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US apologizes for attack on Pakistani soldiers

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US apologizes for helicopter strike near Afghan border that killed 2 Pakistani soldiers

The U.S. apologized Wednesday for a recent helicopter attack that killed two Pakistani soldiers at an outpost near the Afghan border, saying American pilots mistook the soldiers for insurgents they were pursuing.

The apology, which came after the conclusion of a joint investigation, could pave the way for Pakistan to reopen a key border crossing that NATO uses to ship goods into landlocked Afghanistan. Pakistan closed the crossing in apparent reaction to the Sept. 30 incident.

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“We extend our deepest apology to Pakistan and the families of the Frontier Scouts who were killed and injured,” said the U.S. ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson.

Pakistan initially reported that three soldiers were killed and three injured in the attack, but one of the soldiers who was critically injured and initially reported dead ended up surviving, said Maj. Fazlur Rehman, the spokesman for the Frontier Corps.

Pakistani soldiers fired at the two U.S. helicopters prior to the attack, a move the investigation team said was likely meant to notify the aircraft of their presence after they passed into Pakistani airspace several times.

“We believe the Pakistani border guard was simply firing warning shots after hearing the nearby engagement and hearing the helicopters flying nearby,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Tim Zadalis, who led the investigation. “This tragic event could have been avoided with better coalition force coordination with the Pakistan military.”

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The head of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, also expressed his condolences “to the families of those killed and wounded, to the Pakistan military, and the people of Pakistan.”

“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,” he said.

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Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier

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Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.

The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.

The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.

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2020 Election

UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report

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At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.

Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.

There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.

The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.

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Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report

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Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.

A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.

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