amelia and the team at briefing@nytimes.com. More

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    Your Monday Briefing: Indonesia’s Stadium Tragedy

    Plus Brazil votes in national elections and China wrestles with Covid fatigue.Soccer fans carried an injured man away from the stadium.Yudha Prabowo/Associated PressAn Indonesian stadium tragedyAt least 125 people died when soccer fans rushed the field after a professional soccer match in Malang, Indonesia, on Saturday. Many were trampled.The police fired tear gas into the tightly packed crowds, leading to a stampede. Survivors said that the gas was fired indiscriminately into the stands, forcing the overcapacity crowd to rush for the exits. Many are angry at the police response, which observers said had made the situation worse.“If there wasn’t any tear gas shot into the stands, there would have not been any casualties,” one man said, adding that people had “panicked” and rushed to the field to save themselves. When he tries to sleep, he said, he still hears people screaming.Reaction: Rights organizations condemned the use of tear gas, which is prohibited by FIFA, soccer’s global governing body. One policing expert said that using tear gas, which is designed to disperse crowds, in secure areas where people have nowhere to go is “incredibly, incredibly dangerous.”Analysis: The combination of large crowds and aggressive policing can prove disastrous, writes Rory Smith, my colleague who covers soccer, in an analysis. When tragedies occur, he writes, “they tend to be the consequence not of fan violence but of failures of policing, security and crowd management.”Background: Soccer violence has long been a problem for Indonesia, where violent rivalries between major teams are common. Worldwide, Saturday’s match was among the deadliest episodes in the history of the sport. After a decade of overlapping crises, Brazilians lined up to cast votes yesterday. Dado Galdieri for The New York TimesBrazil votes in national electionsBrazilians cast votes yesterday in the country’s most consequential election in decades. Here are live updates.Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former leftist president once imprisoned amid a corruption scandal, is seeking to oust Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right populist president who has questioned the election’s integrity and has long trailed in the polls. (It’s basically a two-man race, although nine other people are on the ballot.) The State of the WarAnnexation Push: After Moscow’s proxies conducted a series of sham referendums in the Ukrainian regions of Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Luhansk and Donetsk, President Vladimir V. Putin declared the four territories to be part of Russia. Western leaders, including President Biden in the United States, denounced the annexation as illegal.Retreat From Key City: Russian forces withdrew from the strategically important city of Lyman, in Donetsk Province, on Oct. 1. The retreat was a significant setback for Moscow, coming just a day after Mr. Putin declared the region to be Russian territory.U.S. Military Aid: The Pentagon seems to be preparing to overhaul how the United States and its allies train and equip the Ukrainian military, reflecting what officials say is the Biden administration’s long-term commitment to supporting Ukraine in the war.Russia’s Draft: The Kremlin has acknowledged that its new military draft is rife with problems, as protests have erupted across Russia, recruitment centers have been attacked and thousands of men have left the country.The next president will face an economic crisis, surging Amazon deforestation and lingering questions over the health of one of the world’s biggest democracies. An alarming question now hangs over the vote: Will Bolsonaro accept the results?Context: Bolsonaro has been casting doubt on the security of Brazil’s electronic voting system for months. On the eve of the election, his party did so again. He has, in effect, said that the only way he would lose is if the election were stolen from him.Climate: The future of the Amazon rainforest may be at stake. Deforestation of the world’s largest rainforest has hit 15-year highs under Bolsonaro, who has weakened environmental protections and wants the rainforest opened up to mining, ranching and agriculture.Pakistani farmers tried to salvage what is left from a cotton field.Kiana Hayeri for The New York TimesPakistan’s floods worsen debtsPakistan’s recent, record-shattering floods have submerged its fields and its small farmers deeper into debt with their landlords.Many are in sharecropping arrangements and already owed hundreds or thousands of dollars. Landlords offer farmers loans to buy seeds and fertilizer each planting season. In exchange, farmers cultivate their fields and earn a small cut of the harvest, a portion of which goes toward repaying the loan.Now, their summer harvests are in ruins. Unless the water recedes, they will not be able to plant the wheat they harvest each spring. Even if they can, the land is certain to produce less after being damaged by the floodwaters.Details: One 14-year-old recently waded through waist-deep water filled with snakes to pick cotton. “It was our only source of livelihood,” she said. In the hardest-hit regions, where the floods drowned villages, authorities warn that the waters may not fully recede for months.Analysis: As extreme weather events become increasingly common, the cycle is worsening. Pakistan’s floods were especially cataclysmic because of a combination of heavy glacier melt and record monsoon rains, which scientists say were both intensified by climate change.THE LATEST NEWSAsia PacificLiu Jingyao filed a civil suit against Richard Liu. Lawyers said the parties had agreed to “set aside their differences” in order to avoid further pain and suffering. Caroline Yang for The New York TimesRichard Liu, a Chinese billionaire, reached a settlement with Liu Jingyao, a former University of Minnesota student who had accused him of rape. The case has been seen as a landmark in China’s struggling #MeToo movement.North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the ocean on Saturday, the country’s fourth test since Sunday of last week.Thailand’s Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that Prayuth Chan-ocha, the prime minister who took control in a 2014 coup, can stay in power. The decision is expected to revive the pro-democracy protests that rocked Bangkok in 2020.A suicide attack in Kabul on Friday killed at least 19 people, mostly young female students. The U.S. and 14 Pacific Island nations signed a broad partnership agreement last week designed to counter China.The War in UkraineHere are live updates.Russian forces retreated from Lyman, a key Ukrainian city, one day after Vladimir Putin illegally declared control of the Donbas region. The loss further imperils the Kremlin’s grip on Donbas.Pope Francis appealed yesterday to Putin and Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, to end the war.Ukraine applied to join NATO. Yesterday, nine European leaders expressed support for the bid, which is likely to face hurdles.Each day, about 10,000 Russian men are trying to cross into Georgia to flee draft orders. “I do not support the war, and I do not want to go kill Ukrainians,” one said.World NewsDamage from Hurricane Ian in Florida.Hilary Swift for The New York TimesThe death toll in Florida from Hurricane Ian grew to about 80. Burkina Faso has weathered its second coup in ten months. Yesterday, the army officer who seized power in January conceded that he too had been ousted by mutinying soldiers.Uganda is racing to control a deadly Ebola outbreak.Venezuela and Iran released American prisoners over the weekend.What Else Is HappeningIran’s long economic decline is fueling a widespread protest movement, which continues despite heavy crackdowns.Nick Kyrgios, the Australian tennis star, is set to face a charge of assaulting a former girlfriend.“Saturday Night Live” kicked off its new season. Eight veteran cast members have left the show this year.A Morning ReadA line at a Covid testing site in Beijing in June.Kevin Frayer/Getty ImagesMy colleague Vivian Wang, a Times correspondent in China, described the grinding reality of life under Covid. People schedule lunch breaks around completing mandatory tests and buy second freezers to stock up on groceries for future lockdowns.