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Number of violent crimes, murders in the U.S. rose in 2015

After two decades of falling crime rates, the number of violent crimes and murders in the U.S. is on the rise.

>> Read more trending stories

According to new data released Monday by the FBI, violent crime grew by almost 4 percent in 2015. The murder rate jumped nearly 11 percent.

The increase was most pronounced in a handful of big cities, like St. Louis, Chicago and Baltimore.

The report comes after a year of shooting rampages, police killings and violent protests rocked the nation. Similar incidents continued into 2016.

But crime trend experts say we shouldn't panic just yet. As the director of the Research and Evaluation Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice told The Guardian, "You lost 50 pounds. You gained back a couple. You're not fat."

FBI Director James Comey says the numbers show we need more "transparency and accountability" in policing, and we need to be having "better, more informed conversations" about crime.

<iframe width="390" height="219" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Lg1uaUu742I" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Donald Trump claims his debate mic was 'defective'

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump told reporters he was given a "defective" mic to use while debating rival Hillary Clinton on Monday night and questioned whether that was done on purpose.

>> Read more trending stories

A majority of voters deemed the Democratic candidate the winner of the first presidential debate, held at Hofstra University. According to a CNN/ORC International poll of debate viewers favored the former secretary of state 62 percent to 27 percent.

But Trump came up with a possible explanation for his lackluster performance.

>> Related: Trump sniffing at the debate gets a lot of attention on Twitter

"Did you notice that? My mic was defective within the room," Trump said. "I wonder, was that on purpose?"

Trump made the claim while speaking to reporters after the debate, during which Trump and Clinton sparred over the GOP candidate's refusal to release his tax returns and Clinton's email scandal, among other issues.

It's not the first time Trump has had issues with technology. At a rally earlier this year in Pensacola, Florida, Trump cursed and vowed not to pay for a faulty microphone he was given.

>> Related: 5 must-see moments from the first presidential debate

"This mic is terrible," he said to the crowd as they struggled to hear over the pops and echoes of the mic. "Stupid mic keeps popping. … You know, I believe in paying, but when someone does a bad job – like this stupid mic – you shouldn't pay the (expletive)."

Trump and Clinton are scheduled to face off again Oct. 9 in a town hall-style debate in St. Louis.

Who won the first debate? Here's what they are saying

Who won the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump? Well, that’s a good question.

If you look at online polls, Trump seems to have had the edge. If you look at media sites, Clinton gets the edge.

>>READ MORE: 5 must-see moments from the first debate 

Ask undecided voters and they are all over the map.

Here’s a look at what some media outlets are saying about who came out on top during the first  of three debates.

Clinton had a better night

The New York Times

“In the first showdown between Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump, the presidential candidates exchanged blows on trade and foreign policy, called each other racist and inept, and could not resist letting out stray smirks or occasional sniffles.

Commentators across the web on Monday night tended to conclude that their favored candidate had come out on top. But on balance, Mrs. Clinton was seen as having had the better night, based on the contrast between her steady grasp of policy and Mr. Trump’s tendency to ramble and occasionally raise his voice.”

>>Trump sniffing at the debate gets a lot of attention on Twitter

The lawyer vs. the salesman

BBC

“It was a battle between the lawyer and the salesman, and for the most part the lawyer came out on top.

It may be hard to remember, but before Mrs Clinton was a secretary of state, or a senator or a first lady, she was a lawyer - and, by all regards, a talented one.

And after all these years, she still campaigns like one. Meticulous, cautious, controlled. What works in the courtroom, with its rules and customs, often doesn't fly in free-wheeling political debates, however.

Mr Trump, on the other hand, is the consummate salesman. Rules, tradition, even the truth are only relevant in so much as they help seal the deal.”

Online poll results

Time

“Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton met for their first presidential debate Monday, and we want to know who you think won.

 A disclaimer: Online reader polls like this one are not statistically representative of likely voters, and are not predictive of the debate outcome will effect the election. They are a measure, however imprecise, of which candidates have the most energized online supporters, or most social media savvy fan base. After all, what they are counting is the number of Internet-devices controlled by people who want to vote.”

(Note: At 9 a.m.  (ET) Donald Trump led 54 to 46 percent)

The winner: Twitter and Facebook

USA Today

"So who won the debate? Social media, in a landslide.

While presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump slugged it out for 90 minutes, touching briefly on cybersecurity, Facebook and Twitter racked up huge numbers of posts and tweets, to borrow a favorite word from one of the debate participants.

Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio called it the "most tweeted debate ever," though final numbers were not available yet. There were 10 million tweets during the first presidential debate in 2012, according to Twitter.

Who won: Ask Congress

The Washington Post

“Immediately after the first presidential debate, congressional Democrats were elated.

House and Senate Democrats said unequivocally that their candidate had won the first face-off: Hillary Clinton, they said, came across as strong, presidential and well prepared.

Yes, that's the usual post-debate routine: Your party's candidate is always the winner. Unless you're a Republican, and your candidate is Donald Trump. A scan of GOP Twitter feeds from Capitol Hill after the debate ended revealed scant words of praise for Trump.”

