GOP Senate Ad Acknowledges Clinton Likely to Win

The Latest on the presidential campaign (all times EDT):

10:30 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says that Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that he would not concede if he lost the election was a “direct threat to our democracy.”

Clinton said the United States has always had a “peaceful transfer of power.” She added “that is the difference between the rule of law and the rule of strong men.” She made the comments at a rally in Philadelphia Saturday night.

Clinton said the United States has always had a “peaceful transfer of power.” She added “that is the difference between the rule of law and the rule of strong men.”

During the closing days of the race, Clinton is trying to stress a positive, unifying vision. She said of Trump that “anger is not a plan.”


9:20 p.m.

Singer Katy Perry is rallying students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for Hillary Clinton on the first day of early voting in Nevada.

Perry surprised students Saturday afternoon when she knocked on the doors of their dorm rooms wearing a T-shirt that read “Nasty Woman.” That’s a phrase Donald Trump uttered at Wednesday’s debate with Clinton.

Perry headlined a short outdoor rally on campus along with Nevada Democratic Senate hopeful Catherine Cortez Masto, but Perry didn’t perform any of her songs.

Perry campaigned in Las Vegas for President Barack Obama in 2012 wearing a dress decorated like a ballot.


8:55 p.m.

Huge crowds at a Cleveland arena and an outdoor rally in Virginia Beach greeted Donald Trump as he visited the battleground states of Ohio and Virginia.

Trump’s claim that the system is “rigged” was a prominent feature of all his speeches on Saturday.

Speaking in the evening at the I-X Center in Cleveland, the Republican presidential nominee alleged that the election could be influenced by widespread voter fraud.

Election officials and academics who study elections insist he is wrong.

Trump is painting the election as a choice between change and more of the same under rival Hillary Clinton.

Trump found another receptive audience for his promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington when he visited Regent University in Virginia Beach earlier in the day. He began the day in another battleground, Pennsylvania, with a speech at Gettysburg.


8:45 p.m.

Hillary Clinton says that after three debates she “doesn’t even think about responding” to Donald Trump any more.

Speaking to reporters on her plane in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Clinton said that she was “going to let the American people decide what he offers and what we offer.”

She continued: “He can say whatever he wants to. He can run his campaign however he wants to. He can go off on tangents. He can go to Gettysburg and say he’s going to sue women who’ve made accusations against him.”

Clinton says she’ll talk about what the next president should do and hopes voters make their choice based on that.


6:15 p.m.

Hillary Clinton has a message for Donald Trump supporters in Pennsylvania.

Speaking in Pittsburgh on Saturday, Clinton told her supporters that they should tell Trump backers she understands they need a president who cares about them and will listen to them. She says: “I want to be their president.”

Clinton says “anger is not a plan,” in a nod to the frustrations of many who have swung behind Trump. She says she would deal with their “legitimate concerns” as president.

Clinton is also focusing on getting Democrats elected to Congress. She went after GOP Sen. Pat Toomey, saying he’s refused to stand up to Trump. The incumbent senator is being challenged by Democrat Katie McGinty.


2:45 p.m.

Donald Trump’s running mate is getting a warm welcome in small-town Ohio.

Mike Pence delighted thousands Saturday at the Circleville Pumpkin Show. He walked the streets, greeted supporters and climbed atop a flatbed trailer to examine prize-winning 1,500-pound pumpkins.

It was among several unannounced stops for Pence before his evening rally with Trump in Cleveland.

Circleville is reliable Republican territory. Mitt Romney won 58 percent in surrounding Pickaway County four years ago. Trump is trying to maximize his advantage outside Ohio’s largest cities in hopes of flipping a state President Barack Obama won twice.


2:30 p.m.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign says Donald Trump has given the country an unvarnished look at what a Trump presidency might look like.

Trump’s advisers billed his Saturday speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as a preview of the agenda for his first 100 days in office. But the GOP nominee went after the women who’ve accused him of sexual assault or other inappropriate behavior. He’s threatening to sue them and he accuses Democrats of orchestrating the allegations.

Clinton spokeswoman Christina Reynolds says Trump’s “new policy was to promise political and legal retribution against the women who have accused him of groping them.”


2 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine is voicing optimism that a Democratic White House could work with Republicans, despite the divisiveness of the campaign.

