Clinton, Trump poised for must-see debate showdown HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) - With millions watching and the American presidency on the line, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are poised for a must-see showdown Monday night, pitting the Democrat's call for steady, experienced leadership against the Republican's pugnacious promises to upend Washington. The 90-minute televised debate comes six weeks before Election Day and with early voting already getting underway in some states. Despite Clinton's advantages, including a sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation and a favorable electoral map, the race is exceedingly close. For Clinton and Trump, the first of three debates is a crucial moment to boost their standing with voters who view both candidates negatively.
Moderator Lester Holt under scrutiny during debate NEW YORK (AP) - Everyone's aware of the stakes for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the first presidential debate, but there's a third person in the equation who faces a different pressure: Lester Holt. The NBC News veteran is moderating his first general election debate, making him solely responsible for the questions asked each candidate and for steering the conversation. His performance will be closely watched, particularly in light of a dispute over the extent to which he should call politicians out for making untrue statements. Holt, 57, has kept quiet about his preparations. The NBC "Nightly News" anchor took over his job last year after predecessor Brian Williams was found to have lied about his role in news stories.
Houston gunman had 2 weapons, thousands of rounds at scene HOUSTON (AP) - A disgruntled lawyer had two weapons and more than 2,500 rounds of live ammunition when he randomly shot at drivers in a Houston neighborhood Monday morning, hitting six people, before he was shot and killed by police, authorities said. Another three people had injuries from glass or debris. The gunman was wearing military-style apparel with old Nazi emblems during Monday morning's shootings, Houston Homicide Capt. Dwayne Ready said at a news conference. Vintage military items dating to the Civil War and other guns were found the man's apartment. Ready and Interim Police Chief Martha Montalvo did not identify the man and did not have information about a motive.
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FBI data show increase in murder, violent crime in 2015 WASHINGTON (AP) - Are Americans safer? It depends on where you live. A report issued Monday by the FBI says the number of murders rose by more than 10 percent in 2015 from the previous year, while violent crime overall was up nearly 4 percent. Experts say the increase is driven by a spike in violent crime in at least several large cities, but they caution that the country is in the midst of such low crime rates that even the tiniest increase appears larger than it is. "There are problems with violence in certain American cities and we need to work to address that, but there's no evidence of a national crime wave," said Inimai Chettiar of the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute at New York University School of Law.
Police: Mall shooting suspect confessed, shot 5 in 1 minute MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - The suspect accused of killing five people at a Macy's department store confessed to police, court documents said, but his motive remained a mystery Monday as a portrait emerged of him as a mentally troubled young man whose parents said they were trying to help him. Arcan Cetin, 20, appeared in court following his arrest over the weekend on five counts of first-degree premeditated murder for the shooting at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, north of Seattle. Cetin appeared to express no emotion and said only "Yes, your honor" when asked by a judge if he understood his rights.
Colombia to sign historic peace deal on ending long conflict CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) - More than 220,000 deaths, 8 million homeless and countless human rights violations: These are the tragic toll of South America's oldest armed conflict, which begins to wind down with the signing Monday of a historic agreement between Colombia's government and the country's largest rebel movement to end a half-century of hostilities. Underlining the significance of the deal, President Juan Manuel Santos and the top commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a rebel fighter known by the alias Timochenko, were to sign the accord in the colonial city of Cartagena. Fifteen Latin American presidents as well as U.N.
Official: One-third of calls to VA suicide hotline roll over WASHINGTON (AP) - More than one-third of calls to a suicide hotline for troubled veterans are not being answered by front-line staffers because of poor work habits and other problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to the hotline's former director. Some hotline workers handle fewer than five calls per day and leave before their shifts end, even as crisis calls have increased sharply in recent years, said Greg Hughes, the former director of the VA's Veterans Crisis Line. Hughes said in an internal email that some crisis line staffers "spend very little time on the phone or engaged in assigned productive activity." Coverage at the crisis line suffers "because we have staff who routinely request to leave early," he said.
Showdown: Congress looks to override Obama veto of 9/11 bill WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress is poised to override President Barack Obama's veto of a bill that would allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for the kingdom's alleged backing of the terrorists who carried out the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people. The showdown is scheduled for Wednesday. Proponents of the legislation say they have enough votes for what would be a first: During his nearly two full terms in office, Obama has vetoed nine bills. None has been overridden. While there is broad and bipartisan support for bucking the president, the bill's opponents also are pushing hard to keep the measure from being enacted.
Palmer's impact: Grand Slam, endorsements, TV, private jets CHASKA, Minn. (AP) - Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth all chased the Grand Slam, golf's holy grail of winning all four majors in one year. Arnold Palmer is the one who created it. When he turned 50, it was Palmer who brought enthusiasm and credibility in 1980 to a fledgling circuit known then as the Senior PGA Tour. And it flourished because no one got tired of watching Arnie. Today, nine players who probably should be retired already have made at least $1 million. The Golf Channel interrupted coverage of the PGA Tour Champions event Sunday night when Palmer died at age 87, and the network provided continuous reports on his legacy, highlights of his greatest victories and images of the countless relationships Palmer developed.
'A lot of pain'_ Marlins cope with Fernandez's death MIAMI (AP) - Jose Fernandez's name and number showed on the video screen at Marlins Park on Monday when his teammates took the field, preparing to face the New York Mets without him. Fernandez made his major league debut against the Mets in 2013 and was scheduled to face them again Monday night. Instead, Miami mourns and the Marlins are pushing on without their 24-year-old ace, who was killed in a boating accident early Sunday. "Deep in our hearts there is a lot of pain," third baseman Martin Prado said. "Somehow we've got to overcome that." His death sent shock waves throughout Major League Baseball.