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7 things to know now: First debate is tonight; Arnold Palmer dies; LSU fires Les Miles

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

What to know now:

1. Debate night: The first presidential debate is set for Monday night in New York, in what could be one of the most watched events ever on television. Some estimate more than 100 million viewers will tune in to see the first of three debates between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. The national race for the presidency, in some polls, is a dead heat as the two get set to meet for the first time on stage together. (Click here for everything you want to know about the debate).

2. Washington mall shooter: A man who shot and killed five people at a makeup counter in a Burlington, Wash., Macy’s is due in court Monday morning. Arcan Cetin, 20, faces five counts of first-degree murder in  the shooting  deaths Friday. Cetin was captured Saturday after a 20-hour manhunt.

3. Palmer dies: Arnold Palmer, who earned the title of “The King” of golf during his years dominating the sport, died Sunday. Palmer who won seven major victories in his career, and went on to design golf courses and endorse products after retiring, was 87 and had been suffering from heart disease.

4. Les Miles fired: Louisiana State University has fired its head football coach Les Miles. Miles, along with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron were both dismissed Sunday following a loss to Auburn on Saturday. In the loss, LSU appeared to win the game on a last second touchdown pass, but a replay showed the quarterback did not  get the play off before time ran out. Miles had before been criticized for not managing the game clock well. Miles was at LSU for 11 years and won a national championship title there in 2007.

5. Fernandez death: Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez died from blunt force trauma, not drowning following a boating accident early Sunday morning, according to authorities. Fernandez, along with two friends, was killed when the boat they were riding in hit a jetty as they approached a channel near the port of Miami. Florida Wildlife Commission authorities said Fernandez, 24, was a passenger in the boat.

And  one more

Three people, including  a 17- year-old girl have been arrested in connection with the deaths of three people in a Southern California home. Police would not confirm that the 17-year-old was the daughter of the couple who was killed, as some media outlets have reported. The third person killed was a friend of the couple. Two girls, ages 6 and 9, were also found in the home. They were unharmed.

 In case you missed it

Matt LeBlanc signs 2-series deal to host BBC's 'Top Gear'

The BBC says former "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc has signed a two-series deal to host its popular car show "Top Gear."

The broadcaster announced Monday that LeBlanc will front the program when it returns for a 24th series in 2017.

LeBlanc was one of two hosts when "Top Gear" was relaunched in May after the loss of its longstanding team of presenters. His co-host, Chris Evans, quit in July after the show drew lackluster ratings and lukewarm reviews.

A mix of humor, stunts and automotive advice, "Top Gear" became a global hit under presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

The trio left last year after an off-set dustup in which Clarkson punched a producer. They are hosting a new car show, "The Grand Tour," on Amazon Prime.

Matt LeBlanc signs 2-series deal to host BBC's 'Top Gear'

The BBC says former "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc has signed a two-series deal to host its popular car show "Top Gear."

The broadcaster announced Monday that LeBlanc will front the program when it returns for a 24th series in 2017.

LeBlanc was one of two hosts when "Top Gear" was relaunched in May after the loss of its longstanding team of presenters. His co-host, Chris Evans, quit in July after the show drew lackluster ratings and lukewarm reviews.

A mix of humor, stunts and automotive advice, "Top Gear" became a global hit under presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

The trio left last year after an off-set dustup in which Clarkson punched a producer. They are hosting a new car show, "The Grand Tour," on Amazon Prime.

VIEWER'S GUIDE: Trust and temperament key themes in debate

The most telling moments in presidential debates often come out of the blue — an offhand remark or unrehearsed gesture that helps to reveal the essence of a candidate who's already been poked, prodded and inspected for years.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have competing missions heading into Monday night's leadoff debate of the general election campaign: Hers to overcome the trust questions that have bedeviled her for decades. His to convince voters that he has the good judgment and restraint required of a president.

Plenty of subtexts will play out as well over 90 minutes of must-see TV before an estimated audience of 75 million or more viewers — an outsized share of them disenchanted with both candidates.

Some things to watch for Monday night:

___

CLINTON vs. INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

Just who will show up to debate Clinton? Will it be the say-anything Trump who roiled the primary debates by dishing out a stream of insults and provocations? Or the rein-it-in Trump who's been trying to demonstrate of late that he has the maturity and measured temperament to be president? One possible clue: Watch to see whether Trump trots out the "crooked Hillary" nickname or puts it on ice for 90 minutes.

