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Presidential debates update: Trump cries foul; debate topics announced; when, what time are the debates

With less than a week before the first presidential debate, Republican nominee Donald Trump is claiming the system is rigged against him.

Trump told Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that he feels the moderator of the first debate, NBC’s Lester Holt, is being pressured to ask him tough questions because “Today Show” host Matt Lauer was criticized for seeming to go easy on Trump in a town hall-type event earlier this month.

“Matt was very tough on me, and he was tough on her (Hillary Clinton). But I think he was equally tough, maybe even tougher on me. And they really hit him because I won that debate,” Trump told O’Reilly.

“What they’re doing is they’re gaming the system, like gaming the ref,” he said. “Lester’s a professional, but we’ll see what happens. I mean, I think it’s unfair. I think it’s unfair what they’re doing, …” Trump said.

Trump and Clinton will have their first debate, organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, on Monday, Sept. 26 in Hempstead, N.Y.

Meanwhile, the topics for next week’s debate were announced Monday.  The topics, chosen by Holt, are, "America's Direction," "Achieving Prosperity," and "Securing America," according to  a release from the CPD.

The format for the first debate calls for six 15-minute time segments. Two 15-minute segments will focus on each of the topics.

The debate begins at 9 p.m. ET and runs for 90 minutes without commercial interruption.

Debate notes:

  • The other two debates will be held on Oct. 9 and Oct. 19.

  • Libertarian Gary Johnson and Jill Stein of the Green Party will not be onstage for the first debate. They failed to make the cut based on their polling results.

  • Moderators for the second debate are ABC News' Martha Raddatz and CNN's Anderson Cooper. Fox News' Chris Wallace will moderate the third debate.

  • CBS News’ Elaine Quijano will moderate a vice presidential debate between Illinois Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine, (D-Va.),  on Oct. 4.

The debates will take place in:

  • 1st - Hofstra University is hosting a Viewer's Guide to Televised Debates, which will offer tips for viewing the debate critically and provide a guide how to be media literate while watching the presidential debates. (

  • Vice presidential debate - Longwood University 

  • 2nd - Washington University in St. Louis 

  • 3rd - University of Nevada, Las Vegas 

According to the CPD

Before the debate:

Facebook and Google will be providing data to the moderators in the weeks leading up to the debates on what people are searching and saying about the election, the candidates, and the issues. Other technology platforms will be engaged in this effort as well including Google, #CollegeDebate16, and many other social media grassroots organizations.

PBS NewsHour together with technology partner Microsoft have created an interactive, civic education site ( that allows users to access every general election debate since 1960, screen entire debates or debate highlights and track how candidates have addressed specific issues in the debates over the years. Users can react to the debates and compare their responses with others through a unique interactive experience. 

During the Debate:

Facebook, the exclusive social media sponsor for the first and third presidential debates, will be on site at the debate host universities. Members of the media, students, and the campus community will be using Facebook Live to broadcast and show what is happening at the debate site. People on Facebook in the U.S. and around the world will be able to watch these videos live, ask questions and comment with their reactions. Facebook will also have an interactive touch screen to show the conversation on Facebook about the candidates and the issues.  

Snapchat will be covering each debate on-site via a "Live Story." These Live Stories will allow users on Snapchat to experience the debates from the many different perspectives of students from the debate host universities, volunteers, media and many others. These compilations of Snaps are designed to encourage the conversation long after each debate is over.  

Viewers will also be able to watch live streams of the debates. Some of the websites and platforms that will feature debate live streams are: ABC News, Buzzfeed News, CBS News, CNN, C-SPAN, The Daily Caller, Facebook, Fox News, Hulu, Huffington Post, NBC, PBS, Politico, Telemundo, The Wall Street Journal, Twitter, Univision, Yahoo, YouTube.

7 things to know now: Bombing suspect held; how is H.W. Bush voting; Carrey sued

Here's a roundup of news trending across the nation and world today.

What to know now:

1. Bombing suspect: The man law enforcement authorities believe placed bombs around New York and New Jersey over the weekend is recovering in a hospital Tuesday after a shootout with police. Ahmad Khan Rahami was taken into custody hours after he was named a suspect in the bombings that injured more than two dozen people. According to police, Rahami became a suspect when a fingerprint was discovered on one of the unexploded devices he is suspected to have set. Rahami is a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Afghanistan. The investigation into whether he acted alone continues. 

2. Presidential vote: Is George H.W. Bush voting for Hillary Clinton come November? According to the Facebook account of Kathleen Townsend, Robert Kennedy’s daughter, he is. The post on Townsend’s account, which is private, is said to show a photo of Townsend shaking hands with the former president. The caption reads, "The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!" A Bush spokesman responded to the story saying, “The vote President Bush will cast as a private citizen in some 50 days will be just that: a private vote cast in 50 days. He is not commenting on the presidential race in the interim.” 

