AP Top News at 2:54 p.m. EDT

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.


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.


6 shot, 3 others hurt in Houston neighborhood; gunman dead
HOUSTON (AP) - A disgruntled lawyer who had numerous weapons randomly shot at drivers in a Houston neighborhood Monday morning, hitting six people, one critically, before he was shot and killed by police, authorities said. Another three people had injuries from glass or debris. The first report of the shootings came in at about 6:30 a.m., Police Chief Martha Montalvo said at a news conference, and the suspect began firing at officers when they arrived. Montalvo did not identify the man; Mayor Sylvester Turner told KTRK-TV that the lawyer was "disgruntled" and was "either fired or had a bad relationship with this law firm."


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FBI data show increase in murder, violent crime in 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of murders reported by local law enforcement agencies jumped by more than 10 percent in 2015 from the year before, according to crime data released by the FBI on Monday. Violent crime overall rose by 3.9 percent, though the total was still lower than levels from five and 10 years ago, in 2011 and 2006, the FBI said. The figures released Monday were reported by law enforcement agencies through the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which compiles data on murders, aggravated assault, car thefts and other crime. The statistics show an estimated 15,696 murders and non-negligent manslaughters in the country in 2015, a 10.8 percent increase from the year before.


Documents: Mall shooting suspect confesses to slayings
MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) - The young man accused of killing five people in a Washington state shopping mall before leading authorities on a nearly 24-hour manhunt has confessed to the slayings, according to court documents released Monday. The documents filed in Skagit Court say Arcan Cetin told detectives who interviewed him that "he did bring the rifle into Macy's and shot all 5 victims." The 20-year-old was arrested Saturday evening following the slayings at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, on Friday evening. Cetin, who faces five charges of premeditated murder, will be making an initial court appearance late Monday morning.


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. That's according to the hotline's former director, who complained in emails that some workers handle fewer than five calls per day and leave before their shifts end even as call volumes increased. Greg Hughes, the former director of the Veterans Crisis Line, said 35 to 40 percent of crisis calls roll over to back-up centers where workers have less training to deal with veterans' problems.


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 expected this week. 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.


Colombia to sign historic peace deal on ending long conflict
CARTAGENA, Colombia (AP) - Colombia takes a big step Monday toward emerging from its decades-long nightmare of bloody violence when the government and the country's largest rebel movement sign a peace accord that emerged from four years of negotiations. The significance of the deal can't be overstated: Colombia's five-decade conflict, partly fueled by the nation's cocaine trade, has killed more than 220,000 people and driven 8 million from their homes. Underlining the importance of the day, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the top commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, of FARC, a rebel fighter known by the alias Timochenko, will sign the accord in the colonial city of Cartagena.


Molly Ringwald eyes return to stage in a classic title
NEW YORK (AP) - "The Breakfast Club" star Molly Ringwald will return to a New York stage in an adaptation of another classic 1980s film - "Terms of Endearment." 59E59 Theaters said Monday that Ringwald will star in the bittersweet story of a mother and daughter that was turned into an Oscar-winning film by James L. Brooks. Performances begin Oct. 29. Ringwald, who starred in the films "Pretty in Pink" and "Sixteen Candles," is no stranger to the stage, having been on Broadway in "Cabaret" and "Enchanted April." Off-Broadway, she has been in "Modern Orthodox," ''How I Learned to Drive" and "Tick, Tick ...