___

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Expect Clinton to try to goad Trump into losing control, perhaps by questioning the size of his wealth and the success of his businesses or by highlighting his past incendiary statements about minorities, women and others. Trump is promising to "stay cool." But 90 minutes could be a long time for the master of improv and theatrics to hew to a script.

___

POLICY PITFALLS

Both candidates have policy gaps to fill in and changes in position to explain. At its best, the debate could help flesh out details of both candidates' platforms, highlighting similarities and differences. There are pitfalls here for Trump in particular: Weak on policy, he's vulnerable to slip-ups that could feed into the not-ready-to-govern line that Clinton is pushing. Trump has been studying up: You can bet he now knows what the nuclear triad is. (During the primary debates, he seemed not to understand that it represents weapons in silos, submarines and bombers.)

___

THOSE 'DAMN EMAILS'

Clinton largely got a pass during the Democratic primary debates on her use of a private email system when she was secretary of state. Primary rival Bernie Sanders, in their first debate, did Clinton a favor when he declared that "people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails." Don't expect Trump to cut Clinton a similar break. She also has more to answer for since the FBI concluded that she was "extremely careless" in her handling of classified material in the emails. Clinton has been struggling to find an effective explanation: Now would be a good time for her to nail it.

___

PUSH-UPS ANYONE?

They can't exactly drop to the floor for a one-armed pushups contest. But look for both candidates to more subtly project health and stability. After her much-publicized coughing fits and recent bout of pneumonia, Clinton will be out to show she's got the strength and stamina the White House job demands. As for Trump, critics have speculated he has any number of psychiatric disorders. It would be a good time to show a level head and solid grounding.

___

POINTERS AND PINCERS

He shrugs. She bobs her head. He waves his arms. She pinches her thumb and index finger. Every wink, nod and fidget on Monday will be analyzed for silent messages that can speak volumes. President George H.W. Bush caught grief for stealing a look at his watch during a 1992 debate. Al Gore's audible sighs in a 2000 debate were seen as discourteous to George W. Bush.

___

FACTIVISM

The candidates won't be the only ones under the microscope. Moderator Lester Holt of NBC News will be under enormous pressure to maintain control and act as an objective referee. In the lead-up to the debate, Trump maintained that it would be improper for Holt to try to fact-check the candidates' statements in real time. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted that if debate moderators don't fact-check the candidates, "it is an unfair advantage to Trump, who is a congenital liar."

___

GENDER DYNAMICS

Gender politics will be afoot in the first general-election debate to feature a woman. Trump had trouble navigating this terrain in the primaries, when he tried to back away from a derogatory comment about rival Carly Fiorina's looks by declaring in one debate that she had a "beautiful face." Clinton will be ready. She said earlier this year: "I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak."

___

WHAT TO WEAR

Call it frivolous, but people will check out what the candidates wear, especially Clinton. When comic Zach Galifianakis recently asked Clinton what she was going to wear, Clinton said she had no idea and scolded him for "this thing called the double standard." As for what Trump will wear, Clinton said: "I assume he'll wear that red power tie." Alluding to questions about whether Trump is a racist, Galifianakis replied: "Or maybe a white power tie."

___

POST-MORTEM

Even if you watch the whole debate, its impact may not be completely clear until the post-debate pontificating plays out. The analysis and selected clips that are highlighted after the debate can have a big influence on the millions of people who didn't tune in — or who watched Monday Night Football instead. And why wait for the debate to end? Your Twitter feed will be filled with significant moments before you've even had time to digest them.

___

Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/nbenac

VIEWER'S GUIDE: Trust and temperament key themes in debate

The most telling moments in presidential debates often come out of the blue — an offhand remark or unrehearsed gesture that helps to reveal the essence of a candidate who's already been poked, prodded and inspected for years.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have competing missions heading into Monday night's leadoff debate of the general election campaign: Hers to overcome the trust questions that have bedeviled her for decades. His to convince voters that he has the good judgment and restraint required of a president.

Plenty of subtexts will play out as well over 90 minutes of must-see TV before an estimated audience of 75 million or more viewers — an outsized share of them disenchanted with both candidates.

