Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- A colorful primary, a negative ad blitz, national attention and early voting have all been a part of the Arizona Senate race.
But up until now, there’s been one missing piece: a debate.
The two candidates who are vying to win the open Senate seat, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally, are finally set to square off Monday night in Phoenix in the only confirmed debate between the two in this race.
Squabbling between the parties over the number of debates -- Sinema asked for two and McSally’s team agreed to just one -- and the congressional calendar that kept the candidates, who are both current members of Congress, in Washington led to the debate being set for Oct. 15, just 22 days before Election Day and five days after early voting started in the state.
Airworthy polling in the race has been limited, but most put the result either within the margin of error or have Sinema with a slight lead, which appears to be shocking McSally.
“The fact that she’s even in the running is just like ridiculous honestly at this point,” McSally said to supporters gathered ahead of a door-knocking event Saturday in Phoenix.
The comment comes after a string of old quotes by Sinema were shared publicly throughout the week, including one where she appears to call Arizonans “crazy,” and another where she likened the Copper State to a “meth lab of democracy.” She and her team have written the quotes off as being taken out of context and the latest instances of McSally and Republicans looking to focus on negative smears rather than the issues.
For Republicans, it’s key to hold on to the seat that is currently held by Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, who decided not to run for re-election.
George Bingham is a Republican from Arizona who was handing out McSally posters at a rally held for her with Mitt Romney in Gilbert on Friday. Bingham said that he sees this as a “huge, huge election” that has implications that extend far beyond Arizona.
“We have a president that needs all the Republican support that he can get in the Senate,” Bingham said.
“If he wants to get his agenda done, he’s going to need every Republican senator,” he said.
Another Arizona Republican, Scott Weinberg, said that he saw the recent hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, where Flake played a telling role in approving the judge’s recommendation from the Senate Judiciary Committee, as a clear example of why Republicans need to hold on to the seat.
“I think it’s super important given what we just saw with the Kavanaugh confirmation. Things have gotten so cut-throat in D.C. It’s risen to a new level I think that’s just one more vote that we’re going to have to hopefully we can maintain the majority in the Senate,” Weinberg told ABC News at a "Get Out The Vote" event in Phoenix Saturday.
Democrats, however, see the possible flip of the seat from red to blue as a way to thwart Trump and slow down or stop the implementation of his agenda.
Pam Potter, a college professor who was knocking on doors in Peoria on behalf of Democratic candidates, including Sinema, said she thinks this Senate race is one of the “really important” ones this cycle.
“Right now, we have a president unchecked. Right now they [Republicans] have all the houses,” Potter said.
“Kyrsten specifically is a moderate Democrat. She is ready to work on the issues rather than a partisan stance,” she added.
“In many respects, she is the best replacement for John McCain in that she is willing to put the good of the people ahead of ideology,” she said of the longtime Arizona Republican who passed away in August.
Rina Parisi was a registered Republican for her “entire life” before switching after the 2016 election. She said that she is supporting Sinema in this "vital" Senate race because she feels she fits what she sees as the evolving nature of Arizona.
“The demographics here are changing and I don’t think we have the representation of what the demographics are today,” said Parisi, who knows Sinema personally having had the congresswoman as an instructor at Arizona State University. “We’re no longer the Wild West. We have people from all over the country. It’s not just ranchers who only see each other when they go into town for groceries. We need someone who can represent a population that is diverse and I think Kyrsten is the embodiment of diversity.
“The thing that impressed me about her: how well she listens. She cares, and she does the extra footwork for individuals,” Parisi said while attending an Arizona Democratic Party volunteer event.
Given the close nature of the race and the Senate headcount, it’s no surprise that it is attracting national attention. It’s sure to be thrust into the spotlight later in the week as well, as the Trump campaign announced this weekend that the president will be coming to Mesa for a rally on Oct. 19 as part of a “western swing.”
NYPD(NEW YORK) -- Police released photos of three men allegedly involved in a violent clash between right- and left-wing protesters in New York City last week.
Investigators with the New York Police Department say the three took part in a brutal brawl Friday night between protesters and members of the right-wing Proud Boys organization, which has been designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Police said two of the people wanted for questioning were seen kicking a victim lying on the sidewalk and the other was observed punching a victim who was trying to run away.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio urged witnesses to speak up if they had any information about the fight.
“The NYPD is fully investigating last night’s attack involving the Proud Boys. If you know anything, the NYPD wants your help,” De Blasio said in a statement. “Hate is never welcome in NYC and we will punish those responsible — whether they threw punches or incited violence — to the fullest extent of the law.”
Cuomo struck a more pointed tone in his statement and called out the Proud Boys by name.
“Hate cannot and will not be tolerated in New York. Here's a message from a Queens boy to the so-called 'proud boys' – NY has zero tolerance for your bs,” the governor wrote in a tweet.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit legal advocacy organization that monitors extremist activity, classifies the Proud Boys as a hate group due to its alleged use of anti-Muslim and white nationalist rhetoric. The Proud Boys group describes itself as “western chauvinists,” but it denies ties to the racist “alt-right” movement.
