Morning everyone. I’m Martin Farrer and these are the top stories this morning.
Joe Biden and Donald Trump have gone head-to-head for the last time before the US election on 3 November in the final television debate in which they offered contrasting visions of how to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Squaring off in Nashville, the Democratic challenger said anyone who had presided over the deaths of more than 220,000 Americans did not deserve to be president. The incumbent, who failed to land any knockout blows to revive his faltering campaign, could only venture that the virus would “go away”. Biden had to field aggressive questioning about his son’s business dealings but when Trump compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, the challenger branded his opponent “one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history”. Overall the debate was much more orderly than their first clash, helped by a mute button on the candidates’ microphones which prevented interruptions. TV viewers and undecided voters declared Biden the winner, according to CNN. Our Washington correspondent, David Smith, says Trump tried to use the 2016 playbook but was outmanoeuvred by Biden, while Richard Wolffe argues that an underprepared Trump failed to pull his campaign out of a tailspin. Our panel of experts concludes Trump didn’t get the win he needed, while there’s also a case that the moderator, Kristen Welker, was the real winner.