3. Carrey being sued: Actor Jim Carrey was sued by his late girlfriend’s husband Monday. The suit claims Carrey played a part in the death of Cathriona White. Mark Burton, who was married to White when she died, said he wants to show people that Carrey is not the “grieving good guy,” but the person who got prescription drugs under a false name and gave them to White. The coroner ruled White died when she overdosed on prescription drugs on Sept. 28, 2015. White was married to Mark Burton when she was seeing Carrey.  

3. Bowl of Skittles policy:  Donald Trump Jr. used a bowl of Skittles in a post on Twitter Monday to explain his father’s proposed policy on limiting the number of Syrian refugees who would be allowed in the United States. The post read, "If I had a bowl of skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful?" Trump Jr. went on to explain, "This image says it all. Let's end the politically correct agenda that doesn't put America first."  

4. L’Eggo that Eggo: The Kellogg Company is recalling about 10,000 cases of its Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles because they may be contaminated with the bacteria listeria. Kellogg says it has received no reports of illness from the waffles and discovered the possible contamination after routine tests.  Only the whole wheat waffles with “Use by” dates of Nov. 21, 2017 and Nov. 22, 2017 are being recalled.  

And one more

The son of a Chinese billionaire has purchased his dog eight iPhone 7 phones, CNN is reporting. Coco, an Alaskan malamute who is owned by Wang Sicong, seemed unimpressed as she posed with the phones in a photo for her social media account. Coco may have looked bored with her stash because she is no stranger to Apple technology. She already owns two Apple watches. And a Fendi handbag. Because she can. 

In case you missed it

France bans plastic cups, dishes

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

France recently became the first country in the world to ban disposable plastic cups and dishes, according to The Associated Press.

>> Read more trending stories  

The new law, which went into effect last month, is part of the country's efforts to reduce pollution.

Under the law, which was proposed by the Europe Ecologie-Greens Party, producers have until 2020 to make sure that all disposable dishes sold in France are made of biologically sourced materials and can be composted. 

The group wanted the ban to be introduced by 2017, but it was delayed because Environment Minister Segolene Royal initially opposed the law, calling it an "antisocial" measure. 

According to Les Echos, France currently throws away more than 4.7 billion plastic cups every year, and only 1 percent of those items are recycled.

France enacted a ban on plastic bags in July.

Read more at The Associated Press.

Black metal drummer 'accidentally' elected to town council

A Norwegian black metal drummer has "accidentally" been elected to his local town council.

The frontman for the band Darkthrone mistakenly agreed to be on a list of backup representatives and assumed that he’d never be called upon. To ensure this, Glyve "Fenriz" Nagell posted a picture of himself holding his cat with the caption, “Please don’t vote for me.” 

>> Read more trending stories

Locals loved the low-key campaign, and instead he won a position on the council. He’ll have to serve as a backup representative for the next four years and is quite unhappy about it, citing how boring it is and the lack of good pay. 

Read more here.

>> See the photo here

Posted by Darkthrone on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Brazilian actor dies when police mistake drowning for soap opera scene

A popular Brazilian actor died while swimming in an area near where he had been recording scenes for a soap opera, authorities said Friday.

>> Read more trending stories  

Domingos Montagner, 54, was swimming in the São Francisco River in Brazil with actress co-star Camila Pitanga when a strong current pulled him away and carried him underwater.

Pitanga tried to grab Montagner but was unable to reach him, the Associated Press reported. Pitanga later told police that she was able to swim to a rock.

Pitanga screamed for help, but authorities didn't respond because they thought the noise was a part of filming for a show. She alerted search and rescue teams of the incident after authorities initially didn't take action.

Montagner was found hours later nearly 60 feet below the surface and 1,000 feet from where he was last seen, according to Jose Aparecido Cardoso, director of the state Legal Medical Institute. He was lodged between two rocks, according to rescue crews.

"They thought they had chosen a safe spot to swim, but that is one of the most dangerous areas in the town of Canindé and is usually avoided by locals," police chief Antonio Francisco Filho told O Globo.

Pitanga and Montagner appear in "Velho Chico" ("Old Boy"), Brazil's best-known and most popular soap opera, according to Fox News Latino. The actors had recently finished filming scenes for the show in Canindé, in the state of Sergipe.

On average, one person has drowned every year in Canindé since 2005, BBC reported.

Montagner's funeral was held Saturday in his home town of Sao Paulo. He had been married to actress Luciana Lima for 14 years, and the couple had three children together. 

Pitanga wrote on Instagram Sunday, saying, "I have received a sea of love, and this has been extremely important to strengthen me. Eternal gratitude to all of you who are in this chain of love."

A photo posted by Portal Estrelando (@portalestrelando) on Sep 18, 2016 at 9:16am PDT

Reports of hostage situation in Paris turn out to be false alarm

There were a flurry of reports on social media Saturday of a hostage situation taking place in Paris.

A church near the Étienne Marcel transit station was being referenced on Twitter as the place where significant police activity was taking place.

An attack alert was issued, but police cleared the area and declared the area safe a short while later.

>> Read more trending stories 

The initial reports drew a large police response.