“The disruptive becomes typical; the once-unimaginable, reality,” she writes.ARTS AND IDEASAsia beckons againSeveral Asian destinations are loosening their Covid restrictions on international travel. Our Travel desk looked at how four destinations were preparing for the return of tourism.Kyoto, one of Japan’s most-visited cities, wants to bring back tourists but avoid Instagram-driven excesses. (“Kyoto isn’t a tourist city, it’s a city that values tourism,” the mayor said.) Koh Tao, a Thai island, is trying to balance tourism with an environmental focus. On the edge of Delhi, a contemporary art scene and a burgeoning cosmopolitan class are taking shape. And rural South Korea offers serene, unhurried nature.The Travel desk also asked five photographers who live in Asia to share their favorite foods from India, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and South Korea. And they offer advice on budget travel, translation apps and some great new hotels.PLAY, WATCH, EATWhat to CookChris Simpson for The New York TimesMini bibingkas — Filipino coconut cakes — are fluffy and perfect for sharing, Ligaya Mishan writes.What to ReadRead your way through Rome.What to WatchIn “Bros,” a gay romantic comedy, a man who has sworn off relationships finds himself falling in love.Now Time to PlayPlay the Mini Crossword, and a clue: In the know (five letters).Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.You can find all our puzzles here.That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — AmeliaP.S. I am now officially the lead writer of this newsletter! If you have feedback or suggestions, I’d welcome them. Please write to me: amelia.nierenberg@nytimes.com.The latest episode of “The Daily” is on Hurricane Ian.You can reach Amelia and the team at briefing@nytimes.com. More

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    In Quebec, the Independence Movement Gives Way to a New Nationalism

    In Monday’s election, residents of a town that was once a stronghold of the independence movement are expected to back the province’s popular premier, who has embraced a nationalism based on French Québécois identity.L’ASSOMPTION, Quebec — Residents in the small city of L’Assomption, Quebec, once overwhelmingly backed the province’s bid to break away from Canada in order to establish a French-speaking, independent nation.On Monday, though, they and much of the rest of the province are expected to strongly back the re-election of their popular premier, who has abandoned calls for independence — and instead has embraced a nationalism based on French Québécois identity.“It’s a conservative nationalism that recalls the themes of culture, history and memory,” said Jacques Beauchemin, a sociologist and a leading intellectual behind this shift. “It’s a return to the meaning of identity.”But to critics, this nationalism threatens the cohesion of the increasingly diverse province by taking aim at immigrants, English speakers and other minorities.In its four years in office, the government of the premier, Francois Legault, has banned the wearing of religious symbols like the Muslim veil in some public areas and has further restricted the use of English. In his campaign for the election, Mr. Legault has doubled down on the issue of immigration, describing it as a threat to Quebec society — a stance at odds with that of the federal government, which is planning to increase immigration sharply over the next few years.The position is also at odds with the stance of Montreal, the multicultural city where the premier’s popularity is comparatively weak.“With this electoral strategy, Mr. Legault is deepening the divide between Montreal and the rest of Quebec,’’ said Gérard Bouchard, a historian and sociologist who is a leading intellectual in the province. “The result of this strategy is to marginalize immigrants and ethnic minorities who are concentrated in Montreal.”A spokesman for Mr. Legault declined a request for an interview.Quebec’s premier, François Legault, is expected to easily win a second mandate.Nasuna Stuart-Ulin for The New York TimesMr. Legault’s brand of nationalism departs sharply from the ideology behind the left-leaning secessionist movement, which sought autonomy for the French Québécois majority that felt historically oppressed by an English-speaking minority. That movement identified with progressive liberation movements throughout the world and was backed by young, urban voters in Quebec.A onetime businessman who co-founded a successful budget airline, Mr. Legault started his political career in the separatist, social democratic Parti Québécois, a group ideologically opposed to the federalist, pro-business Liberal Party. But a decade ago, Mr. Legault altered the political landscape when he founded a new party, Coalition Avenir Québec, which offered a third way. Rejecting secession from Canada, his party blends an identity-based nationalist agenda with pro-business policies.In places like L’Assomption, and among older French Québécois voters, his ideas have especially caught on.“He has spoken about the notion of being Québécois, about our pride and culture,’’ said Sébastien Nadeau, the mayor of L’Assomption.Mr. Legault — who represents the electoral district that includes L’Assomption — also partly owes his popularity to his economic policies, to the paternal figure he assumed during the pandemic and to a divided opposition, said Lisa Maureen Birch, a political scientist at Laval University and an editor of a book on the premier’s first term.Sébastien Nadeau, the mayor of L’Assomption, said that the recent arrival of immigrants was both a source of inspiration and fear.Nasuna Stuart-Ulin for The New York TimesIn his campaign, Mr. Legault has had to backpedal several times after making comments that, his critics say, reveal the divisiveness of his nationalism. When Mr. Legault was questioned at a campaign stop about racism and the case of an Indigenous woman who died after filming herself being abused by hospital staff, he accused members of her Atikamekw First Nations community of not wanting to fix problems on the ground but of seeking to revive a pointless debate on systemic racism, which the premier denies exists in Quebec’s institutions.He later apologized to the woman’s family.Mr. Legault, who wants Quebec to gain more control from Ottawa over immigration policies, also apologized during the campaign after linking immigration to violence and extremism. And he apologized last week, after his immigration minister falsely said that “80 percent of immigrants go to Montreal, don’t work, don’t speak French and don’t adhere to the values of Quebec society.’’L’Assomption is a city of 24,000 people, nearly all of French Québécois origin. A river of the same name snakes around the city center, winding its way across a suburban and rural region with towns and roads with names pointing to Quebec’s Roman Catholic heritage.In the 1995 referendum on independence from Canada, 64 percent of the voters in L’Assomption’s electoral district said yes. In 2018, 57 percent voted for Mr. Legault, with the candidate of the pro-independence Parti Québécois finishing third.Located about 30 miles northeast of downtown Montreal, L’Assomption has only recently experienced the demographic changes that have affected Montreal for decades, said Mr. Nadeau, the mayor. Immigrants who used to rent in Montreal have started buying houses in the area as they seek more space, he said, adding that L’Assomption’s first ethnic restaurants opened just in recent years.Ralph Lorquet, 39, arrived in Quebec from Haiti when he was 16 and grew up close to L’Assomption, in Repentigny. Six months ago, his family took over this space from a defunct Portuguese restaurant and opened Lou Lou’s Casse Croûte, serving homemade Haitian fare. Nasuna Stuart-Ulin for The New York Times“Here, 10 years ago, we didn’t have a Haitian cafe or a Portuguese restaurant,” Mr. Nadeau said, adding that the immigrants’ arrival was both a source of inspiration and fear.On L’Assomption’s main commercial strip — which is called the Boulevard of the Guardian Angel and is lined with shops that give it a village-like feel — Normand Parisien, 68, a retired city employee, said he believed that L’Assomption was representative of a traditional Quebec and its psyche.