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9 dead in Iraq bombings...No word on IS hostages...Census bureau may test new classification

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BAGHDAD (AP) — At least nine people have been killed today by bombs in or near the Iraqi capital, Baghdad. Authorities say the explosions targeted public places and security forces. A blast near a sheep market southeast of the capital killed four people while a blast near car repair shops in central Baghdad killed three. Authorities say an explosion also hit an army patrol just north of Baghdad, killing two soldiers.

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The family of a Jordanian fighter pilot held by the Islamic State group says there's still no word on whether the extremists made good on a threat to kill him unless there was a prisoner exchange. The fate of the 26-year-old airman has been linked to that of Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, who also is being held by the militants. No word on Goto either.

DETROIT (AP) — The next census could see a new category for people. The U.S. Census Bureau will test the new Middle East-North Africa (MENA) classification for possible inclusion on the 2020 census if it gets enough positive feedback by the time the public comment period ends tomorrow. Some people of Middle Eastern and North African have expressed concern about sharing such information in a post-9/11 world.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hip-hop music mogul Marion "Suge" Knight is in a Southern California jail on suspicion of murder while authorities and his lawyer clash over whether he's the perpetrator or the victim. Sheriff's deputies say he hit and killed a man with his pickup truck, injured another and then fled. His lawyer says Knight is an innocent victim who accidentally ran over his friend and the other man as he tried to escape an attack.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Two record-setting balloonists and their support crew are focusing today on a safe landing now that gas balloon distance and duration records are safely in their hands. Two pilots from the U.S. and Russia have traveled farther and longer in a gas balloon than anyone in history. Troy Bradley of Albuquerque and Leonid Tiukhtyaev (took-TY'-yev) of Russia hope to touch down on some dunes in Baja California.

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