A win for Clinton

 Fortune

“We ranked the candidates’ performances in Monday’s contest.

Hillary Clinton won. In the first and potentially most consequential presidential debate of 2016, the Democratic nominee presented as composed and commanding, ticking through her policy prescriptions while landing a series of devastating blows on Donald Trump’s record and readiness. A fidgety Trump meanwhile tried repeatedly to ruffle her with interruptions while riffing his way through his own answers, but struggled on both counts.

Trump arguably had his best moments in the opening section of the debate, which tends to be its most-watched portion. Drawing from his stump speech, he conjured an image of a blighted U.S., outsmarted by its trading partnersand abused by its own companies. He promised, with his trademark bluster and imprecision, to get tough on those responsible at home and abroad. “We have to stop our jobs from leaving,” he said, dismissing Clinton as a member of the entrenched political class that’s presided over an economic hollowing-out.”

Trump wins on Twitter

CBS

“Now that the first presidential debate is one for the books, here’s how the it unfolded on social media.  According to data released by Twitter, Donald Trump dominated Twittersphere. Sixty-two percent of Twitter conversation went to @realDonaldTrump compared to @HillaryClinton who claimed 38 percent.

The GOP nominee also outshined his Democratic rival in the top three most-Tweeted debate moments. The most discussed moment involved Trump’s description of his temperament.

“I think my strongest asset may be by far is my temperament,” he said at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. “I have a winning temperament.”

Video: Horse pulls wakeboarder across ditch in Florida

A man from Palatka posted an Instagram video of himself being pulled by a horse on a wakeboard.

In the video that has over 14 million views to date, Jett Counts is seen shredding some water in a ditch while being pulled by a galloping horse. 

>> Read more trending stories  

After the horse, ridden by Counts' brother, reaches full speed, Counts said "How fast we going?" to the person riding in the car recording the film.

The man replied, "20!"

Posted by Jody Coe on Thursday, September 22, 2016

Officer offers to drive grieving man 100 miles to be with family after sister's death

An Ohio law enforcement official is making headlines for his heartwarming act of kindness for a grieving man who had just learned about his sister's death.

>> Read more trending stories

According to "Inside Edition," Mark Ross found early Sunday that his teenage sister had died in a car crash. Ross, who doesn't have a car, asked an acquaintance to drive him from Indiana to Detroit to be with his family.

"Of course we were speeding, trying to get back to Detroit," Ross wrote in a Facebook post that has been shared nearly 85,000 times. "And we got pulled over in Ohio."

Ohio State Highway Patrol Piqua Post Lt. Joe Gebhart told WHIO-TV that Sgt. David Robison pulled the vehicle over for speeding on Interstate 75, just south of Piqua.

Unfortunately, the driver had a suspended license and "ended up getting locked up," Ross told "Inside Edition." The car was towed.

Ross was worried that he'd go to jail, too, because of an outstanding petty warrant in Wayne County, Michigan, but officials there refused to pick him up because of the distance, Ross wrote on Facebook.

"I explained to the officer that my sister had died and that I needed to get to my mother ASAP," Ross wrote. "I broke down crying, and he saw the sincerity in my cry. He reaches over and began praying over me and my family."

<script>(function(d, s, id) {  var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];  if (d.getElementById(id)) return;  js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;  js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&amp;version=v2.7";  fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));</script>At 3am I got a phone call stating that my sister had been killed in a car accident due to some young dumb punk! I haven'...Posted by Mark E Ross on Sunday, September 25, 2016

That officer, identified as Sgt. David Robison, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, offered to drive Ross 100 miles to Detroit, Ross said. He instead asked troopers to drive him to the Miami County Jail, Gebhart said, where friends or family picked him up to drive him the rest of the way to Michigan.

"Everybody knows how much I dislike cops, but I am truly grateful for this guy," Ross wrote on Facebook. "He gave me hope."

Happy ending: Elderly couple forced to live in separate nursing homes, reunited

The story of their forced separation dominated social media. Now, there's a happy ending for an elderly couple from Canada who were forced to lived apart in separate nursing homes.

Ashley Bartyik posted a photo on Facebook last month of her grandparents, Wolfram Gottschalk, 83, and Anita Gottschalk, 81, wiping away tears.

Friends please read! This is The saddest photo I have ever taken. This is my Omi and my Opi. As you can see they are...Posted by Ashley Kaila B on Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"This is the saddest photo I have ever taken," Bartyik said in the photo caption.

>>Read: Woman says grandparents married 62 years are forced to be apart

Bartyik said her grandparents are unable to live together in the same care home because of "backlogs and delays by our healthcare system," and lack of space in the care facility.

>> Read more trending stories

Bartyik said the system "(has) the power to have my grandpa moved to the same care facility as my grandmother" and the situation is made worse by Wolfram Gottschalk's developing dementia and his lymphoma diagnosis.

In a statement to CBC News, Fraser Health spokeswoman Tasleem Juma said the health care service provider was "exploring options other than this particular facility that his wife is at now."

"Certainly when the scope is narrowed to one facility, it becomes difficult to place them there, because we have to wait for another bed to become available," Juma said.