He tells The Associated Press that he and Hillary Clinton have not been running a broad-brush race against Republicans, but rather against the nominee, Donald Trump.

He also predicts the Democratic ticket will get a lot of Republican votes, and that will help bring the country together if Clinton becomes president.


1:45 p.m.

By most accounts, Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump in three debates. She leads in many preference polls of battleground states across the country.

And barring a significant shift in the next two weeks, she is in a strong position to become the first woman elected president.

But Clinton will probably end the campaign still struggling to change the minds of millions of Americans who don’t think well of her.

While many Americans see her as better prepared to be commander in chief than Trump, she’s consistently viewed unfavorably by more than half of potential voters. Most also consider her dishonest.

Clinton’s advisers spent months trying to overhaul that perception. But as Clinton starts making her closing argument to voters, her advisers appear to have come to terms with that unfulfilled mission.


1:15 p.m.

Donald Trump is taking a quick tour of the Gettysburg National Military Park after delivering a speech near the historic Civil War site.

Trump was greeted by park visitors and spent time speaking with a park ranger. He was joined by campaign staff as well as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The visit follows Trump’s speech laying out policies he’d seek to enact during his first 100 days as president.


12:45 p.m.

Donald Trump is laying out a 100-day plan he says will guide him if he makes it to the White House in 2017.

In the symbolic setting of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the Republican nominee on Saturday summarized the policy proposals he’s introduced over the course of the campaign.

Trump says he’ll clean up corruption by pushing for new congressional term limits and by increasing restrictions on lobbying by former government officials.

He says that he’ll deport without delay immigrants who are imprisoned for violent crimes. And he says he will cancel visas for countries that refuse to take such people back.


12:40 p.m.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine has hired a transition director to help him prepare to take office should he and running mate Hillary Clinton win the election.

Kaine tells The Associated Press he’s tasked Wayne Turnage to help with transition planning.

Turnage was Kaine’s chief of staff when Kaine was governor of Virginia. Turnage now is director of the District of Columbia’s Department of Health Care Finance.

Kaine says he asked Turnage to help because in recent weeks, “the prospect of winning is such that we better start doing some thinking about practicalities.”


12:30 p.m.

Donald Trump is threatening to sue all of the women who have come forward in recent days accusing him of groping and sexual assault.

Trump says in a speech intended to make his closing argument to voters that the women are “liars” attempting to undermine his campaign. And he says all will be sued once the election is over.

Trump spoke in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on Saturday to lay out his earliest priorities should he become president.

He’s continuing to make the case that the election is rigged against him, and complains that “corrupt” media are fabricating stories to make him look “as bad and dangerous as possible.”



Mike Pence is delivering the hard sell on Donald Trump to conservative Christians in presidential battleground Ohio.

The Republican vice presidential hopeful told a Faith and Freedom Coalition gathering in Circleville that Trump is the right man to pick Supreme Court justices. He emphasized that Trump supports overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

Pence says Democrat Hillary Clinton would empower more “unelected judges” to use “unaccountable power” to make “unconstitutional decisions.”

The Indiana governor also says Trump would roll back a longstanding federal ban on churches engaging in explicit political activity, including endorsing candidates.

Some polls suggest Trump is falling short of GOP presidential nominees’ usual performance among white evangelicals. Pence told his listeners they would be “the difference makers in Ohio and all across America.”


11:15 a.m.

Evangelical leader Ralph Reed says the political arm of his Faith and Freedom Coalition is engaged in an unprecedented outreach to conservative Christians in presidential battlegrounds.

Reed told a gathering Saturday at Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio, that coalition volunteers already have knocked on 772,000 doors in 10 states. He says a digital campaign has placed 32 million online ads on the devices of voters.

Reed told the audience to pray before the election “like it all depends on God” but “work like it all depends on you.”

Reed was speaking at an event headlined by GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence. The Indiana governor is a favorite of evangelicals and sought to reassure them about GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump.


10:20 a.m.

Early voting is surging less than three weeks before Election Day.

As of Saturday, more than 5.3 million votes have been cast, far ahead of the pace at this time in 2012.

Balloting is underway in 34 out of 37 early-voting states, both in person and by mail.

Hillary Clinton so far appears be showing strength in pivotal states such as North Carolina and Florida. Donald Trump has shown promise in Iowa and Ohio.

