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Suicide bombing in Iraq ... GOP strategists on Trump's chances ... Dracula's castle contest

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IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi officials say a suicide bombing has targeted security forces outside Baghdad, killing at least nine people. No group has claimed responsibility, but it has all the hallmarks of the Islamic State group. The attack came just hours after the government announced the start of a long-awaited military operation to drive IS militants from the northern city of Mosul.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican strategists nationwide are offering a bleak outlook for Donald Trump's election chances. They acknowledge that, barring a huge collapse, Hillary Clinton is on track to sew up the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House, just over three weeks before Election Day.

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (AP) — No injuries are reported after someone threw a bottle filled with flammable liquid into Republican Party headquarters in Orange County, North Carolina. Authorities say a nearby building was spray-painted with the words, "Nazi Republicans leave town or else."

WASHINGTON (AP) — FBI Director James Comey says dramatic videos of police shootings are contributing to a perception that "biased police are killing black men at epidemic rates." Addressing police chiefs in San Diego, Comey says the narrative has formed amid a lack of comprehensive, national data about how many citizens are killed or injured by police officers.

BRAN CASTLE, Romania (AP) — Website Airbnb is holding a contest worthy of Halloween. There's plenty at stake, so to speak. Two people will get to spend All Hallows' Eve in the Transylvanian castle that inspired Bram Stoker's "Dracula." Applicants are being asked to use their "vampiric wit" to imagine what they'd say to Count Dracula if they were to meet him.

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