“We feel threatened by multiethnicity because we’re a pretty homogeneous society,” said Mr. Parisien, who went to Montreal once a week to attend plays and modern dance performances before the pandemic. “It doesn’t frighten me that much personally. But all of this goes with language and religion; it’s all related. It’s who we are.’’The Legault government’s passing of the law banning the wearing of religious symbols was a response to this fear, especially of Muslim immigrants, Mr. Parisien said.“They don’t resemble us,” he said. “It’s a fear of the stranger.”In places like L’Assomption, and among older French Québécois voters, the premier’s ideas have especially caught on. Nasuna Stuart-Ulin for The New York TimesOthers, like Nicole Robillard, 60, a retired hospital worker, said Mr. Legault was protecting French Québécois against immigrants who are trying to impose their values.“Why do people come here and try to change our culture? Why do they want to take away our crucifixes?” Ms. Robillard said, referring to the removal of the cross from the provincial legislature in 2019.Mr. Legault initially argued to keep the crucifix, saying it was not a religious symbol, but changed his position after the passage of the law on religious symbols.Critics say the law targets Muslims and fuels the debate over the place of veiled Muslim women in Quebec society. It embodies the transformation of Quebec nationalism, which saw itself as linked to other global liberation movements, into a reactionary force, said Jean-Pierre Couture, a political scientist at the University of Ottawa.“It has triggered — in the public debate, on the streets and in the metro — abuses against people who wear religious symbols, and that’s been transformed into votes at the ballot box,” Mr. Couture said. He added that the enemy of Quebec nationalism — American imperialism or an English-speaking Canada in the past — was now the veiled Muslim woman.Mr. Bouchard, the historian, traces the shift in Quebec nationalism to the separatists’ razor-thin loss in the 1995 referendum. The premier at the time, Jacques Parizeau — who also represented the electoral district of L’Assomption — blamed “money and ethnic votes” for the loss.Quebec’s changing nationalism is reflected in L’Assomption, a city of 24,000 people, nearly all of French Québécois origin.Nasuna Stuart-Ulin for The New York TimesMr. Legault has described increasing immigration as “suicidal” for Quebec’s French identity — rejecting appeals by business leaders worried about the effects of a labor shortage and the province’s low birthrate.At Assomption-de-la-Sainte-Vierge Church — a Roman Catholic Church attended by aging French Québécois and younger immigrants from South America and the Democratic Republic of Congo — the Rev. Greg Ciszek worried about the effects of this anti-immigrant nationalism on the future of Quebec. It was a change from the Quebec he had come to as a 9-year-old immigrant from Poland, said Father Ciszek, now 41.“Now immigrants arrive and experience a rejection in part, a devaluation of their dignity,” Father Ciszek said.“If Quebec society wanted to perpetuate its French Canadian identity,” he said, “all it needed to do was have more children.”The Rev. Greg Ciszek said he was worried about the effects of anti-immigrant nationalism on the future of Quebec.Nasuna Stuart-Ulin for The New York Times More

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    The Racial Divide Herschel Walker Couldn’t Outrun

    WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga. — The race for a critical Senate seat was in full motion by midsummer, but there were just a few Herschel Walker campaign signs sprinkled around his hometown.They were planted in front of big homes with big yards, in a downtown storefront window, near the sidewalk by the Dairy Queen. There were two on the corner by the Johnson County Courthouse, near a Confederate memorial.The support appeared randomly scattered. But people in Wrightsville saw a dot-to-dot drawing of a racial divide that has shaped Wrightsville for generations — and is now shaping a critical political race with national implications.“All those campaign materials were in the white community,” said Curtis Dixon, who is Black and who taught and coached Mr. Walker, a Republican, in the late 1970s when he was a high school football prodigy. “The only other house that has a Herschel Walker poster is his family.”It may not be an exaggeration. In a predominantly Black neighborhood of small homes about a block from where Mr. Walker went to high school, nine people, including a man who said he was Mr. Walker’s cousin, gathered on a steamy Saturday in July to eat and talk in the shade.No one planned to vote for Mr. Walker. Most scoffed at the thought.Around the corner, a retired teacher named Alice Pierce said nice things about Mr. Walker’s mother and family, as most people do.“But I’m not going to vote for him, I’ll be honest with you,” she said.Fearful of repercussions in a small town, and out of respect for members of the Walker family who still live in the area, many Black residents in Wrightsville spoke only under the condition of anonymity.One woman, taking a break from mowing her lawn, said Mr. Walker would be in over his head as mayor of Wrightsville. “He’s famous to some people, because of football,” she said. “But he’s just Herschel Walker to me.”Mr. Walker, who is one of the most famous African Americans in Georgia’s history, a folk hero for legions of football fans, is unpopular with Black voters. And nowhere is the rift more stark than in the rural farm town where he was raised about 140 miles southeast of Atlanta.Mr. Walker’s hometown, Wrightsville, sprinkled with his campaign signs. Few are in the yards of Black residents, a microcosm that shows the racial divide among Mr. Walker’s supporters.Haiyun Jiang/The New York TimesPolls show that Mr. Walker, despite his fame as a football player, may receive less than 10 percent of the Black vote in the Senate race against incumbent Raphael Warnock. Haiyun Jiang/The New York TimesSince June, polls have routinely shown Mr. Walker attracting less than 10 percent of Black voters in the race against incumbent Raphael Warnock, the pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. Although Mr. Walker often boasts he is going to win “the Black vote,” surveys have found him poised to win no more Black voters than other Republicans on the ballot.There are easy explanations: Mr. Warnock, who is also Black, is a Democrat who preaches at Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church, and Mr. Walker is running as a Republican tied to Donald J. Trump.But there are complex reasons, too, especially in Wrightsville.“Herschel’s not getting the Black vote because Herschel forgot where he came from,” Mr. Dixon said. “He’s not part of the Black community.”Such feelings toward Mr. Walker have been present for decades. They are flowering ahead of November’s elections.But they took root during one seismic spring stretch in 1980. On Easter Sunday that April, Mr. Walker, the top football recruit in the country, committed to play at the University of Georgia in Athens. The signing made national news.Two nights later, after months of simmering tensions, there was a racial confrontation at the courthouse, a lit fuse that exploded into weeks of violence.The events, two of the biggest in town history, did not seem connected at the time. More than four decades later, their intersection may help decide the balance of power in the U.S. Senate.A confederate memorial near Wrightsville, the Johnson County seat.Haiyun Jiang/The New York Times‘You can’t get into shape marching’Several two-lane roads lead to Wrightsville, a crossroads more than a destination, set amid rolling hills of farms and forests. It is the seat of a rural county with fewer than 10,000 residents, about one-third of them Black.A few miles from town, one road is labeled the “Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway.” Another passes by a