In all, more than 46 million people are expected to vote before Election Day — or as much as 40 percent of all votes cast.


9:50 a.m.

A new GOP ad in the Missouri Senate race acknowledges that Hillary Clinton is likely to be president and warns against sending a Democratic senator to join her.

It’s the latest example of an ad strategy that Republicans have begun employing as Donald Trump’s defeat looks increasingly likely.

Here’s the message: Elect Republicans to be a “check and balance” against Clinton.

The ad backing GOP Sen. Roy Blunt is by from the Senate Leadership Fund. It’s a well-funded Senate campaign committee run by allies of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

The ads shows the Democratic candidate in Missouri, Jason Kander, morphing into Clinton and claims the two are identical on issues including immigration and liberal Supreme Court justices.

The narrator says: “One Hillary in Washington would be bad enough, reject Jason Kander.”


9:35 a.m.

Mike Pence is praising agriculture as an economic and cultural pillar of the United States.

The GOP vice presidential nominee is appearing at the Future Farmers of America convention in Indianapolis.

Pence — Indiana’s governor — was speaking in his official capacity and didn’t mention running mate Donald Trump.

Pence received an enthusiastic ovation from 10,000 high school students when he mentioned “the extraordinary opportunity my little family has today” on “a national ticket.”

Pence noted that U.S. agriculture and related enterprises employ 21 million people.

According to federal data, that includes about 740,000 crop laborers who are immigrants working in the U.S. illegally. Those workers and their employers could be affected by Trump’s immigration proposals.


9 a.m.

Look for Donald Trump to lay out his to-do list for the first 100 days of a Trump administration.

The Republican presidential nominee is set to give what’s being billed as a major speech on Saturday morning in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Trump is trying to shift attention back to his priorities after weeks of campaign controversy.

Aides say the address is a first glimpse at the closing argument he’ll being making in the final two weeks of the race.


8:30 a.m.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign says four people have been examined by medical personnel after a white powdery substance arrived in an envelope at a New York campaign office — and no health issues have been reported.

Campaign spokesman Glen Caplin says federal and local officials have determined the substance wasn’t hazardous.

Police say preliminary tests showed the substance found Friday in an envelope at Clinton’s Manhattan office, where mail is received, wasn’t harmful. A police spokesman declined to identify what the substance was.

The envelope arrived late Friday afternoon. It was taken to Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters and the 11th floor there was evacuated.

Trump Vows to Sue Sexual Assault Accusers, Lays Out Plan for First 100 Days in Office

Donald Trump kicked off a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, about his plan for his first 100 days as president by announcing that he will after the election sue every woman who has accused him of sexual assault.

“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication,” the Republican presidential nominee said Saturday afternoon. “The [alleged] events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

Speaking near the historic Gettysburg Battlefield on a brisk day in the Keystone State, Trump also launched attacks on the “dishonest” media, the “rigged” political system and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. He questioned why Clinton was even allowed to run due to her handling of emails as secretary of state.

“The system is also rigged because Hillary Clinton should have been precluded from running for the presidency of the United States, but the FBI and the Justice Department covered up her crimes,” Trump said.

Referring to the proposed mega deal for AT&T to buy Time Warner, the GOP nominee decried the concentration of ownership of the country’s media in the hands of “too few.”

The nation’s mainstream media is “corrupt,” Trump said. “They lie and fabricate stories to make a candidate that is not their preferred choice look as bad and even dangerous as possible. They’re trying to poison the mind of the American voter.”

Trump then laid out some plans for his first 100 days in office if elected, including pledging to deport millions of what he called “criminal illegal aliens,” who are “drug dealers” and “killers,” and vowing to cancel federal funding for all “sanctuary cities.”

He proposed mandatory two-year minimum prison sentences for undocumented immigrants who illegally return after deportation and a mandatory five-year minimum sentence for convicted felons caught unlawfully reentering the country. Currently, the law states that an undocumented immigrant who commits illegal reentry can be punished with a fine, imprisonment for not more than two years, or both a fine and imprisonment.

The real estate developer also reiterated his plans for trade reform and his promises to get rid of Obamacare.

Trump delivered the speech, which he billed as his “closing argument” to lay out the “important core principles” of his campaign for the White House, in a hotel in the historic town near where President Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address in 1863. The ballroom at The Eisenhower Hotel was filled with members from the state’s Republican Party.

