Democracy Dies in Darkness
The sweeping executive order strips job protections from employees in policy roles across the government — an unusual directive that would allow the administration to weed out career federal employees viewed as disloyal if President Trump wins a second term.
President Trump throws hats as he arrives for a campaign event at the Duluth International Airport on Sept. 30 in Duluth, Minn. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
The campaign signed an agreement pledging to limit attendance at the Duluth, Minn., event to 250 people. Officials estimate more than 2,500 came to the rally, held two days before the president was diagnosed with covid-19.
The TakeAnalysis
The trio of Midwest states remain key to Joe Biden’s hopes, unless he busts open the electoral map.
Federal and state officials said they have fortified election systems since 2016, when Russian hackers scanned election-related websites and software across the country for vulnerabilities.
In Utah, which has voted by mail for years, officials were busy responding to outlandish claims traceable to right-wing punditry and the president’s Twitter feed.
The stands at Camp Randall Stadium are empty during the first half of the Wisconsin-Illinois game on Oct. 23. (AP)
As the resuscitated Big Ten season arrived, a stadium that usually holds 80,321 held zero in a college town filled with emptiness.
Companies racing to bring the tests to the wider U.S. market must make them more accurate and easier to use before they can meet federal guidelines that would allow sales directly to consumers.
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Colorado's second-largest wildfire on record is expanding Saturday before an expected snowstorm.
Rising support for Thailand’s youth protests among police could hamper the government’s response.
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Lesley Beckley puts her ballot into a drop box at the Lummi Reservation in Washington. (AP)
Many states’ plans for mail-in ballots overlooked people in isolated areas of reservations with limited transportation, Native American rights advocates say. 
The medical history of each man, competing to become the oldest sitting president in American history, has become a central component of an increasingly negative race.
Four years ago, President Barack Obama argued that his administration’s accomplishments were tied to the outcome. That’s true again as the 44th president ramps up his advocacy in the 2020 campaign’s final days.

National polling average

Biden is leading (+9) the national polling average.

Illustration of Joe Biden

Biden

52%

Trump

43%

Illustration of Donald Trump

Average of national polls since Oct. 12 that meet Washington Post standards for transparency and quality. Includes polls by Economist-YouGov, NBC-WSJ, PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist, SurveyMonkey-Tableau and Quinnipiac University.

Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested in Los Angeles on U.S. charges that he had aided a drug cartel when he was defense minister. Could the high-profile prosecution damage U.S.-Mexico cooperation in the fight against narcotics trafficking?
President Andrzej Duda is doing "fine" his spokesman said.
(Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg News)
Cases in the country are spiking sharply. One reason may be a long-held suspicion of doctors, partly a hangover from Soviet times.
President Trump asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if Joe Biden would have found a way to reach an Israel-Sudan accord. But Trump may not have received the response he expected.
Computer models are struggling to handle the system, making for a tricky forecast.
(Zerb Mellish for The Post)
The Baltimore Museum of Art, which will also auction works by Clyfford Still and Brice Marden, says the donations were never formalized.
The political consultant and author, who used to edit a weekly newspaper owned by Jared Kushner, is accused of stalking a doctor and harassing her colleague and the colleauge’s spouse. 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are refusing to tell members of Congress what gives them the legal right to use cellphone location data to track people inside the country without a warrant.
Analysis
It's a tricky question to answer. But it's likely fewer than Joe Biden is saying.
Humans pay close attention to books and one another. (Illustration by Craig Cutler for The Post)
English departments are increasingly under pressure to justify their existence. But have the eternal lessons of great books ever mattered more?
Review
At Peter Chang’s NiHao in Baltimore, chef Pichet Ong shows his facility with savory dishes, too.
Date Lab
He hoped The Post would expose him “to a different sort of dating pool.”
Washington owner Daniel Snyder, left, talks with his Dallas counterpart Jerry Jones, right, prior to their teams' match-up in December 2019. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)
Washington's performance against its arch-rival Sunday could also impact the team's outlook heading into the NFL trade deadline.
The fifth-year defensive back can play on the boundary, in the nickel or at safety. But for the former Good Counsel and Virginia Tech star, corner is where the picks are.
Knowing there was a car waiting to drive him to Tampa Bay after Sunday's loss to the Dolphins in Miami, Steve McLendon wanted to suit up with his Jets teammates one more time.
(Michael S. Williamson/The Post)
Music Review
Viola Smith1912–2020
She formed the Coquettes “all-girl” big band and championed women in the almost completely male preserve of 1930s and ’40s popular music.
On HBO’s “The Undoing,” the actors had to trust each other implicitly — as their characters in the show struggled to do the same.
The horror movie genre has historically undervalued its Black characters. In films such as “Get Out” and “Night of the Living Dead,” they shine.
Review
Painting styles run the gamut from abstract to representational with spontaneity and verve.