New French law bans plastic cups, plates and cutlery

France has passed a law to ensure that all plastic cups, cutlery and plates can be composted and are made of biologically sourced materials, the Independent reported. 

>> Read more trending stories  

The law, which takes effect in 2020, is part of the Energy Transition for Green Growth – a plan that will allow France to tackle climate change more effectively. 

Pack2Go Europe, a Brussels-based organization representing European packaging manufacturers, says it will keep fighting the law and hopes it doesn't spread to the rest of the continent.

"We are urging the European Commission to do the right thing and to take legal action against France for infringing European law," Pack2go Europe secretary general Eamonn Bates told The Associated Press. "If they don't, we will." 


World's oldest man to finally celebrate bar mitzvah at age 113

He wasn't able to celebrate the religious coming-of-age ceremony Jewish boys go through at age 13 because his mother had died and his father had been drafted into the Russian army. Now, 100 years later, Yisrael Kristal will finally have his bar mitzvah.

>> Read more trending stories

He just turned 113 years old, and was recently named as the world's oldest man.

Kristal was born in 1903 in Poland and survived both World Wars and lived through the Holocaust, his family told BBC News. He and his family were sent to the Nazi death camp Auschwitz where his wife was murdered. His two children also died in the Holocaust.

Kristal emigrated to Israel in 1950 with his second wife and their son.

The bar mitzvah is set for later September with a ceremony in Haifa, Israel where he will be surrounded with family in friends. The date coincides with his birthday according to the Hebrew date.

His daughter, Shulamit Kuperstoch, told the BBC that his bar mitzvah will be a "corrective experience".

Kuperstoch says her father would perform the traditional bar mitzvah rituals, including putting on phylacteries (small boxes containing biblical verses worn on the head and arm) and saying blessings over the Torah (Jewish holy book).

"We are excited, we're happy, it is a great honour to celebrate his bar mitzvah. He has children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and cousins and everyone is coming," Kuperstoch said.

What's his secret to long life?

"I don't know the secret for long life," Kristal said. "I believe that everything is determined from above and we shall never know the reasons why. There have been smarter, stronger and better looking men then me who are no longer alive. All that is left for us to do is to keep on working as hard as we can and rebuild what is lost."

Apple iPhone 7 Plus, jet black models sold out; other models limited in stores

If  you are expecting to swing by the Apple store today to get a new iPhone 7 Plus as it hits store shelves, you are going to be disappointed.

According to Apple, that version of the next generation of its smartphone is sold out, thanks to online sales. And, if you are looking for the jet black version of the iPhone 7, sit down, there is more bad news. 

Yep, that one’s sold out, too. 

If you are not picky about the smartphone’s color, you have a shot at finding one in Apple retail stores or in “partner locations,” Apple said in a statement released Thursday.

“We couldn’t be happier with the initial response to iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and we are looking forward to beginning sales through our retail stores and partners around the world,” a statement from Apple read.

 “Beginning Friday, limited quantities of iPhone 7 in silver, gold, rose gold, and black will be available for walk-in customers at Apple retail stores. During the online pre-order period, initial quantities of iPhone 7 Plus in all finishes and iPhone 7 in jet black sold out and will not be available for walk-in customers. Availability at partner locations for all finishes may vary and we recommend checking directly with them. 

“Customers can continue to order all models in all colors on We sincerely appreciate our customers’ patience as we work hard to get the new iPhone into the hands of everyone who wants one as quickly as possible.”

According to reports, the backorders on some phones may push delivery into November. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile phone networks have said that they have received record orders for the new phones.

The companies all announced free iPhone 7 deals that require customers to trade in a qualifying iPhone (iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus) and agree to a two-year contract. The contract credits the wireless account each month for 24 months to equal the price of a 32 GB iPhone 7.  

The iPhone 7 (32 GB) sells for $649. The iPhone 7 Plus (32) is $769.

Australians petition to put Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin on currency

If tens of thousands of people get their way, the Crocodile Hunter could be featured on Australian currency.

Five Australian teens started a petition last week to pay respect to "the all time greatest Australian bloke." Their goal is to convince the Australian government to put Steve Irwin's face on a coin or note.

One of the petition's creators told the BBC: "We started this petition because the newer generation barely knows who is representing our currency. We believed that having a childhood icon and conservationist like Steve would be a great idea."

Current Australian banknotes feature several poets, religious officials and politicians, most of whom were born in the 1800s and died in the mid-1900s.

>>Read more trending news

As of Thursday morning, the petition had over 23,000 signatures. It has gotten the attention of the Royal Australian Mint, which produced a Steve Irwin commemorative coin in 2009.

The mint's chief executive told The Telegraph: "This petition has further highlighted the passion throughout a sub-section of the Australian community to recognize Mr Irwin, and we invite those who are leading the cause to ... submit a written proposal to us directly for consideration."

The petition was started just days after the 10th anniversary of Irwin's death. He was killed after a giant stringray stabbed him in the heart while he was filming an underwater documentary.

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