“President Lincoln served in a time of division like we’ve never seen before. It is my hope that we can look at his example, to heal the divisions we are living through right now,” he said. “We are a very divided nation.”

Report: California Soldiers Must Repay Enlistment Bonuses

Nearly 10,000 California National Guard soldiers have been ordered to repay huge enlistment bonuses a decade after signing up to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, a newspaper reported Saturday.

The Pentagon demanded the money back after audits revealed overpayments by the California Guard under pressure to fill ranks and hit enlistment goals. If soldiers refuse, they could face interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens, the Los Angeles Times ( ) said.

Faced with a shortage of troops at the height of the two wars, California Guard officials offered bonuses of $15,000 or more for soldiers to reenlist.

A federal investigation in 2010 found thousands of bonuses and student loan payments were improperly doled out to California Guard soldiers. About 9,700 current and retired soldiers received notices to repay some or all of their bonuses with more than $22 million recovered so far.

Soldiers said they feel betrayed at having to repay the money.

“These bonuses were used to keep people in,” said Christopher Van Meter, a 42-year-old former Army captain and Iraq veteran who was awarded a Purple Heart. “People like me just got screwed.”

Van Meter said he refinanced his home mortgage to repay $25,000 in reenlistment bonuses and $21,000 in student loan repayments that the military says was improperly given to him.

The California Guard said it has to follow the law and collect the money.

“At the end of the day, the soldiers ended up paying the largest price,” Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, deputy commander of the California Guard told the Times. “We’d be more than happy to absolve these people of their debts. We just can’t do it. We’d be breaking the law.”

The Pentagon agency that oversees state Guard groups has said that bonus overpayments occurred in every state, but more so in California, which has 17,000 soldiers.

California Guard officials said they are helping soldiers and veterans file appeals with agencies that can erase the debts. But soldiers said it’s a long process and there’s no guarantee they’ll win.

Retired Army major and Iraq veteran Robert D’Andrea said he was told to repay his $20,000 because auditors could not find a copy of the contract he says he signed.

D’Andrea appealed and is running out of options.

“Everything takes months of work, and there is no way to get your day in court,” he said. “Some benefit of the doubt has to be given to the soldier.”

Stray Cat Patrol: Feral Felines Deployed in NYC War on Rats

Multitudes of feral cats roam New York City’s concrete jungle, and some now have a practical purpose: They’re helping curb the city’s rat population.

A group of volunteers trained by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative traps wild cat colonies that have become a nuisance or been threatened by construction, then spays or neuters and vaccinates them. The goal is to return them to their home territory, but some end up in areas rife with rats.

Feline rat patrols keep watch over city delis and bodegas, car dealerships and the grounds of a Greenwich Village church. Four cats roam the loading dock at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, where food deliveries and garbage have drawn rodents for years.

“We used to hire exterminators, but nature has a better solution,” said Rebecca Marshall, the sustainability manager at the 1.8-million-square-foot center. “And cats don’t cost anything.”

About 6,000 volunteers have completed workshops where they’ve learned proper ways to trap cats.

The program is run through the privately funded Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, a coalition of more than 150 animal rescue groups and shelters. It estimates as many as half a million feral and stray cats roam New York’s five boroughs.

The life of a street cat is a tough one. Some are former pets, abandoned by owners. Plenty die of disease and malnutrition or are hit by vehicles. Others ingest poisoned cat food — set deliberately to get rid of them, cat advocates say.

Many of the animals are displaced as a result of New York’s development, with new construction creating perilous conditions for those that once inhabited the city’s nooks and crannies, from vacant lots, decaying factories and empty warehouses.

One colony of two dozen cats living in a lot on Manhattan’s West Side are about to be displaced by construction on a new $3 billion office tower. A City Council member is working with residents and developers to make sure the creatures are moved to a safe location.

The Javits Center’s quartet of cats — Sylvester, Alfreda, Mama Cat and Ginger — were lured to its 56 loading docks about two years ago with pet food brought by animal-loving employees. On a recent fall morning, Sylvester stationed himself next to a commercial truck, ready to pounce if needed.

The cats are predators but don’t necessarily kill rats. Instead, experts say the feline scent and droppings repel the rodents.

“A mother rat will never give birth near a predator because the cats would eat the babies,” said Jane Hoffman, president of the mayor’s alliance.