Some things to watch for Monday night:

___

CLINTON vs. INTERNATIONAL MAN OF MYSTERY

Just who will show up to debate Clinton? Will it be the say-anything Trump who roiled the primary debates by dishing out a stream of insults and provocations? Or the rein-it-in Trump who's been trying to demonstrate of late that he has the maturity and measured temperament to be president? One possible clue: Watch to see whether Trump trots out the "crooked Hillary" nickname or puts it on ice for 90 minutes.

___

TAKE A DEEP BREATH

Expect Clinton to try to goad Trump into losing control, perhaps by questioning the size of his wealth and the success of his businesses or by highlighting his past incendiary statements about minorities, women and others. Trump is promising to "stay cool." But 90 minutes could be a long time for the master of improv and theatrics to hew to a script.

___

POLICY PITFALLS

Both candidates have policy gaps to fill in and changes in position to explain. At its best, the debate could help flesh out details of both candidates' platforms, highlighting similarities and differences. There are pitfalls here for Trump in particular: Weak on policy, he's vulnerable to slip-ups that could feed into the not-ready-to-govern line that Clinton is pushing. Trump has been studying up: You can bet he now knows what the nuclear triad is. (During the primary debates, he seemed not to understand that it represents weapons in silos, submarines and bombers.)

___

THOSE 'DAMN EMAILS'

Clinton largely got a pass during the Democratic primary debates on her use of a private email system when she was secretary of state. Primary rival Bernie Sanders, in their first debate, did Clinton a favor when he declared that "people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails." Don't expect Trump to cut Clinton a similar break. She also has more to answer for since the FBI concluded that she was "extremely careless" in her handling of classified material in the emails. Clinton has been struggling to find an effective explanation: Now would be a good time for her to nail it.

___

PUSH-UPS ANYONE?

They can't exactly drop to the floor for a one-armed pushups contest. But look for both candidates to more subtly project health and stability. After her much-publicized coughing fits and recent bout of pneumonia, Clinton will be out to show she's got the strength and stamina the White House job demands. As for Trump, critics have speculated he has any number of psychiatric disorders. It would be a good time to show a level head and solid grounding.

___

POINTERS AND PINCERS

He shrugs. She bobs her head. He waves his arms. She pinches her thumb and index finger. Every wink, nod and fidget on Monday will be analyzed for silent messages that can speak volumes. President George H.W. Bush caught grief for stealing a look at his watch during a 1992 debate. Al Gore's audible sighs in a 2000 debate were seen as discourteous to George W. Bush.

___

FACTIVISM

The candidates won't be the only ones under the microscope. Moderator Lester Holt of NBC News will be under enormous pressure to maintain control and act as an objective referee. In the lead-up to the debate, Trump maintained that it would be improper for Holt to try to fact-check the candidates' statements in real time. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted that if debate moderators don't fact-check the candidates, "it is an unfair advantage to Trump, who is a congenital liar."

___

GENDER DYNAMICS

Gender politics will be afoot in the first general-election debate to feature a woman. Trump had trouble navigating this terrain in the primaries, when he tried to back away from a derogatory comment about rival Carly Fiorina's looks by declaring in one debate that she had a "beautiful face." Clinton will be ready. She said earlier this year: "I have a lot of experience dealing with men who sometimes get off the reservation in the way they behave and how they speak."

___

WHAT TO WEAR

Call it frivolous, but people will check out what the candidates wear, especially Clinton. When comic Zach Galifianakis recently asked Clinton what she was going to wear, Clinton said she had no idea and scolded him for "this thing called the double standard." As for what Trump will wear, Clinton said: "I assume he'll wear that red power tie." Alluding to questions about whether Trump is a racist, Galifianakis replied: "Or maybe a white power tie."

___

POST-MORTEM

Even if you watch the whole debate, its impact may not be completely clear until the post-debate pontificating plays out. The analysis and selected clips that are highlighted after the debate can have a big influence on the millions of people who didn't tune in — or who watched Monday Night Football instead. And why wait for the debate to end? Your Twitter feed will be filled with significant moments before you've even had time to digest them.

___

Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/nbenac

History of slavery in NY examined through runaways notices

They were field hands, cooks, musicians and blacksmiths. Some were "well made," others lame. A few showed ritual tribal scarring from their native Africa, others bore scars inflicted by their masters. All of them — some 600-plus men and women — were black slaves who bolted for freedom in upstate New York in the 1700s and early 1800s.

The details of their escapes are included in a new book by two upstate historians who examine slavery in the Hudson Valley through a century of newspaper notices seeking the return of runaway slaves.