Chaos erupted near the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City at around 8:30 p.m. Friday as demonstrators gathered to protest a speech there by Proud Boys Founder Gavin McInnes.
The club said some protesters threw glass bottles at attendees as they exited the venue.
“Gavin’s talk on Friday night, while at times was politically incorrect and a bit edgy, was certainly not inciting violence,” the Metropolitan Republican Club wrote in a statement, noting that its building had been vandalized ahead of the event.
Three others were already arrested in connection to the incident.
Finbarr Slonim, 20, of Manhattan, and Kai Russo, 20, of Brooklyn, were arrested in the wake of the event on robbery and assault charges, according to police. A third man, 35-year-old Caleb Perkins, of Manhattan, was arrested and charged with robbery, assault and resisting arrest, police said.
Investigators released video from the scene on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, showing the wanted men throwing punches as others cheered “USA” in the background. Officials said they could not confirm whether those arrested were associated with a particular group.
Police said they were wanted for questioning and no charges have been filed.
“We continue to investigate the violent incident on the UES on Friday night, and need information regarding these persons-of-interest,” the NYPD wrote in a tweet Saturday. “No complaints have been filed. If you were the victim of a crime, or have information about the incident, please call 1-800-577-TIPS. @NYPDTips.”
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Robin Hood(NEW YORK) -- When Melinda Gates was in high school she received a gift from her father that would change her life: an Apple III computer. The Dallas native spent hours learning to code on her Apple III as a teen and it further solidified her love of math and science opening up the vast possibilities of technology.
Gates would go on to be a high achiever in high school, graduating as valedictorian, voted best student and most likely to succeed before heading off to Duke University where her love of the computer would manifest itself in her studies.
It appeared that the sky was the limit for a young Melinda Gates, then Melinda French, but it wasn’t always that way. In her first year of high school Gates says that her grades “weren’t as good as they should be” if she was planning on attending a top university for college, something she says was always a dream of hers. That’s when she received the worst, albeit eye-opening, advice that she never took.
“A college guidance counselor in high school ... said to me that I should look at schools closer to home for university instead of going away,” Gates tells ABC News’ Chief Business, Technology and Economics correspondent Rebecca Jarvis.
To Gates, that advice was limiting as she always wanted the option to go anywhere.
“I think she was trying to give me what she thought was realistic advice, you know, she looked at my grades first quarter freshman year and second quarter and they weren’t as good as they should be if I was really aspiring to go to one of those great universities.”
Gates says that advice was the wakeup call that she needed to work harder.
“I took that advice and it fueled me to say I need to get better grades, I need to show that I can do this work because I really want to go to any university ... but that's not ever good advice to give a kid. You should always give someone the advice to shoot for their dreams and to help them see the path that could get them there.”
Today she has made it her mission to help people around the world see their own potential as the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Through the Foundation she and her husband work to fix critical problems around the world with a main focus on education in the United States.
“In the U.S. we think the thing that gives people equality is a great education and so we've been very dedicated to trying to fix the U.S. public education system.” Hear more from Melinda Gates on episode #106 of the “No Limits with Rebecca Jarvis” podcast.
NBC/Will Heath(NEW YORK) -- Alec Baldwin made his return to Saturday Night Live this week as the show tackled the insanity that was the Kanye West-Donald Trump meeting in the Oval Office.
The sketch opened with a CSPAN graphic saying the discussion included topics such as "alternate universes," "Superman" and "flying cars."
Kanye, played by cast member Chris Redd, immediately launched into a tirade, espousing the virtues of his "Make America Great Again" hat.
"Yeah that's right, I flew here using the power of this hat," he said.
NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown, played by Kenan Thompson, was "already pretty nervous."
"I've got an amazing lunch to get to, but first I'm sure that Kanye wants to make one or two brief, lucid remarks," Baldwin said.
"Time is a myth!" Kanye shouted.
Through voiceovers, it didn't take long for Baldwin's Trump to realize that Kanye was him: "Oh my God, he's black me."
"I played football with a leather helmet and my brain is still working better than his," the faux Brown said.
But Baldwin's Trump still felt like he came out of the meeting on top.
"Remember the lesson from today, black people love me -- way more than they love Alec Baldwin," said the faux president, referring to a comment Baldwin made in a interview with The Hollywood Reporter published last Thursday, in which he said, "ever since I played Trump, black people love me."
Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, formally the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are having a baby.
An official tweet from Kensington Palace just confirmed that, "Their Royal Highnesses...are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019."
The baby bombshell was followed with another message: "Their Royal Highnesses have appreciated all of the support they have received from people around the world since their wedding in May and are delighted to be able to share this happy news with the public."