The cat population is controlled through spaying and neutering, provided free of charge by the Humane Society of New York and the ASPCA. In most cases, adoption is out of the question for feral cats because they are just too wild to be domesticated.

Thanks to the volunteers, says Marshall, “we’re protecting wildlife in the city, and the cats get a second chance at life.”

Toddler Dies in Spokane Fire, His Dog Huddled at His Side

A toddler who died in a house fire was found with his dog and teddy bear next to him and authorities believe the dog tried to protect the boy, a spokesman for Spokane’s fire department said Saturday.

The dog, a terrier mixed breed, also died in the fire that broke out at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, said the spokesman, Brian Schaeffer.

Three other children and two adults escaped from the blaze in Spokane’s Hillyard neighborhood, he said.

The dog stayed behind in an attempt to protect the boy, firefighters believe, and the fire was so intense that it melted the metal on the frame of the boy’s bed, Schaeffer said.

Jerry Atabelo, who lives across the street, told The Spokesman-Review ( ) he saw the flames and heard screaming as he was getting ready for bed. He yelled for his wife to call 911 and ran outside to hook up his 150 foot water hose.

As people screamed that a child was still in the house, neighbors dragged the hose across the street and sprayed water through a window to try to put out the fire, Atabelo said.

The battery in the house’s smoke detector had been removed and it was not working, Schaeffer said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and police are investigating the child’s death.


Information from: The Spokesman-Review,

Early Voting Data Shows Strengths for Trump and Clinton

Hillary Clinton appears to be displaying strength in the crucial battleground states of North Carolina and Florida among voters casting ballots before Election Day, and may also be building an early vote advantage in Arizona and Colorado.

Donald Trump, meanwhile, appears to be holding ground in Ohio, Iowa and Georgia, according to data compiled by The Associated Press. Those are important states for Trump, but not sufficient for him to win the presidency if he loses states like Florida or North Carolina.

“The Trump campaign should be concerned,” said Scott Tranter, co-founder of Optimus, a Republican data analytics firm. His firm’s analysis suggests a “strong final showing for the Clinton campaign” in early voting.

Early voting — by mail or at polling stations — is off to a fast start. More than 5.3 million votes have been cast already, far outpacing the rate for this period in 2012. Balloting is underway in 34 out of 37 early-voting states.

In all, more than 46 million people are expected to vote before Election Day — or as much as 40 percent of all votes cast.

Both parties are encouraging their supporters to vote early. The outcome of those ballots won’t be known until counting begins after polls close on Nov. 8, but some clues are available. Some states report the party affiliations of early voters, as well as breakdowns by race and gender.

The data that is available represents a small sample of the more than 120 million people who will cast ballots in the presidential election, but a notable one.

A look at early voting trends:



The Clinton campaign is looking to build an insurmountable lead in Florida and North Carolina during early voting. If she wins either of those states, she’ll probably be the next president.

Using 2012 as a guidepost, she appears to be in a strong position in early voting.

While Democrats tend to do better in early voting, Republicans usually post an initial lead with mail-in ballots before Democrats surpass them during in-person early voting in mid to late October.

Democrats so far have kept it close with mail-in ballots, giving Clinton a chance to run up the score with in-person early voting. To do that, she’ll need non-whites and young people to turn out near the high levels they did in 2012 for Barack Obama.

In North Carolina, Democrats have moved ahead of Republicans in early voting. Republicans had held a modest lead based on mail-in ballots returned, but that was at a much narrower margin than in 2012, when Mitt Romney narrowly won the state. After in-person voting began on Thursday, Democrats overtook Republicans in overall votes cast.

In Florida, a record 3.1 million people have requested ballots, more than one-third of the total voters in 2012. Democrats have requested almost as many ballots as Republicans: 39 percent vs. 40 percent.

By comparison, in 2008, Republicans held a lead of 49 percent to 32 percent in requests, according to an analysis for AP by Catalist, a Democratic analytical firm. Obama won in Florida in 2008 and 2012.

Democrats are also showing momentum in the 2nd congressional district of both Maine and Nebraska. The two states allocate electoral votes by congressional district.



Early voting is surging in Arizona, another state Trump can’t afford to lose. Arizona has long been reliably Republican, but Clinton is targeting it.

