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FedEx CEO Fred Smith signaled darker times ahead for the transportation industry during an earnings call on Tuesday, citing negative economic impact stemming from President Trump's trade war, Brexit and other global issues caused by "bad political choices."

Why it matters: FedEx, along with the rest of the transports sector, is considered a good gauge of economic health.

"Most of the issues that we are dealing with today are induced by bad political choices. Making a bad decision about a new tax, creating tremendously difficult situation with Brexit, the immigration crisis in Germany, the mercantilism and state owned enterprise initiatives in China, the tariffs that the United States put in unilateral. So you just go down the list and they are all things that have created macroeconomic slowdown. The good news is with a change in policy, they could turn it around pretty quick too."
— FedEx CEO Fred Smith on Tuesday's earnings call

The backdrop: Smith's bleak comments about the global economy came alongside FedEx's disappointing earnings report, in which the company sharply cut its profit expectations for next year.

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Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

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A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

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Germany goes back into lockdown

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel will enact one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns since spring, closing bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.

How overhyping became an election meddling tool

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.