Susan Stessin-Cohn, of New Paltz, and Ashley Hurlburt-Biagini, of Salisbury Mills, spent years scouring archives for "In Defiance," recently published by Albany-based Black Dome Press. Their soft-cover book contains reprints and transcriptions of more than 550 newspaper notices published between 1735 and 1831, four years after slavery was abolished in New York state.

Most of the notices were published in papers printed in a 10-county region from Albany to Westchester County. Many contain vivid physical descriptions of the 607 runaways documented in the book, a fraction of the untold number of enslaved blacks in New York who sought freedom through escape. The information offers a unique glimpse into the lives of the Northern slaves who worked the valley's farms and toiled in its homesteads, the authors said.

"There's so few stories about enslaved people (in the North)," said Stessin-Cohn, historian for the town of New Paltz, 75 miles north of New York City. "Each little notice is like a vignette, it's a story on someone's life. It puts a face on this whole human experience."

While a handful of the larger New York estates had dozens of slaves working on them during the Colonial and antebellum periods, the typical upstate slaveholder owned one to five slaves, Stessin-Cohn said. While that meant Hudson Valley slaves tended to possess a variety of skills, it also left them more isolated from one another compared to blacks forced to work on Southern plantations, she said.

Slavery in the North could be even harsher "because they were so alone and they were under their enslaver's watch constantly," Stessin-Cohn said.

The runaway notices served as the era's all-points bulletin, a way to get word of escaped slaves to the general population through local publications.

A typical notice started with the words "Run Away" or the amount of the award offered, followed by a description that included a slave's name, age, height and skin complexion, along with any noticeable features such as scars or a peculiar gait. What the slave was wearing and carrying at the time of escape would also be noted, along with their work and other skills, especially musicianship.

A published notice for a slave named Mingo, who ran away from his master in Westchester in 1767, read: "He plays tolerably well upon the Fiddle, and has taken one with him."

Unlike slave sale notices that tended to tout an individual's attributes, the runaway notices were blunt in their descriptions of a slave's foibles, such as a taste for strong drink or being overly talkative.

"You get a much more honest picture of the people, and there's no other source for that kind information, especially in the North," Stessin-Cohn said.

Most notices mentioned a runaway's language skills, which for many slaves included speaking English as well as Dutch, an indication of the heavy cultural influence the Dutch had in eastern New York well into the 19th century.

"It's kind of shedding light on situations we knew nothing about before," Stessin-Cohn said.

Pam Grier, Jessye Norman win Harvard's W.E.B. DuBois medals

Actress Pam Grier and opera soprano Jessye Norman are among the recipients of Harvard University's 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois medals honoring those who have made significant contributions to African and African American history and culture.

Grier and Norman will be honored at the fourth annual Hutchins Center Honors on Oct. 6. Other medalists this year include hip hop artist and activist Lana "MC Lyte" Moorer, writer and producer David Simon and the 1966 Texas Western Miners men's basketball team, which was the first all-black starting lineup to win an NCAA national championship.

The awards are presented by the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.

W.E.B. Du Bois was a civil rights activist, historian and sociologist.

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Arnold Palmer dies at 87, made golf popular for masses

Alastair Johnston, CEO of Arnold Palmer Enterprises, confirmed that Palmer died Sunday afternoon of complications from heart problems. Johnston said Palmer was admitted to the UPMC Hospital on Thursday for some cardiovascular work and weakened over the last few days.

"Today marks the passing of an era," said Johnston, Palmer's longtime agent at IMG. "Arnold Palmer's influence, profile and achievements spread far beyond the game of golf. He was an iconic American who treated people with respect and warmth, and built a unique legacy through his ability to engage with fans."

Palmer ranked among the most important figures in golf history , and it went well beyond his seven major championships and 62 PGA Tour wins. His good looks, devilish grin and go-for-broke manner made the elite sport appealing to one and all. And it helped that he arrived about the same time as television moved into most households, a perfect fit that sent golf to unprecedented popularity.

"If it wasn't for Arnold, golf wouldn't be as popular as it is now," Tiger Woods said in 2004 when Palmer played in his last Masters. "He's the one who basically brought it to the forefront on TV. If it wasn't for him and his excitement, his flair, the way he played, golf probably would not have had that type of excitement.

"And that's why he's the king."