More than 1.9 million ballots have been requested and 36,000 returned. That’s more than triple the 10,800 ballots returned during a similar period in 2012.

Democrats have a 44 percent to 31 percent lead over Republicans in ballots returned. Another 25 percent were independent or unknown. At this point in 2012, Democrats had a narrower 38 percent to 35 percent lead, according to Catalist.

While figures are preliminary, Tranter, the Republican analyst, said Arizona had become competitive.

“It’s close,” Tranter said.

In Colorado, which began voting by mail on Monday, Democrats led 43 percent to 30 percent among the 15,280 ballots returned by late Thursday. In 2012, the party had trailed Republicans early. Registered Democrats have since surpassed Republicans in the state.

And in Nevada, which also began absentee voting this week, overall ballot requests and returns were down. There were sharper declines among older whites, who tend to vote Republican.



Early vote data for now points to potential Trump strength in Ohio, Iowa and Georgia.

In Ohio, data compiled by Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor who runs the U.S. Elections Project, continue to show big declines in ballot requests in the heavily Democratic counties of Cuyahoga and Franklin.

The state does not break down ballots by party affiliation. By race, voter modeling by Catalist found the white share of Ohio ballot requests was up, to 91 percent from 88 percent. The black share declined from 10 percent to 7 percent.

In Georgia, which also does not report party affiliation, both ballot requests and returns from black voters also trailed 2012 levels.

And in Iowa, Democrats lead early requests, 43 percent to 36 percent. But that level is down significantly from 2012. Obama won the state that year based on a strong early vote in his favor.

In a statement, the Republican National Committee said it was focused on boosting turnout in 11 battleground states and predicted a strong Election Day performance.

“Democrats are not turning out new voters, just turning out people who would have voted on Election Day,” it said.


AP’s Election Research and Quality Control Group contributed to this report.


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Bill Murray Crashes White House Press Briefing

White House press secretary Josh Earnest was apparently the opening act for Bill Murray on Friday, after the comedian crashed the press room and took to the podium after Earnest concluded his daily briefing.

Wearing a Chicago Cubs sweater, the Illinois native — who was jokingly addressed as “Mr. President” by a reporter — was asked if he believed that his beloved Cubs would defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers this weekend and advance to — and ultimately win — the World Series for the first time since 1945.

“I feel very confident that [Dodgers’ Game 6 starter] Clayton Kershaw is a great, great pitcher but we got too many sticks, we got too many sticks,” Murray said. “At home with our crowd, the weather … we also have a little bit of autumn in Chicago, you don’t get that in Los Angeles. Trees just die in Los Angeles; in Illinois they flourish.”

Murray, who is in Washington to accept the Kennedy Center‘s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor on Sunday, was at the White House to meet with President Barack Obama.

Following Murray’s visit to the press room, his buddy Bryan Cranston tweeted, “Proof positive. Cubs surrogate @BillMurray inside the White House! The NLCS [National League Championship Series] is rigged! If the #crookedcubs win the series I will not concede.”

Proof positive. Cubs surrogate @BillMurray inside the White House! The NLCS is rigged! If the #crookedcubs win the series I will not concede

— Bryan Cranston (@BryanCranston) October 21, 2016

Mom of Boy Who Vanished in 1979 Testifies of ‘Total Horror’

When her 6-year-old son was late getting home from school, his mother called a classmate’s mom and got the news that would launch one of the nation’s most infamous missing-child cases.

Etan Patz had never made it to school that day in May 1979.

“Total horror and panic” washed over his mother, Julie Patz, who recalled the moment Friday as she testified against a man charged with killing her first-grader. “My legs started giving out. I had difficulty breathing.”

It is a day she she has explained over and over, during the fevered search for Etan and as an advocate who pressed for changes in how American law enforcement handles missing-children cases. It’s a day she recounted last year during suspect Pedro Hernandez’s first trial, which she could not endure watching after she testified. It ultimately ended in a jury deadlock.

So on Friday, Julie Patz relived her son’s disappearance one more time, telling jurors about the fateful morning she let him walk alone to his downtown Manhattan school bus stop for the first time.

“In that day, in that place, children had a lot more freedom and responsibility,” she said. And on a hectic morning, she made a spot decision to give in to a boy who always wanted “to do everything that adults did.”