substantial Confederate memorial. Down a nearby dirt road is the church that Mr. Walker attended as a boy.Another road to Wrightsville passes the spot, five miles from town, where Mr. Walker and six siblings were raised by Willis and Christine Walker in a white clapboard house.The State of the 2022 Midterm ElectionsWith the primaries over, both parties are shifting their focus to the general election on Nov. 8.Sensing a Shift: As November approaches, there are a few signs that the political winds may have begun to blow in a different direction — one that might help Republicans over the final stretch.Focusing on Crime: Across the country, Republicans are attacking Democrats as soft on crime to rally midterm voters. Pennsylvania’s Senate contest offers an especially pointed example of this strategy.Arizona Senate Race: Blake Masters, a Republican, appears to be struggling to win over independent voters, who make up about a third of the state’s electorate.Pennsylvania Governor’s Race: Doug Mastriano, the Trump-backed G.O.P. nominee, is being heavily outspent and trails badly in polling. National Republicans are showing little desire to help him.The family home has been replaced by a stately, ranch-style brick one, where Mr. Walker’s widowed mother lives. Behind it is a second home, a place for Mr. Walker to stay when he visits. About eight storage buildings nearby hold his collection of classic cars.Mr. Walker’s childhood home is gone, replaced by a brick house where his widowed mother lives. A second home behind it is where Mr. Walker stays when he visits.Haiyun Jiang/The New York TimesMr. Walker, now 60, has mostly lived in Texas since the mid-1980s. He often comes to Wrightsville for the Fourth of July, and his cars comprise most of the parade. This year featured a new entry — a Chevy truck wrapped in an advertisement for “Team Herschel,” with Mr. Walker’s photo on the hood.The parade, just a few minutes long, takes place in front of the Johnson County Courthouse, perched on a central square surrounded mostly by empty storefronts. Banners on lampposts call Wrightsville “the friendliest town in Georgia.”But back in 1980, it was “a mean little town,” the Atlanta Journal reporter Ron Taylor wrote at the time, that “hangs at the damaged roots of all that did not grow after the sixties.”It was outside the courthouse in 1979 that the Rev. E.J. Wilson, a Black pastor and civil rights activist new to town, began organizing protests calling out the indignities of being Black in Wrightsville.Schools had been integrated, but plenty else felt separate and unequal. City jobs and services mostly went to white people. The police force was white. There was an all-white country club but no public parks or pools. Black neighborhoods had dirt roads and leaky sewers. There was still an all-white cemetery, Mr. Wilson pointed out.And plenty of residents could recall 1948, when the Ku Klux Klan marched on the courthouse and not one of the 400 registered Black voters voted in a primary election the next day.Mr. Wilson and John Martin, a local leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, saw Wrightsville as a rural echo of Birmingham a generation before, with Sheriff Roland Attaway in the hardened role of Bull Connor.Mr. Walker was the town’s most famous resident, a potentially powerful ally.“There were a few times after the Friday night football games when some of the protest leaders grabbed Walker, still in uniform and pads, and demanded he join them,” The New York Times Magazine wrote in 1981. “Sheriff Attaway offered to let Herschel carry a pistol. Most of the Black athletes quit the track team the same spring Herschel led it to its title.”Protests grew through the spring of 1980. So did opposition. National civil rights leaders arrived. The Klan and J.B. Stoner, the white supremacist politician later convicted of a church bombing, rolled in. There were standoffs and skirmishes.Some civil rights leaders saw Wrightsville as a rural echo of Birmingham a generation before. Peaceful demonstrations like this one in 1980 occasionally turned violent.Kenneth Walker/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via APThe 1980 Johnson County High School yearbook honored the football team, led by Mr. Walker, the nation’s top recruit. While Mr. Walker wore No. 34 in college and the pros, he was No. 43 in high school. Haiyun Jiang/The New York TimesTwo nights after Easter, the courthouse square filled with about 75 Black protesters and twice as many white ones. The Black protesters were attacked by the white crowd, and sheriff’s deputies joined in, Black leaders told reporters. No one was arrested.Violence continued sporadically for weeks. Schools and factories closed for fear of outbursts. A little girl, a woman and a policeman were hurt by gunfire. A cafe burned.In May, Sheriff Attaway and his deputies, guns drawn and bracing for a riot, rolled down South Valley Street into a Black neighborhood where Mr. Wilson’s red brick church still stands. They went door to door, arresting and jailing about 40 people, some for days, most without charges.Mr. Walker never got involved.“I’d like to think I had something to do with it,” said Gary Jordan, a white man who coached Mr. Walker in track and football, starting when Mr. Walker was in fifth grade. “I said, ‘You can’t get into shape marching. You’ve got to run. And practice is at 3.’”Mr. Walker had several other white mentors in town, including an owner of a service station where Mr. Walker worked and a farmer who had employed his parents. Another was a math teacher, Jeanette Caneega.“As a student in school, his role in society was not to solve the racial problems of the world,” she said this summer.“I don’t want to be divisive,” Gary Phillips, Mr. Walker’s high-school football coach, who is white, said, “but as an 18-year-old Black kid in Wrightsville with a lot of pressure on him, can you see how or why he might have decided that this is not the best thing for me, to start getting into this?”Mr. Walker soon left Wrightsville and rarely spoke about the episode. He declined to be interviewed for this article. In college, when he was asked by a reporter about the friction back home, Mr. Walker said that he was “too young” and “didn’t want to get involved in something I didn’t know much about.”.css-1v2n82w{max-width:600px;width:calc(100% – 40px);margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:25px;height:auto;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;font-family:nyt-franklin;color:var(–color-content-secondary,#363636);}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-1v2n82w{margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;}}@media only screen and (min-width:1024px){.css-1v2n82w{width:600px;}}.css-161d8zr{width:40px;margin-bottom:18px;text-align:left;margin-left:0;color:var(–color-content-primary,#121212);border:1px solid var(–color-content-primary,#121212);}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-161d8zr{width:30px;margin-bottom:15px;}}.css-tjtq43{line-height:25px;}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-tjtq43{line-height:24px;}}.css-x1k33h{font-family:nyt-cheltenham;font-size:19px;font-weight:700;line-height:25px;}.css-ok2gjs{font-size:17px;font-weight:300;line-height:25px;}.css-ok2gjs a{font-weight:500;color:var(–color-content-secondary,#363636);}.css-1c013uz{margin-top:18px;margin-bottom:22px;}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-1c013uz{font-size:14px;margin-top:15px;margin-bottom:20px;}}.css-1c013uz a{color:var(–color-signal-editorial,#326891);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;font-weight:500;font-size:16px;}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-1c013uz a{font-size:13px;}}.css-1c013uz a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}How Times reporters cover politics. We rely on our journalists to be independent observers. So while Times staff members may vote, they are not allowed to endorse or campaign for candidates or political causes. This includes participating in marches or rallies in support of a movement or giving money to, or raising money for, any political candidate or election cause.Learn more about our process.In a memoir published decades later, Mr. Walker only briefly noted the conflict. But he described a school confrontation between a Black student and the white principal the year before.