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AP Top News at 9:04 a.m. EDT

Trump spends precious campaign time promoting his businesses
WASHINGTON (AP) - Donald Trump's campaign is defending his eyebrow-raising decision to spend precious campaign time promoting his business in the final days of the long presidential campaign as his poll numbers sink. With less than two weeks left before Election Day, the Republican candidate is taking a break from campaigning Wednesday morning to formally open his new hotel in Washington. Meanwhile, he is dispatching his running mate, Mike Pence, to play political defense in Utah - which hasn't backed a Democrat for president in 52 years. Trump's hotel stop follows a visit Tuesday to another of Trump's properties, the Doral golf course outside Miami.

Iraqi forces evacuate 1,000 civilians from Mosul front lines
KHAZER, Iraq (AP) - Iraqi special forces have moved more than 1,000 people from villages near the front lines of the battle to retake the Islamic State-held city of Mosul and surrounding areas, where the U.N. says militants have committed a number of atrocities in recent days, officials said Wednesday. Special forces Maj. Gen. Haider Fadhil said residents of Tob Zawa and other villages were taken to a camp in the nearby Khazer region for their safety. The International Organization for Migration says around 9,000 people have been displaced since the operation to retake Mosul began on Oct. 17. The special forces were undertaking cleanup operations in areas retaken from the militants to the east of the city, where troops uncovered a vast tunnel network used by IS to shuttle fighters and supplies by motorcycle, Maj.

10 Things to Know for Today
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. PAKISTAN MOURNS DEAD BY SHUTTERING CITY Quetta shuts down following a deadly militant rampage as families bury many of the 61 killed in the attack on a police academy. 2. WELCOME TO FIRST NATIONWIDE TWITTER ELECTION Trump draws attention for what he's tweeting and retweeting, but Clinton uses the micro-blogging site more as a stiletto than a club. 3. WHO IS GOP'S BIGGEST OBSTACLE TO GETTING HISPANIC VOTE Trump's harsh words about immigrants have turned off many of the 27 million Latinos eligible to cast ballots.

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The Trump-Clinton Twitter war: Bludgeon vs. stiletto
NEW YORK (AP) - Back in June, when Donald Trump slammed President Barack Obama's endorsement of Hillary Clinton on Twitter, the Democrat's campaign was quick to tweet back a chilly three-word response: "Delete your account ." It was a telling exchange, and not just because it set the stage for what has become the country's first nationwide Twitter election. It also highlighted the striking, and very different, ways both presidential hopefuls have used the service to hone their messages, hurl accusations at one another and speak directly to voters - in effect, bypassing traditional media while also relying on it to amplify their retorts.

Syria airstrikes kill 17, mostly children, outside school
BEIRUT (AP) - Airstrikes in Syria killed 17 people, mostly children on Wednesday when warplanes struck a school complex in the northern rebel-held province of Idlib, activists said. The Idlib News network said the strikes hit as the children were gathered outside the school complex in the village of Hass. The activist-operated group put the death toll at 17, and said most of the victims were children. There were fears the death toll could rise further as some of the wounded were reported to be in critical condition, the network added. Another activist group, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 22.

Venezuela braces for anti-government protests amid crisis
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's standoff deepened after congress voted to open a political trial against President Nicolas Maduro for breaking the constitutional order and opposition leaders called for mass protests on Wednesday to drive the unpopular socialist leader from office. Tuesday's vote by the opposition-led legislature is unlikely to have any legal effect as Maduro still controls other branches of government, including the military and Supreme Court, which has already declared the National Assembly illegitimate. But it raised tensions even further following last week's suspension of an opposition push to hold a referendum to try to recall Maduro. Opposition legislators argued that Venezuela's leader has effectively abandoned the presidency by neglecting his job and several lawmakers questioned whether he was a dual Colombian national and therefore ineligible to hold Venezuela's highest office.

Lawsuit challenges Denver's sweeps of the homeless
DENVER (AP) - When Jerry Burton's sleeping bag and tent were removed by city workers from his campsite near a rapidly developing area close to downtown Denver, he was able to start over again with backup gear he keeps hidden for emergencies - whether his or someone else's. Now he's one of nine homeless people suing in federal court to try to stop the city's sweeps of homeless encampments and, as he sees it, restore the dignity and respect of people who can't find a home of their own in a growing city. Burton, a former Marine who has had trouble finding housing despite veterans' rental assistance, compared the city's seizures of the homeless' property with someone walking into a home and taking a television.

Police: Oklahoma man wanted for violent crimes had hit list
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Authorities say the Oklahoma man who has been wanted since Sunday in a string of violent crimes, including the killings of two relatives, had a hit list purporting to target several more people. Michael Dale Vance Jr., a 38-year-old man from Chandler, Oklahoma, is wanted on multiple charges, including two counts of first-degree murder. He was last seen early Monday about 30 miles from the Texas border in western Oklahoma - 165 miles from where the manhunt began Sunday night in Wellston. "Obviously, as long as he isn't apprehended, we're extremely concerned about those he may have indicated that he wishes harm to," Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel told The Oklahoman newspaper on Tuesday.

Kluber, Perez, Indians beat Cubs 6-0 in World Series opener
CLEVELAND (AP) - Corey Kluber and the Cleveland Indians are off to a pitch-perfect start in the World Series. The Chicago Cubs, meanwhile, fell completely flat in their first appearance since 1945. Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Roberto Perez had four RBIs with a pair of home runs and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in Tuesday night's opener of a highly anticipated matchup between the teams with baseball's longest championship droughts. "It's almost like you have that extra level of intensity," said Kluber, who became the first Series pitcher to strike out eight batters in the first three innings.


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