Her hands were full: Etan’s 2-year-old brother and a friend were running around the family’s apartment in the then-artsy-industrial SoHo neighborhood, his 8-year-old sister was dragging her feet about getting ready for school and children were due shortly for in-home day care at the Patzes’ apartment. The bus stop was just a block and a half away, and Julie Patz could see from her window that there were adults nearby.

So she walked Etan downstairs and watched him walk a block and look both ways before crossing the street. Then she turned and went back up.

She never saw or heard from him again.

Nearly 35 years later, Hernandez — who had worked at a corner store by the bus stop — told authorities he lured Etan into the store basement by promising him a soda, then choked him. Hernandez’s defense says the 55-year-old Maple Shade, New Jersey, man confessed falsely because he’s mentally ill.

Etan’s disappearance influenced both parenting and policy in America. He was one of the first missing children pictured on a milk carton, and his case was among several that spurred an era of more parental protectiveness.

The May 25 anniversary of his disappearance became National Missing Children’s Day. His mother served on a 1980s federal advisory board on missing children, and she testified in Congress to back legislation that ultimately produced the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a nationwide clearinghouse for information.

For the Patzes, those years were also a time of grappling with an exhausting series of tips, theories, dashed hopes and suspicions and judgments of their own family.

When Julie Patz realized her other children had been basically housebound and decided to take them out to play, some women approached and asked “how I could possible be celebrating … when it was my fault my son was probably dead,” she recalled Friday. Even some friends couldn’t seem to figure out “how to deal with my family.”

She revisited it all Friday with a steady, worn straightforwardness, her voice occasionally cracking briefly. At one point, describing how daily routines of caring for her children held her together after Etan’s disappearance, she bit her lip, and Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi asked whether she wanted a break.

“I’m fine,” Patz said, strengthening her voice.

“Not ‘fine,’ ” she corrected, but ready to go on.

Pentagon Identifies American Service Member Killed in Iraq

The U.S. Defense Department has identified the service member killed by a roadside bomb north of Mosul on Thursday as Navy Chief Petty Officer Jason C. Finan, 34, of Anaheim, California. Finan, who belonged to an explosive-ordnance disposal unit, was serving alongside Iraqi troops as an adviser.

According to a defense official, Finan was killed Thursday when the armored vehicle he was traveling in struck an improvised explosive device and the vehicle rolled over.

Finan was traveling at the time with members of Iraq‘s elite counterterrorism unit northeast of Mosul. He was flown to the Kurdish capital of Erbil for treatment where he died of his injuries.

Finan was assigned to Navy explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit based in Coronado, California.

“The entire Navy expeditionary combat command family offers our deepest condolences and sympathies to the family and loved ones of the sailor we lost,” said Rear Adm. Brian Brakke, commander of the expeditionary force.

Finan was the first American military fatality in Iraq since the start of the Mosul operation earlier this week. He is the fourth U.S. service member to die in combat in the fight against ISIS.

According to U.S. defense officials, more than 100 American military advisers are accompanying Iraq’s elite counterterrorism force and Kurdish peshmerga fighters pressing toward Mosul. The advisers help the Iraqi and Kurdish forces with planning and battlefield assistance.

The U.S. advisers serve at the headquarters level and are not supposed to be on the front lines. But given the reality of how the fighting units operate on the battlefield, the American advisers may get closer to a combat environment.

Trump Comparing US Economy to India and China Doesn’t Add Up, Experts Say

Donald Trump‘s suggestion that the U.S. economy is “stagnant” because it is growing more slowly than the economies in India and China tells half a truth, economists said.

The Republican nominee said at Wednesday night’s debate that India’s economy is “growing at 8 percent, China is growing at 7 percent, and that for them is a catastrophically low number.”

He said of the U.S. economy, “We are growing, our last report came out, and it’s right around the 1 percent level. And I think it’s going down … Our country is stagnant.”

Trump is right that the U.S. economy is expanding at a slower clip than India’s, whose gross domestic product increased by 7.6 percent in 2015, or China’s, which grew by 6.9 percent, according to World Bank figures. The U.S. economy by contrast expanded at a rate of 1.4 percent in the second quarter of this year, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis says.

Taken at face value, the comparatively low rate of growth in the U.S. compared to that in India and China could shock.

PHOTO: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19,2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Win McNamee/Getty Images
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19,2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The Republican candidate’s concern about U.S. growth has some legitimacy.