Beyond his golf, Palmer was a pioneer in sports marketing, paving the way for scores of other athletes to reap in millions from endorsements. Some four decades after his last PGA Tour win, he ranked among the highest-earners in golf.

"Thanks Arnold for your friendship, counsel and a lot of laughs," Woods tweeted Sunday night. "Your philanthropy and humility are part of your legend. It's hard to imagine golf without you or anyone more important to the game than the King."

On the golf course, Palmer was an icon not for how often he won, but the way he did it.

He would hitch up his pants, drop a cigarette and attack the flags. With powerful hands wrapped around the golf club, Palmer would slash at the ball with all of his might, then twist that muscular neck and squint to see where it went.

"When he hits the ball, the earth shakes," Gene Littler once said.

Palmer rallied from seven shots behind to win a U.S. Open. He blew a seven-shot lead on the back nine to lose a U.S. Open.

He was never dull.

"I'm pleased that I was able to do what I did from a golfing standpoint," Palmer said in 2008, two years after he played in his last official tournament. "I would like to think that I left them more than just that."

He left behind a gallery known as "Arnie's Army," which began at Augusta National with a small group of soldiers from nearby Fort Gordon, and grew to include a legion of fans from every corner of the globe.

Palmer stopped playing the Masters in 2004 and hit the ceremonial tee shot every year until 2016, when age began to take a toll and he struggled with his balance.

It was Palmer who gave golf the modern version of the Grand Slam — winning all four professional majors in one year. He came up with the idea after winning the Masters and U.S. Open in 1960. Palmer was runner-up at the British Open, later calling it one of the biggest disappointments of his career. But his appearance alone invigorated the British Open, which Americans had been ignoring for years.

Palmer never won the PGA Championship, one major short of capturing a career Grand Slam.

But then, standard he set went beyond trophies. It was the way he treated people, looking everyone in the eye with a smile and a wink. He signed every autograph, making sure it was legible. He made every fan feel like an old friend.

Palmer never like being referred to as "The King," but the name stuck.

"It was back in the early '60s. I was playing pretty good, winning a lot of tournaments, and someone gave a speech and referred to me as 'The King,'" Palmer said in a November 2011 interview with The Associated Press.

"I don't bask in it. I don't relish it. I tried for a long time to stop that and," he said, pausing to shrug, "there was no point."

Palmer played at least one PGA Tour event every season for 52 consecutive years, ending with the 2004 Masters. He spearheaded the growth of the 50-and-older Champions Tour, winning 10 times and drawing some of the biggest crowds.

He was equally successful off with golf course design, a wine collection, and apparel that included his famous logo of an umbrella. He bought the Bay Hill Club & Lodge upon making his winter home in Orlando, Florida, and in 2007 the PGA Tour changed the name of the tournament to the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The combination of iced tea and lemonade is known as an "Arnold Palmer." Padraig Harrington recalls eating in an Italian restaurant in Miami when he heard a customer order one.

"Think about it," Harrington said. "You don't go up there and order a 'Tiger Woods' at the bar. You can go up there and order an 'Arnold Palmer' in this country and the barman — he was a young man — knew what the drink was. That's in a league of your own."

Palmer was born Sept. 10, 1929 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the oldest of four children. His father, Deacon, became the greenskeeper at Latrobe Country Club in 1921 and the club pro in 1933.

He had two loves as a boy — strapping on his holster with toy guns to play "Cowboys and Indians," and playing golf. It was on the golf course that Palmer grew to become so strong, with barrel arms and hands of iron.

"When I was 6 years old, my father put me on a steel-wheeled tractor," he recalled in a 2011 interview with the AP. "I had to stand up to turn the wheel. That's one thing made me strong. The other thing was I pushed mowers. In those days, there were no motors on anything except the tractor. The mowers to cut greens with, you pushed.

"And it was this," he said, patting his arms, "that made it go."

Palmer joined the PGA Tour in 1955 and won the Canadian Open for the first of his 62 titles. He went on to win four green jackets at Augusta National, along with the British Open in 1961 and 1962 and the U.S. Open in 1960, perhaps the most memorable of his seven majors.

Nothing defined Palmer like that 1960 U.S. Open at Cherry Hills. He was seven shots behind going into the final round when he ran into Bob Drum, a Pittsburgh sports writer. Palmer asked if he could still win by shooting 65, which would give him a four-day total of 280. Drum told him that 280 "won't do you a damn bit of good."