“I could never really be fully accepted by white students and the African American students either resented me or distrusted me for what they perceived as my failure to stand united with them — regardless of whether they were right or wrong,” he wrote. “That separation would continue throughout my life with only the reasons for it differing from situation to situation.”He added: “I never really liked the idea that I was to represent my people.”Student football players warmed up on Herschel Walker Field.Haiyun Jiang/The New York TimesAn Outsider at HomeToday, the school that Mr. Walker attended is shuttered behind a chain-link fence. A new school was built next to what is now called Herschel Walker Field. The complex sits on Herschel Walker Drive.Teachers, coaches and classmates in Wrightsville remember Mr. Walker’s demeanor. Polite. Humble. Kind. Respectful.People who plan to vote for him in November tend to mention those things, too. They credit Mr. Walker’s parents. Willis worked at a kaolin mine. Christine worked at a textile mill. They stayed mostly to themselves and taught their children to try to get along with everyone. “The good Christian woman that she is,” Mr. Walker wrote of his mother, “she also taught us that color was invisible.”Mr. Walker, in a family of strong athletes, was barely noticed until his junior year of high school. He was, by his telling, a chubby stutterer with so few friends that he paid children to talk to him. He was haunted by nightmares of wolves and was “petrified” of the dark and the Klan, he wrote in his memoir.He painted himself as an outsider, even in his hometown.“No one wanted to associate with me because I was an outcast, a stuttering-stumpy-fat-poor-other-side-of-the-railroad-tracks-living-stupid-country boy,” Mr. Walker wrote.In his early teens, Mr. Walker disappeared into books and devoted himself to fitness. He became a model student, a member of an honor society called the Beta Club. Ms. Caneega, the teacher who led the club, joked that she would have taught for free if she “had a class full of kids like him.”With no weight room in town, Mr. Walker did pull-ups from trees and ran barefoot along the railroad tracks. Mr. Jordan, the coach, wrapped a belt around Mr. Walker, fastened chains to him and had him pull truck tires across the Georgia red dirt.Mr. Walker won state titles in track in both sprints and the shot put and led Johnson County to a football state championship his senior year.The nation’s top college coaches crowded into Wrightsville. Some arrived by helicopter, landing on a field next to school. Mr. Walker delayed a decision for months through the tumultuous spring of 1980.“Part of that might be that he was so nice, he didn’t want to tell other people goodbye and no thanks after he got to know them a bit,” Vince Dooley, Georgia’s coach from 1964 to 1988, said.Mr. Walker flipped a coin. It landed on Georgia on Easter night.A coin? Many details of Mr. Walker’s biography bend toward fable. Until recently, it didn’t really matter. Mr. Walker was just a sports legend, spinning legends.Mr. Walker attracted national attention as a high-school football and track athlete. Residents remember coaches arriving by helicopter to woo him and watch him compete.J.C. Lee/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via APMr. Walker, as a freshman, led Georgia to the 1980 national championship and a Sugar Bowl victory over Notre Dame. He later won the Heisman Trophy, cementing his status in state history and folklore.Focus on Sport/Getty ImagesBut as scrutiny befitting a Senate candidate has grown, Mr. Walker has been found to be a purveyor of fiction and misdirection about basic résumé facts, such as graduating from Georgia (he did not) in the top 1 percent of his class (no); about the size, scope and success of his companies (all exaggerated); about working in law enforcement, including the F.B.I. (he has not); and about his number of children.His candidacy has resurfaced his 2008 memoir, “Breaking Free: My Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder,” in which Mr. Walker described a dozen “alters,” or alternate personalities. It rekindled stories of Mr. Walker’s struggle with mental health, reminding voters of his admissions of violent tendencies (briefly chasing down a man he said he wanted to kill), suicidal thoughts (Mr. Walker, who nearly killed himself in an idling car in his garage, said he occasionally played Russian roulette with a revolver) and infidelity.His post-football life, especially, has been a stream of erratic behavior, some of it described in the book. Mr. Walker’s entrance into politics has prompted stories with new details surrounding allegations that he abused and made death threats against his former wife of nearly 20 years and his late girlfriend.He has denied the allegations and often deflects questions about his past by saying that he is “fighting to end the stigma of mental illness.”Such matters have not derailed Mr. Walker’s campaign. Stamped deeper into Georgia’s collective psyche is Mr. Walker’s first college touchdown in 1980. (“Oh you Herschel Walker! My god almighty, he ran right through two men!” the radio announcer Larry Munson shouted then.)When Mr. Walker arrived on Georgia’s campus, it had been less than a decade since the football team was integrated — one of the last in the country to do so. He became a near-instant hero among the school’s mostly white fan base when he led the Bulldogs to a national championship, playing in the Sugar Bowl against Notre Dame with a separated shoulder.“Up in a private box in the Superdome,” Dave Anderson of The Times wrote from the game, “the second most important citizen in Georgia peered down yesterday at the most important. President Carter was watching Herschel Walker run with a football.”Mr. Walker left Georgia after winning the Heisman Trophy his junior year, signing with the new United States Football League. State legislators wore armbands with Georgia’s colors, red and black, to mourn Mr. Walker’s departure.It was before his second season with the New Jersey Generals that the team was purchased by Mr. Trump, then a 37-year-old New York real-estate developer.“In a lot of ways, Mr. Trump became a mentor to me,” Mr. Walker wrote in 2008, “and I modeled myself and my business practices after him.”Mr. Walker was nudged into running for Senate by Donald Trump. The two met when Mr. Walker played for Mr. Trump’s United States Football League team in the 1980s.Audra Melton for The New York Times‘Run Herschel, Run’On a sweltering summer weekday at Jaemor Farms, a large produce stand off a rural highway, shoppers fondled ripe peaches and sampled ice cream.Mr. Walker sauntered in, still fit in a T-shirt and casual pants, trailed by a loose huddle of handlers. Heads turned. Mouths opened. An elderly woman rushed to her car to tell her husband.“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Drew Echols, whose family owns Jaemor Farms, a traditional campaign stop for would-be politicians. He shook his head and laughed. “It’s because they all know him. He’s Herschel Walker.”It was Mr. Trump who nudged Mr. Walker back to the bright lights of Georgia. Mr. Walker played 15 seasons of professional football, 12 in the N.F.L. He was wildly famous but never recaptured the success of his college career.“Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the legendary Herschel Walker ran for the United States Senate in Georgia?” Mr. Trump said in a statement released in March 2021, adding: “Run Herschel, run!”And Mr. Walker did. He appeared at Trump rallies, where he stood out for his relative lack of vitriol. Bombast is not in Mr. Walker’s nature, though he does share Trump’s penchant for unscripted, sometimes incoherent, remarks.In July, for example, discussing China and climate change, Mr. Walker said that Georgia’s “good air decides to float over” to China, displacing China’s “bad air,” which returns to Georgia. “We got to clean that back up,” he said. And in May, after the school shootings in Uvalde, Texas, he delivered a soliloquy that began, “Cain killed Abel, and that’s a problem that we have.”His public performances raise questions about why Mr. Walker chose — and was chosen — to run.Mr. Walker is widely viewed as “not being ready for prime time,” said Andra Gillespie, an associate professor at Emory University in Atlanta who teaches African American politics. “Which for Black voters, who may be skeptical of the Republican strategy of nominating him in the first place, just smacks of what they view as tokenism.”Mr. Walker, with supporters in Oscilla, Ga. He tends to draw a crowd on the campaign trail.Nicole Craine for The New York TimesMr. Walker with Black clergy members at an event in Austell, Ga.Audra Melton for The New York TimesMuch of the recent campaign intrigue has been over whether Mr. Walker would debate Mr. Warnock, who makes a living preaching from a pulpit. (The two will face off in a debate later this month.) Mr. Walker is more comfortable with small talk. A lifetime of autograph seekers has made him comfortable with quick interactions and people smiling back at him.At Jaemor Farms, Mr. Walker met in a back room with about a dozen local farmers, all white. He was flanked by two polished white former state politicians, Terry Rogers and Butch Miller, who, like human crutches, kept the discussion moving forward whenever Mr. Walker wobbled into unfamiliar terrain.Mr. Walker half-joked that Democrats wanted to force farmers to use electric combines. He reminded the group that he was from rural Wrightsville. He said his grandfather raised cotton and peas.“I used to help pick,” Mr. Walker said. “I thought it was an upgrade to start baling hay.”The farmers laughed, knowingly. Then Mr. Walker detoured into remarks about China, TikTok and Archie Bunker.Georgia’s population is one-third Black, but Mr. Walker’s campaign staff is almost entirely white, as are the crowds that gather to watch him. “The thing you can’t measure about his support is how many people he’s going to pull in that never voted before, haven’t been involved, but know him from his Georgia football days,” Martha Zoller, a conservative talk-show host and political pundit in Georgia, said.Mr. Rogers, a former Republican state legislator and now a political consultant, noted that the Bulldogs are coming off their first national championship season since 1980.“This election’s being held during football season,” he said. “I think that goes a long way — especially if Georgia keeps winning.”The allusions to Georgia football are telling. Sanford Stadium in Athens, like many major sports venues in this country, remains a place where a mostly white fan base cheers mostly Black athletes. Mr. Walker, his No. 34 jersey long retired, is a link to feel-good nostalgia for a university where Black enrollment is about 8 percent. As a politician, Mr. Walker tries to keep his messages about race in America positive. He says he is pro-police without addressing violence against Black men. He spreads unfounded claims about voter fraud but does not address voter suppression. He says Democrats use race to divide “a great country full of generous people.”At a campaign stop in Wrightsville in August, he told a room full of women, nearly all of them white: “Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re racist.”In Wrightsville’s downtown, a shop promoted Mr. Walker’s candidacy. “We need to do more to promote Herschel here in his hometown,” said the shop’s owner, who is white.Haiyun Jiang/The New York TimesWhat’s Left BehindChange moves slowly in Wrightsville. As Mr. Walker said of his hometown last year, “If you got one year to live, you move there. Because that year’s forever. Same old, same old.”Since Mr. Walker left four decades ago, several textile factories in the area have closed, including the one where Mr. Walker’s mother worked. So have a window factory and a meatpacking plant. Downtown storefronts have emptied.The median household income in Johnson County is around $42,000 per year. About one-quarter of residents live in poverty. The race divide has softened, but slowly. As recently as 2003, Wrightsville drew attention for being one of several small Southern towns that still held segregated proms.Across from the courthouse is a floral and collectibles shop called Kreative Kreations. This summer, its display windows were decorated with campaign signs for Mr. Walker. “Run Herschel Run,” read a larger banner over the storefront.The store owner, Kevin Price, who is white and nearly a decade younger than Mr. Walker, grew up in Wrightsville and recalled his family “packing up every Saturday morning and heading for Athens” to watch the Bulldogs play.“We need to do more to promote Herschel here in his hometown,” Mr. Price said.On a shaded bench across the street, a woman named Lisa Graddy wondered just where Mr. Walker had run.“He forgot about his hometown,” Ms. Graddy said.Exactly what she and other Black residents expect from Mr. Walker is murky. It is a combination of investment, representation, empathy and engagement.Mr. Walker still has family in Wrightsville but little support from other Black residents. Tommy Jenkins, a former high school teammate, is among the few of them who plan to vote for Mr. Walker.Haiyun Jiang/The New York TimesWhy has he not used his fame, fortune and now his political standing to raise the voices of those he left behind, they ask. It is a question raised in 1980, echoing in 2022.One ex-teammate, Tommy Jenkins, said the answer to the question was once very simple. Mr. Jenkins was among the Black track athletes who boycotted the team and participated in the protests.“A lot of people criticized him for not standing up, but I understood why Herschel didn’t do it,” said Mr. Jenkins, a Black Wrightsville resident who intends to vote for Mr. Walker. “It would’ve ruined his career.”Christian Boone contributed reporting from Georgia. Alain Delaquérière contributed research. More

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    Lula y Bolsonaro protagonizarán la elección presidencial brasileña más polarizada de los últimos años

    Los brasileños que votarán el domingo elegirán entre dos titanes políticos, con planes e ideologías muy distintas.RÍO DE JANEIRO — Durante la última década, Brasil ha pasado de una crisis a otra: la destrucción del medioambiente, una recesión económica, una presidenta destituida, dos presidentes encarcelados y una pandemia que mató a más personas que en cualquier otro lugar fuera de Estados Unidos.El domingo, los brasileños votarán por su próximo presidente, con la esperanza de impulsar al mayor país de América Latina hacia un futuro más estable y brillante, y decidirán entre dos hombres que están profundamente vinculados a su tumultuoso pasado.Esta elección es considerada como una de las más importantes del país en décadas, según los historiadores brasileños, en parte porque puede estar en riesgo la salud de la cuarta democracia más grande del mundo.El presidente en el poder, Jair Bolsonaro, es un populista de extrema derecha cuyo primer mandato ha destacado por su agitación y sus constantes ataques al sistema electoral. Ha despertado la indignación en su país y la preocupación en el extranjero por sus políticas que aceleraron la deforestación de la selva amazónica, su apuesta por medicamentos no probados en lugar de las vacunas contra la COVID-19 y sus duros ataques a rivales políticos, jueces, periodistas y profesionales de la salud.El contrincante, el expresidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, es un izquierdista apasionado que supervisó el auge de Brasil durante la primera década de este siglo, pero que luego fue a la cárcel acusado de corrupción. Esos cargos fueron posteriormente retirados, y ahora, tras liderar las encuestas durante meses, el hombre conocido simplemente como Lula está a punto de completar una sorprendente resurrección política.Son quizás las dos figuras más conocidas y más polarizadas de este país de 217 millones de habitantes, y durante más de un año han estado presentando a los votantes visiones muy diferentes para la nación, cuya economía ha sido golpeada por la pandemia y la inflación mundial.Bolsonaro, de 67 años, quiere vender la compañía petrolera estatal de Brasil, abrir la Amazonía a la minería, relajar las regulaciones sobre las armas e introducir valores más conservadores. Da Silva, de 76 años, promete aumentar los impuestos a los ricos para ampliar los servicios para los pobres, lo que incluye ampliar la red de seguridad social, aumentar el salario mínimo y alimentar y dar vivienda a más personas.Partidarios de Bolsonaro en Río de Janeiro. Bolsonaro ha insinuado que la única forma en que cree que perdería las elecciones es si se las roban.Dado Galdieri para The New York TimesEl eslogan de la campaña de Bolsonaro es “Dios, familia, patria y libertad”, mientras que Da Silva ha construido su discurso en torno a la promesa de garantizar que todos los brasileños puedan disfrutar de tres comidas al día, incluyendo, ocasionalmente, un corte de carne superior y una cerveza fría en un asado familiar.Sin embargo, en lugar de sus planes para el futuro, gran parte de la carrera ha girado en torno al pasado de cada candidato. Los brasileños se han alineado en uno u otro bando, basándose en gran parte en su oposición a uno de los candidatos, en lugar de su apoyo a ellos.