In the first quarter of this year, the economy expanded at an anemic 0.8 percent though the rate increased in the second quarter.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

But several economists told ABC News that comparing an advanced economy like the United States’ to developing economies doesn’t paint a true picture.

‘Not a Fair Comparison’

“It’s really not a fair comparison,” Matthew Oxenford, a researcher at Chatham House, an independent policy institute in London, told ABC News. “Developing economies such as India generally grow significantly faster than developed countries such as the U.S.”

The reason is that generating growth in advanced economies is relatively difficult.

“Poor countries like India and China have massive catch-up growth to do, what economists call convergence,” William Cline, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, told ABC News.

PHOTO:Indian villagers hold onto an overloaded horse cart while a worker presses the paddy stubble used as fuel and mixed into cattle feed at a village near Jalandhar on October 14, 2016.SHAMMI MEHRA/AFP/Getty Images
PHOTO:Indian villagers hold onto an overloaded horse cart while a worker presses the paddy stubble used as fuel and mixed into cattle feed at a village near Jalandhar on October 14, 2016.

One economist gave the example of all the work that went into inventing the first airplane in the U.S.

“When America got its first aeroplane, it took real imagination, ingenuity, bravery and risk-taking entrepreneurship, and a lot of failures before the Wright brothers got it right,” said John Nugée, a colleague of Oxenford’s at Chatham House.

In contrast, “when India got its first aeroplane, all it had to do was trot along to a manufacturer and say, ‘We would like one of those, please’.” Nugée said.

“That’s why it is easier for a poor country to catch up and converge than for a rich country to continue to progress, to push the envelope, to grow from being successful to even more successful,” he said.

Oxenford agreed that it’s easier for economies in countries such as India and China to grow quickly.

“Basically, there’s a lot of ‘low-hanging fruit’ in developing economies, such as moving people off farms and into cities, developing institutions of good governance, and adopting technological innovations that have already been adopted in advanced economies,” he said.

In the U.S. about 82 percent of the population already lives in urban areas, compared to just 33 percent in India and 56 percent in China.

A United Nations report in 2014 found that, India and China had the world’s largest rural populations.

But they are moving off the farm and into the city at a rate of 2.38 percent in India and 3.05 percent in China, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The rate of people in the United States leaving rural settings for cities is l.02 percent.

When workers move “from the low-productivity traditional agricultural sector to the ‘modern’ sector in the cities, there is a big jump in productivity” in the economy, Cline said. “That is why India and China can grow for long periods of time at 6 to 8 percent, but advanced economies ‘at the technological frontier’ only grow at about 2 to 3 percent.”

PHOTO: A female farmer with her cow in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region. The difficulty in selling raw milk and low price of raw milk in China will continue in 2016 due to the relatively high farming cost and the impact of imported dairy products. Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images
A female farmer with her cow in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region. The difficulty in selling raw milk and low price of raw milk in China will continue in 2016 due to the relatively high farming cost and the impact of imported dairy products.

Another key factor in growth is the ability for business to operate in a stable political environment.

The U.S. enjoys less corrupt governance than China or India, placing it in the 89.9 percentile in the World Bank’s “control of corruption” indicator compared to 50 for China and 44.2 for India.

The United States also rates higher on political stability and the absence of violence and terrorism, placing in the 69.5 percentile compared to 27.1 for China and 16.7 for China.

Historical Perspective

Trump also said China and India’s current growth is “catastrophically low” for them, and economic data shows their rates of expansion are a bit down but the situation is far from disastrous.

China’s 6.9 percent growth in gross domestic product is down from an average expansion rate of 9.7 percent between 1990 and 2015, according to ABC News calculations of World Bank figures.

India’s growth rate last year of 7.6 percent is lower than the rate of 6.5 percent over the same 15-year period.

The U.S. over the same period had a growth rate of 2.4.

Looking Ahead

PHOTO: Cranes stand idle at buildings under construction in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 5, 2016. Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Cranes stand idle at buildings under construction in Hangzhou, China, Sept. 5, 2016.

The good news is economists at Barclay’s Bank are projecting GDP in the U.S. to increase 2.5 percent in the third quarter, a solid figure for an advanced economy.

We’ll know if the predictions prove true when the new numbers come out Oct. 28.