Incensed, Palmer headed to the first tee and drove the green on the par-4 opening hole to make birdie. He birdied the next three holes, shot 65 and outlasted Ben Hogan and 20-year-old amateur Jack Nicklaus.

Palmer went head to head with Nicklaus two years later in a U.S. Open, the start of one of golf's most famous rivalries. It was one-sided. Nicklaus went on to win 18 majors and was regarded as golf's greatest champion. Palmer won two more majors after that loss, and his last PGA Tour win came in 1973 at the Bob Hope Classic.

Tom Callahan once described the difference between Nicklaus and Palmer this way: It's as though God said to Nicklaus, "You will have skills like no other," then whispered to Palmer, "But they will love you more."

"I think he brought a lot more to the game than his game," Nicklaus said in 2009. "What I mean by that is, there's no question about his record and his ability to play the game. He was very, very good at that. But he obviously brought a lot more. He brought the hitch of his pants, the flair that he brought to the game, the fans that he brought into the game."

Palmer combined power with charm, reckless abandon with graceful elegance. Golf no longer was a country club game for old men who were out of shape. He was a man's man, and he brought that spirit to the sport.

It made him a beloved figure, and brought riches long after he stopped competing.

That started with a handshake agreement with IMG founder Mark McCormack to represent Palmer in contract negotiations. Palmer's image was everywhere, from motor oil to ketchup to financial services companies. Even as late as 2011, nearly 40 years after his last PGA Tour win, Palmer was No. 3 on Golf Digest's list of top earners at $36 million a year. He trailed only Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Palmer's other love was aviation. He piloted his first aircraft in 1956, and 10 years later had a license to fly jets that now are the standard mode of transportation for so many top players, even though the majority of them are merely passengers. Palmer flew planes the way he played golf. He set a record in 1976 when he circumnavigated the globe in 57 hours, 25 minutes and 42 seconds in a Lear 36. He continued flying his Cessna Citation 10 until he failed to renew his license at age 81, just short of 20,000 hours in the cockpit.

Through it all, he touched more people than he could possibly remember, though he sure tried. When asked about the fans he attracted at Augusta National, Palmer once said, "Hell, I know most of them by name."

Only four other players won more PGA Tour events than Palmer — Sam Snead, Nicklaus and Woods.

Palmer's first wife, Winnie, died in 1999. They had two daughters, and grandson Sam Saunders plays on the PGA Tour. Palmer married Kathleen (Kit) Gawthrop in 2005.

Details on a memorial service and burial will be announced later.

Palmer was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997, which was caught early. He returned to golf a few months later, winking at fans as he waded through the gallery, always a smile and a signature for them.

"I'm not interested in being a hero," Palmer said, implying that too much was made about his return from cancer. "I just want to play some golf."

That, perhaps, is his true epitaph. Palmer lived to play.

Viola Davis describes becoming Rape Foundation advocate

Viola Davis said Sunday that her own experiences with sexual assault led her to become an advocate for the Rape Foundation and encouraged others to visit treatment centers so they'll become supporters.

"You must," she said. "And then let your heart do the rest."

"Myself, my mother, my sisters, my friend Rebecca, my friend from childhood, we all have one thing in common: We are all survivors of sexual assault in some way, shape or form," Davis said Sunday at a benefit for the foundation.

It provides free medical treatment, counseling and legal aid to sexual assault victims at its Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House, which specializes in caring for sexually abused children.

An advocate for the group since playing its founder in a 2010 film, Davis was among the guests of honor at the organization's annual fundraising brunch held at billionaire Ron Burkle's Greenacres estate in Beverly Hills, California

Davis said half of the survivors helped by the Rape Foundation are children, adding that one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before age 18.

Her own sister is among the casualties: She was sexually assaulted at age 8 and still struggles today.

"I continue to pray for my sister," said Davis, who has previously spoken publicly about her sister's attack.

The brunch was held in a tented space in Burkle's backyard, where "Black Panther" star Chadwick Boseman, "Vampire Diaries" actress Nina Dobrev and the supporting cast on Davis' "How to Get Away With Murder" were among the guests in 95-degree heat.

David Schwimmer was the master of ceremonies. The actor-director started working with the Rape Foundation during his "Friends" days and has served on its board of directors for the last 12 years. He said the brunch supports a year's worth of services at the Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House.

The Rape Foundation also provides educational programs for first responders and middle- and high-school students.

___

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy .

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