“La palabra principal en esta campaña es rechazo”, dijo Thiago de Aragão, director de estrategia de Arko Advice, una de las mayores consultoras políticas de Brasil. “Estas elecciones son una demostración de cómo los votantes de un país polarizado se unifican en torno a lo que odian en lugar de lo que aman”.La atención del domingo —cuando un total de 11 candidatos presidenciales estarán en la boleta— no solo estará en los recuentos de votos, sino en lo que sucederá después de que se anuncien los resultados.Bolsonaro lleva meses poniendo en duda la seguridad del sistema de votación electrónica de Brasil, afirmando sin pruebas que es vulnerable al fraude y que los partidarios de Da Silva están planeando amañar la votación. Bolsonaro ha dicho, en efecto, que la única manera de que pierda es que le roben las elecciones.Inspectores del Tribunal Superior Electoral empacan las máquinas de votación después de probarlas en São Paulo. En las últimas semanas, el ejército y los funcionarios electorales acordaron un cambio en la forma en que prueban las máquinas, que según Bolsonaro no son confiables.Victor Moriyama para The New York Times“Tenemos tres alternativas para mí: la cárcel, la muerte o la victoria”, dijo a sus partidarios en enormes mítines el año pasado. “Díganles a los bastardos que nunca seré apresado”.A principios de este año, los militares comenzaron a cuestionar el sistema electoral junto con Bolsonaro, lo que suscitó la preocupación de que las fuerzas armadas podrían respaldar al presidente si se niega a admitir la derrota.Pero en las últimas semanas, los militares y los funcionarios electorales acordaron un cambio en las pruebas de las máquinas de votación y los líderes militares dicen que ahora están satisfechos con la seguridad del sistema. Los militares no apoyarían ningún esfuerzo de Bolsonaro para impugnar los resultados, según dos altos funcionarios militares que hablaron de forma anónima debido a las reglas que impiden a los funcionarios militares hablar de política. Algunos generales de alto rango también han intentado recientemente persuadir a Bolsonaro para que se rinda si pierde, según uno de los oficiales.Sin embargo, Bolsonaro no parece estar satisfecho. El miércoles, su partido político publicó un documento de dos páginas en el que afirmaba, sin pruebas, que los empleados y contratistas del gobierno tenían el “poder absoluto de manipular los resultados de las elecciones sin dejar rastro”. Los funcionarios electorales respondieron que las afirmaciones “son falsas y deshonestas” y “un claro intento de obstaculizar y perturbar” las elecciones.Bolsonaro quiere permitir más actividades mineras en la Amazonía y dice que quiere instaurar valores más conservadores.Victor Moriyama para The New York TimesEl jueves, en el último debate antes de la votación del domingo, otra candidata le preguntó directamente a Bolsonaro si aceptaría los resultados de las elecciones. No contestó, sino que insultó a la candidata, diciendo que solamente lo desafiaba porque no le había dado trabajo. (A continuación, ella le preguntó si estaba vacunado contra la COVID-19 —su gobierno consideró que su estado de vacunación era un asunto clasificado— y él respondió de forma similar).Da Silva ha mantenido una ventaja dominante en las encuestas desde el año pasado. Si ningún candidato supera el 50 por ciento de los votos el domingo, los dos primeros competirán en una segunda vuelta el 30 de octubre. Parecía que Bolsonaro y da Silva acabarían en otro enfrentamiento, pero el reciente aumento de las cifras de las encuestas de Da Silva sugiere que podría ganar directamente el domingo.Una victoria de Da Silva continuaría un cambio hacia la izquierda en América Latina, con seis de las siete naciones más grandes de la región eligiendo líderes de izquierda desde 2018. También sería un gran golpe para el movimiento global del populismo de derecha que se ha extendido en la última década. El expresidente Donald Trump es un aliado clave de Bolsonaro y ha respaldado al presidente brasileño.Un mitin de campaña de Lula da Silva en Río de Janeiro. Si no gana las elecciones en la primera ronda, habrá una segunda vuelta el 30 de octubre.Dado Galdieri para The New York TimesLas encuestas sugieren que si Da Silva gana la presidencia en la primera vuelta del domingo solo sería por un estrecho margen, lo que crearía una oportunidad para que Bolsonaro y sus partidarios argumenten que los resultados se deben a un fraude electoral.Líderes políticos y analistas creen que las instituciones democráticas de Brasil están preparadas para resistir cualquier esfuerzo de Bolsonaro para impugnar los resultados de las elecciones, pero el país se prepara para la violencia. El 75 por ciento de los partidarios de Bolsonaro dijeron a la encuestadora más prominente de Brasil en julio que tenían “poco” o ningún apoyo para los sistemas de votación.“Lo único que puede quitarle la victoria a Bolsonaro es el fraude”, dijo Luiz Sartorelli, de 54 años, un vendedor de software en São Paulo. Enumeró varias teorías de la conspiración sobre un fraude pasado como prueba. “Si quieres la paz, a veces tienes que prepararte para la guerra”.Las elecciones también podrían tener importantes consecuencias medioambientales a nivel mundial. El 60 por ciento de la Amazonía se encuentra dentro de Brasil, y la salud de la selva tropical es fundamental para frenar el calentamiento global y preservar la biodiversidad.Bolsonaro ha provocado indignación en el país y preocupación en el mundo por las políticas que aceleraron la deforestación en la selva amazónica.Victor Moriyama para The New York TimesBolsonaro ha relajado las regulaciones sobre la tala y la minería en la Amazonía y ha recortado los fondos federales y el personal de las agencias que hacen cumplir las leyes destinadas a proteger a las poblaciones indígenas y el medio ambiente.En su campaña, ha prometido aplicar estrictamente la normativa medioambiental. Al mismo tiempo, ha puesto en duda las estadísticas que muestran el aumento de la deforestación y ha dicho que Brasil debe ser capaz de aprovechar sus recursos naturales.Da Silva prometió acabar con toda la minería ilegal y la deforestación en la Amazonia y ha dicho que animará a los agricultores y ganaderos a utilizar las tierras no ocupadas que ya han sido deforestadas.Con una ventaja constante en las encuestas, Da Silva ha llevado a cabo una campaña excesivamente reacia a los riesgos. Ha rechazado muchas solicitudes de entrevistas y, la semana pasada, no acudió a un debate.Lula da Silva ha prometido aumentar los impuestos a los ricos para ampliar los servicios a los pobres.Dado Galdieri para The New York TimesPero se presentó en el debate del jueves, en el que Bolsonaro lo empezó a atacar inmediatamente. Llamó a Da Silva “mentiroso, exconvicto y traidor”. Afirmó que la izquierda quería sexualizar a los niños y legalizar las drogas. Y trató de relacionar a Da Silva con un asesinato sin resolver de hace 20 años. “El futuro de la nación está en juego”, dijo a los votantes.Da Silva dijo que el presidente mentía. “Usted tiene una hija de 10 años viendo esto”, dijo. “Sea responsable”.André Spigariol More

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    Brazil Faces Big Vote in Presidential Election: Bolsonaro vs. Lula.

