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In the sunlit courtyard of a mosque, overlooked by jagged mountains, dozens of men arrive to offer condolences to the family of Brigadier Hamid Birmous.

The commander with the Iraqi Kurdish forces known as peshmerga was killed in action by an ISIS bomb during the operation to retake the city of Mosul, which began this week. Iraqi security forces continue to fight their way through villages and countryside outside the city.

I have a special respect for political losers. Losing can reveal a candidate's character in a humbling, vulnerable moment.

An Ohio politician who lost a race for governor once explained to me that most politicians are used to being popular. They were often class officers and top athletes as kids, who become lawyers, professors, or business owners. They get used to people listening to them, and laughing at their jokes.

A version of this story also appeared on Alaska Public Radio.

Every year, the U.S. military moves hundreds of thousands of service members and their families all across the globe. In 2014, the Defense Department spent more than $4.3 billion on moving costs, but officials don't know where all that money is going.

Lt. Col. Alan Brown and his family are among the many that have had to move over and over again for his military career.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Finally time for sports.

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SIMON: American and National League Championship Series are underway - LA, Chi-Town, Cleveland and Toronto. NPR's Tom Goldman joins us. Morning, Tom.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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