The news comes after increasing speculation that the American former Suits actress was pregnant, thanks to recent clothing choices that could handily hide a baby bump.
The Duke and Duchess are currently in Australia, on their first official tour as a married couple.
Tim Bradbury/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- USA Gymnastics just can't seem to get out of its own way when it comes to establishing new leadership.
The honeymoon lasted just one day for USA Gymnastics interim President Mary Bono, who was appointed on Friday and came under fire from the sport's biggest star on Saturday.
Simone Biles, a four-time Olympics gold medalist and the only woman in history with 10 World Championship golds, responded to a tweet by Bono from earlier this year in which she posted a photo of her drawing over the Nike swoosh logo on a pair of shoes in protest of the company using Colin Kaepernick in an ad campaign.
Biles responded with "mouth drop" before saying, "Don’t worry, it’s not like we needed a smarter usa gymnastics president or any sponsors or anything."
Bono deleted the tweet hours later and issued an apology.
"I regret the post and respect everyone’s views & fundamental right to express them," she tweeted. "This doesn’t reflect how I will approach my position @USAGym I will do everything I can to help build, w/ the community, an open, safe & positive environment.
"Hey all, I know the Tweet will live on but have taken it down to move the focus to all I hope to accomplish on behalf of a great sport & those who are dedicated to it," she added. "I look forward to telling my gymnastics story, my vision for the future of the sport and why I wanted the job."
Bono, a Republican, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1998 to 2013 in California's 44th and 45th districts. She replaced her late husband, singer and entertainer Sonny Bono, after he died in a skiing accident.
Kaepernick, the former NFL quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, riled Republicans -- including President Donald Trump -- over the past two years for taking a knee during the national anthem before games as a protest against the treatment of minorities by police. Nike chose Kaepernick as the new face of an advertising campaign prior to the start of this year's NFL season.
Biles signed with Nike in November 2015. She is one of several prominent team members sponsored by Nike, including fellow 2016 Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez, who announced she will be returning to competition last week.
Bono's blunder, an apology 24 hours into her tenure, is just the latest in a cavalcade of errors by USA Gymnastics, the Olympic sport's governing body. Bono was installed, at least temporarily, as a replacement for Kerry Perry, who was forced out in September after just nine months in charge.
Perry's tenure was marked by a series of missteps over the handling of the Larry Nassar case and criticism from victims abused by the former physician over Perry's lack of transparency about how the organization planned to protect athletes going forward.
The resignation came just days after she hired Mary Lee Tracy as USA Gymnastics' women's elite development coordinator. Tracy is a longtime gymnastics coach who had voiced support for Nassar after he was arrested in 2016 on sex-abuse charges, which brought immediate condemnation from star gymnast Aly Raisman.
USA Gymnastics' entire board was forced out by the U.S. Olympic Committee earlier this year in the wake of Nassar's conviction for sexual assault.
Bono told The Associated Press in an interview in November 2017 that she was the subject of repeated sexual harassment by an unnamed House colleague while serving as a congresswoman.
The search for a permanent replacement for Perry is ongoing.
(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Constitution’s second amendment gives us the “right to bear arms,” but what if having a gun for protection is actually putting you more at risk of harm? A new study finds that a person’s chances of being involved in a fatal police shooting is higher in states with the highest rates of gun ownership, compared to those with the lowest.
The study, from researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Northeastern University found that people were 3.6 times more likely to be involved in fatal police shootings if they lived in the 10 states with the most guns — Alaska, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisian, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia — than if they lived in the five states with the least — Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.
Rates of fatal police shootings in the U.S. are among the highest of any other developed country, with about 1,000 civilians killed each year. This data comes from the Washington Post's "Fatal Force Database," which the researchers used for their study because there isn't a federal database to track police-inflicted deaths.
Looking at data for the years 2015-2017, the researchers asessed the levels of household gun ownership in each state, and adjusted for violent crime rates, as well as the proportion of the population that was non-white or living in poverty and urbanization.
During the three years, they calculated a total of 2,934 fatal police shootings, and found that 56 percent of those killed were armed with a gun. In all, a fatal shooting was 40 percent more likely to happen in states with more guns.
“The high gun states tend to have weaker gun laws in comparison to the weak gun states,” said lead author David Hemenway, a professor of health policy at Harvard.
And although the study didn’t look into it, Hemenway believes that the “combination of having weaker gun laws and owning more guns are all factors contributing to the higher rates of police shootings in these states.”
It was unclear from the study if the shootings were justifiable or preventable.
Previous studies have shown that police in the U.S. are more likely to be shot and killed in states with high rates of gun ownership.
“In this study, people in these states — with higher gun ownership — may also be more likely to be shot and killed by the police,” Hemenway said, “due to a perceived fear of the police officer that the person they are dealing with is armed.”
Dr. Tambetta Ojong is a family medicine resident at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and a member of the ABC News Medical Unit.