    Brazilians voting for president on Sunday will choose between two political titans in a contest seen as a major test for one of the world’s largest democracies.RIO DE JANEIRO — For the past decade, Brazil has lurched from one crisis to the next: environmental destruction, an economic recession, one president impeached, two presidents imprisoned and a pandemic that killed more people than anywhere else outside the United States.On Sunday, Brazilians will cast their ballots for their next president, hoping to push Latin America’s largest country toward a more stable and brighter future — by deciding between two men who are deeply tied to its tumultuous past.The election is widely regarded as the nation’s most important vote in decades, historians in Brazil say, in part because the health of one of the world’s biggest democracies may be at stake.The incumbent, President Jair Bolsonaro, is a far-right populist whose first term has stood out for its turmoil and his constant attacks on the electoral system. He has drawn outrage at home and concern abroad for policies that accelerated deforestation in the Amazon rainforest, for his embrace of unproven drugs over Covid-19 vaccines and for his harsh attacks on political rivals, judges, journalists and health professionals.The challenger, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, is a left-wing firebrand who oversaw Brazil’s boom during the first decade of this century, but then went to prison on corruption charges. Those charges were later thrown out, and now, after leading in polls for months, the man simply known as “Lula” is poised to complete a stunning political resurrection.They are perhaps the two best-known, and most polarizing, figures in this nation of 217 million people, and for more than a year, they have been pitching voters on starkly different visions for the country, whose economy has been battered by the pandemic and global inflation.Mr. Bolsonaro, 67, wants to sell Brazil’s state-owned oil company, open the Amazon to more mining, loosen regulations on guns and usher in more conservative values. Mr. da Silva, 76, promises to raise taxes on the rich to expand services for the poor, including widening the social safety net, increasing the minimum wage, and feeding and housing more people.Supporters of Mr. Bolsonaro in Rio de Janiero. Mr. Bolsonaro has implied that the only way he believes he would lose the election is if it were stolen from him.Dado Galdieri for The New York TimesMr. Bolsonaro’s campaign slogan is “God, family, homeland and liberty,” while Mr. da Silva has built his pitch around a pledge to ensure that all Brazilians can enjoy three meals a day, including, occasionally, a top cut of meat and a cold beer at a family barbecue.Yet, instead of their plans for the future, much of the race has revolved around each candidate’s past. Brazilians have lined up on either side based in large part on their opposition to one of the candidates, instead of their support for them.“The major word in this campaign is rejection,” said Thiago de Aragão, strategy director at Arko Advice, one of Brazil’s largest political consultancies. “This election is a demonstration of how voters in a polarized country unify themselves around what they hate instead of what they love.”The focus on Sunday — when a total of 11 presidential candidates will be on the ballot — will not just be on the vote tallies, but also on what will happen after the results are announced.Mr. Bolsonaro has been casting doubt on the security of Brazil’s electronic voting system for months, claiming without evidence that it is vulnerable to fraud and that Mr. da Silva’s supporters are planning to rig the vote. Mr. Bolsonaro has, in effect, said that the only way he would lose is if the election were stolen from him.Electoral Court inspectors packing up voting machines after testing them in São Paulo. In recent weeks, the military and election officials agreed to a change in how they test the machines, which Mr. Bolsonaro has claimed are unreliable.Victor Moriyama for The New York Times“We have three alternatives for me: Prison, death or victory,” he told supporters at enormous rallies last year. “Tell the bastards I’ll never be arrested.”Earlier this year, the military began challenging the election system alongside Mr. Bolsonaro, raising concerns that the armed forces could back the president if he refuses to concede.But in recent weeks, the military and election officials agreed on a change to tests of the voting machines, and military leaders say they are now satisfied with the system’s security. The military would not support any efforts by Mr. Bolsonaro to challenge the results, according to two senior military officials who spoke anonymously because of rules against military officials discussing politics. Some senior generals have also recently tried to persuade Mr. Bolsonaro to concede if he loses, according to one of the officials.Mr. Bolsonaro, however, still does not seem satisfied. On Wednesday, his political party released a two-page document claiming, without evidence, that some government employees and contractors had the “absolute power to manipulate election results without leaving a trace.” Election officials fired back that the claims “are false and dishonest” and “a clear attempt to hinder and disrupt” the election.Mr. Bolsonaro wants to open the Amazon to more mining and says he wants to usher in more conservative values.Victor Moriyama for The New York TimesOn Thursday, at the final debate before Sunday’s vote, Mr. Bolsonaro was asked directly by another candidate if he would accept the election results. He did not answer. Instead, he insulted the candidate, saying she was only challenging him because he fired her friends from government jobs. (She then asked if he was vaccinated for Covid-19 — his government deemed his vaccine status to be classified — and he responded similarly.)Mr. da Silva has held a commanding lead in the polls since last year. If no candidate exceeds 50 percent of the vote on Sunday, the top two finishers will compete in a runoff on Oct. 30. It had appeared that Mr. Bolsonaro and Mr. da Silva would end up in another showdown then, but a recent surge in Mr. da Silva’s poll numbers suggests that he could win outright on Sunday.A victory for Mr. da Silva would continue a leftward shift in Latin America, with six of the region’s seven largest nations electing leftist leaders since 2018. It also would be a major blow to the global movement of right-wing populism that has spread in the last decade. Former President Donald J. Trump is a key ally of Mr. Bolsonaro and has endorsed the Brazilian president.A campaign rally for Mr. da Silva in Rio de Janiero. If he does not win next week’s election outright, there will be a runoff on Oct. 30.Dado Galdieri for The New York TimesPolls suggest that if Mr. da Silva wins the presidency in Sunday’s first round it would only be by a slim margin, creating an opening for Mr. Bolsonaro and his supporters to argue that voter fraud accounted for the results.Political leaders and analysts believe that Brazil’s democratic institutions are prepared to withstand any effort by Mr. Bolsonaro to dispute the election’s results, but the nation is bracing for violence. Seventy-five percent of Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters told Brazil’s most prominent pollster in July that they had “little” or no support for the voting systems.“The only thing that can take victory from Bolsonaro is fraud,” said Luiz Sartorelli, 54, a software salesman in São Paulo. He listed several conspiracy theories about past fraud as proof. “If you want peace, sometimes you need to prepare for war.”The election could also have major global environmental consequences. Sixty percent of the Amazon lies within Brazil, and the health of the rainforest is critical to stemming global warming and preserving biodiversity.Mr. Bolsonaro has drawn outrage at home and concern abroad for policies that accelerated deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.Victor Moriyama for The New York TimesMr. Bolsonaro has loosened regulations on logging and mining in the Amazon, and slashed federal funds and staffing for the agencies that enforce laws intended to protect Indigenous populations and the environment.In his campaign, he has promised to strictly enforce environmental regulations. At the same time, he has cast doubt on statistics that show soaring deforestation and has said that Brazil must be able to take advantage of its natural resources.Mr. da Silva has pledged to end all illegal mining and deforestation in the Amazon, and said that he would encourage farmers and ranchers to use unoccupied land that has already been deforested.With a steady lead in the polls, Mr. da Silva has run an exceedingly risk-averse campaign. He has declined many interview requests and, last week, he skipped a debate.Mr. da Silva has promised to raise taxes on the rich to expand services for the poor.Dado Galdieri for The New York TimesBut he did show up at Thursday’s debate, where Mr. Bolsonaro immediately started swinging. He called Mr. da Silva a “liar, ex-convict and traitor.” He claimed the left wanted to sexualize children and legalize drugs. And he tried to connect Mr. da Silva to a 20-year-old unsolved murder. “The future of the nation is at stake,” he told voters.Mr. da Silva said the president was lying. “You have a 10-year-old daughter watching this,” he said. “Be responsible.”André Spigariol and Flávia Milhorance contributed reporting. More