Juma told CTV News the company will "continue to work to reunite this couple."

And the couple will soon be reunited, The Star reported.

Wolfram and Anita will now be living a the same care home after Wolfram moves to Anita's Morgan Heights care home on Thursday.

The story isn't ending there. Family members told The Star that they will continue to work for other couples who are going through the same thing. 

7 things to know now: Presidential debate; Musk on Mars transporter; 'big meteor' in Australia

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

What to know now

1. First debate: He said he’d release his taxes when she releases her emails. She said she’s prepared to be president and that he’s “dangerous.” There was no shortage of fireworks at the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in New York on Monday. The Democratic and Republican candidates argued trade, ISIS, race issues, “stop and frisk,” and who has stamina during the 90-minute debate. Both sides claimed victory.

2. Musk to Mars: Elon Musk is expected to outline his plan to build a city on Mars within the next 10 years as he speaks at the International Astronautical Congress meeting Tuesday in Mexico. Reportedly, in the speech, “Making Humans a Multi-planetary Species,” Musk will talk about his “Mars Colonial Transporter” which he says will take 100 people at a time to Mars.

3. Iowa flooding: The Cedar River is expected to crest at 23 feet Tuesday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which would cause the second largest flood in the city’s recorded history. Residents there have placed sandbags and other barriers to hold back the rising waters which are already 4 feet above major flood stage.

4. The new SAT: The new version of the SAT college entrance exam has been taken by nearly a million and a half high school students since its debut in March, according to the company that owns the test. The new test offers more “real world” vocabulary and has a new format. No word on scores yet.

5. Rescued at sea: A Vermont man whose family says he has a form of autism was rescued off the coast of Massachusetts on Sunday after spending a week at sea in a life raft.  Nathan Carman, 22, and his mother, Linda Carman, were last seen on Sept. 18 when they left to go on a fishing trip on Nathan’s boat. A freighter found Nathan Carman adrift in the life boat, but there was no sign of his mother.  Carman told Coast Guard officials his boat ran into trouble and sank quickly. He said he tried to find his mother after the boat sank, but could not.

And one more

People are still trying to figure out what caused a bright flash and loud boom over the skies of northeastern Australia Monday. Residents reported that the earth shook as they saw a bright light streak across the sky. Scientist say it was likely a “big meteor” strike. 

In case you missed it

Red tide cause of fish kill on Florida coast

A massive fish kill along Florida's gulf coast is being blamed on red tide.

Thousands of dead fish have been washing up on beaches in Sarasota and Manatee counties, WTVT reported.

A red tide is when toxic algae bloom, releasing a toxin in the water that kills wildlife. The same toxic gas is released into the air and can affect people with asthma or other breathing issues, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

>> Read more trending stories  

The phenomenon isn't new, with it dating as far back to the 1700s. 

Visitors to the gulf coast beaches have been greeted with the smell of the decaying dead fish left behind during the latest red tide, some leaving the area as soon as they arrive, WTVT reported.

Businesses in the area are also being affected by the fish kill. One restaurant recently has lost 40 percent of its business because of the dead fish, WTSP reported.

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tracks the red tide. Click here for the latest report.

WATCH: Dee Gordon pays tribute to Jose Fernandez with emotional home run

Miami second baseman Dee Gordon took New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon deep on Monday in the Marlins' first game since the death of Jose Fernandez.

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>> Watch the clip here

On Sunday, Fernandez died in a boating accident off the coast of Florida.

The left-handed Gordon, who was one of Fernandez’s closest friends, paid tribute to the ace pitcher by taking Colon's first pitch as a righty. Gordon then switched back to his left side before knocking Colon's third pitch out of the park for his first homer of the season. The crowd went into hysterics as Gordon, visibly emotional, rounded the bases. He burst into tears once he reached the dugout.

>> Marlins honor Jose Fernandez on emotional night

"It seemed like it took forever," Gordon told The Associated Press. "I was trying to get back to my teammates as fast as possible. I was just wondering why Jose wasn't there standing on the top step cheering for me."

Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton called the moment "pure emotion."

>> Read more trending stories

"There's no other way it could be scripted, unless you're in a movie rewriting everything that just happened," Stanton said.

The Marlins won 7-3.

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Celebrities react to the presidential debate

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump sparred over trade policy, race and law enforcement issues and who has the better temperament to combat terrorism during Monday night’s debate.

Here’s a look at how famous viewers rated their performances:

>> 5 must-see moments from the first presidential debate

John Legend wasn’t impressed by Trump:

>> PHOTOS: Clinton, Trump face off in first debate

Kirstie Alley has expressed support for Trump previously but mainly objected to Monday’s debate format:

>> Read more trending stories

Sorry, but Kanye West was unavailable:

>> Trump vs. Clinton: When is the next presidential debate?

Rob Lowe, who also has expressed conservative views, didn’t say much during the debate but retweeted this sentiment about host Lester Holt:

>> Trump sniffing at the debate gets a lot of attention on Twitter

Seth Rogen also focused on the moderator:

>> Police escort Jill Stein away from the presidential debate site

Alyssa Milano retweeted several commenters critical of Trump, but this is her pinned tweet:

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