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Thursday, October 7, 2010 - 4:31am

US Apologizes to Pakistan; Nobel In Literature; Banning Food Stamps For Soda In NYC

US Apologizes For Killing Pakistani Border Guards; Pakistan Mulls Reopening Border Crossing.

The US ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson released a statement today apologizing for US helicopters opening fire on Pakistani border guards, killing three.

"We extend our deepest apology to Pakistan and the families of the Frontier Scouts who were killed and injured" said the Ambassador. "Pakistan's brave security forces are our allies in a war that threatens both Pakistan and the U.S."

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff also expressed his regrets, and General Petraeus apologized personally.

"We deeply regret this tragic loss of life and will continue to work with the Pakistan military and government to ensure this doesn't happen again," Gen. David H. Petraeus, the coalition commander in Afghanistan, said in a military statement that pledged better coordination.

Pakistan, which closed a border crossing to vehicles supplying NATO troops in Afghanistan, says they may re-open the crossing "in due course."

NPR's Jackie Northam reports this morning on the state of the US-Pakistan relationship.

Mario Vargas Llosa Wins Nobel For Literature

The Peruvian writer is the author of more than 30 novels, plays and essays, including "Conversation in the Cathedral" and "The Green House." He became famous in the 1960's with his novel "The Time of the Hero."

The AP is reporting that the the Swedish Academy said it honored the 74-year-old author "for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat."

NYC Wants To Ban Using Foodstamps For Soda

In a move that could be painted as paternalistic, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is asking for a federal waiver to bar the city's 1.7 million people on food stamps from using them to purchase soda or sugary drinks. Bloomberg says this move is necessary to help fight obesity, an issue the mayor has already put some measures in place against, including banning trans fats and making restaurants post calorie counts.

The New York Times has the predictable response from the beverage industry.

Tracey Halliday, a spokeswoman for the American Beverage Association, said of the mayors request: This is just another attempt by government to tell New Yorkers what they should eat and drink.

[Copyright 2010 National Public Radio]

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