AP Top News at 11:20 p.m. EDT

Shimon Peres, ex-Israeli president and PM, dies at 93
JERUSALEM (AP) - Shimon Peres, a former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state and who was celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace, died early Wednesday, a person close to him confirmed. Peres was 93. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss Peres' health with the media. The family said it would issue a formal announcement shortly. Peres' condition worsened following a major stroke two weeks ago that led to bleeding in his brain. He was sedated and on a respirator during most of his hospitalization.


As Clinton cheers, Donald Trump digs in after debate
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A defensive Donald Trump gave Hillary Clinton plenty of fresh material for the next phase of her presidential campaign on Tuesday, choosing to publicly reopen and relitigate some her most damaging attacks. The day after his first general election debate, Trump blamed the moderator and a bad microphone and said he was holding back to avoid embarrassing Clinton. Next time, he threatened, he might get more personal and make a bigger political issue of former President Bill Clinton's marital infidelities. Things are already getting plenty personal. On Monday night, Trump brushed off Clinton's debate claim that he'd once shamed a former Miss Universe winner for her weight.


10 Things to Know for Wednesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday: 1. FORMER ISRAELI PRESIDENT SHIMON PERES DIES The statesman, who was celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace, has died at 93. 2. WHO'S ON THE DEFENSIVE AFTER DEBATE Donald Trump gives Hillary Clinton plenty of fresh material for the next phase of her presidential campaign, choosing to publicly reopen and relitigate some her most damaging attacks. 3. WHICH CANDIDATE VOTERS THINK IS MOST FIT TO LEAD An AP-GfK poll shows registered voters are buying into Donald Trump's assertions that he's more physically fit to be president than Hillary Clinton.


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Reason to cringe: Female voters react to Trump
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (AP) - When Donald Trump challenged Hillary Clinton's stamina on the debate stage, Pennsylvania voter Patricia Bennett said she heard a "dog whistle" that smacked of unmistakable sexism. "Why doesn't he just say that she needs more testosterone?" said Bennett, a 69-year-old independent from the Philadelphia suburbs who plans to vote for Clinton in November. Across the country, Lisa Lowe, a Colorado Democrat who was lukewarm about Clinton before Monday's debate, said Trump behaved like a "negative bully." Kris Stotler, an undecided Virginia Republican, was disappointed by Trump's jarring criticism of a former beauty queen's weight, comments Clinton forcefully condemned during the faceoff.


AP-GfK poll: Americans divide on importance of tax returns
WASHINGTON (AP) - American voters are divided along party lines about whether it's important for presidential candidates to release their tax returns, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Democrat Hillary Clinton has released her tax returns to the public, while Republican Donald Trump has not. Voters have mixed opinions on whether Trump's tax returns are getting too much or too little attention from the media. The poll also finds a dramatic divide on whether the media are paying too much or too little attention to Clinton's use of a private email address while she was secretary of state. Here are some things to know about what Americans think about the transparency of the two candidates and what they've disclosed to voters in the 2016 campaign: --- TAX RETURNS AND MEDICAL RECORDS More than 6 in 10 Democrats say it's very or extremely important for candidates to release their tax returns, while fewer than 3 in 10 Republicans say the same.


Debate reaches 84 million viewers, toppling record
NEW YORK (AP) - The showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was the most-watched presidential debate ever, with 84 million viewers. The Nielsen company said the viewership, over 13 different networks, toppled a record that had stood for 36 years. The previous record for presidential debate viewership was the 80.6 million people who saw the only debate in 1980 between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. At the time of the Carter-Reagan debate, the U.S. population was 226 million. Now, it is 324 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. No debate since then had exceeded 70 million viewers.


Ex-ally: Gov. Christie seemed happy about bridge gridlock
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie was told about the epic 2013 traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge while it was underway, seemed happy about it and joked sarcastically that there was nothing political going on, a former loyalist testified Tuesday in the scandal that helped destroy Christie's White House ambitions. David Wildstein, a former executive at the agency that oversees New York-area bridges and tunnels, took the stand for the prosecution at the trial of two one-time Christie allies accused of engineering the four days of gridlock to punish a Democratic mayor for not endorsing Christie. Wildstein has pleaded guilty.


Battle for besieged Syrian city of Aleppo intensifies
BEIRUT (AP) - With international diplomacy in tatters and the U.S. focused on its election, the Syrian government and its Russian allies are seizing the moment to wage an all-out campaign to recapture Aleppo, unleashing the most destructive bombing of the past five years and pushing into the center of the Old City. Desperate residents describe horrific scenes in Syria's largest city and onetime commercial center, with hospitals and underground shelters hit by indiscriminate airstrikes that the U.N. said may amount to a war crime. Debris covers streets lined with bombed-out buildings, trapping people in their neighborhoods and hindering rescue workers.


Colombia's road to peace marred by multiple obstacles
CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) - The contrast couldn't be more dramatic: As Colombia's president and the head of its largest guerrilla movement were putting their signatures on a historic peace deal, a 6-year-old boy was killed when he chased a soccer ball into a field and stepped on a land mine left behind during the half-century conflict. Even as this nation celebrates the end of hostilities with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, the harsh reality that fueled the long conflict is settling in. From the security challenges posed by surging coca crops and dangerous criminal gangs to the difficult task of removing land mines and reintegrating guerrillas blamed for numerous atrocities, the work ahead is daunting.


SpaceX chief envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying to Mars
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - On a personal quest to settle Mars, SpaceX founder Elon Musk envisions 1,000 passenger ships flying en masse to the red planet well within the next century, "Battlestar Galactica" style. Musk outlined his zealous plan Tuesday to establish a self-sustaining city on Mars, complete with iron foundries and even pizzerias. He wants to make humans a multiplanetary species, and says the best way to do that is to colonize the red planet. "I think Earth will be a good place for a long time, but the probable lifespan of human civilization will be much greater if we're a multiplanetary species," he said.