News Wrap: Suicide Bombers Strike Sufi Muslim Shrine in Pakistan
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Two suicide bombers in Pakistan hit a famed Sufi Muslim shrine today in Karachi. At least eight people were killed, and 65 others were wounded. Thousands of people usually visit the shrine on Thursdays to pray and hand out food to the poor.
More than 200,000 people have now been forced from their homes in Southern China in the worst flooding there in 50 years. Villagers on Hainan Island had to be evacuated by boat today. Streets and homes were swamped by seven inches of rain in the last week. Nearly 140 people have died in flooding across Asia.
The Obama administration has won a round in the legal fight over health care reform. Today, in Detroit, a federal judge upheld the mandate that most Americans have health insurance by 2014. He also upheld the financial penalty for not having insurance. Separately, 20 states are challenging provisions of the health care law in federal court in Florida.
The president will not sign a bill allowing home foreclosure documents to be accepted in multiple states. A spokesman said today it could worsen the growing problems caused by flawed documents. With Congress out of session, the president can kill the bill by refusing to sign it within 10 days of receiving it. The procedure is known as the pocket veto.
Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa has won the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. He was cited today for his focus on resisting political violence and oppression. The 74-year-old writer’s best-known works include “Conversation in the Cathedral” and “The Green House.” He was in New York today when word came.
MARIO VARGAS LLOSA, winner, Nobel Prize in Literature: I am very pleased, talking seriously, very grateful to the Swedish Academy. It was totally unexpected, a real surprise. I think it’s a — well, for any writer, a great encouragement, a recognition of a work that is a work of my life, no?
HARI SREENIVASAN: The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded tomorrow.
New York City asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture today to bar city residents from using food stamps to buy sugared drinks. That includes sodas, teas, sport drinks and other beverages containing sugar. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the initiative would give families more money to spend on food that provides real nourishment. The move would affect 1.7 million people in the city.
Wall Street stalled today over uncertainty about tomorrow’s report on unemployment. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 19 points to close at 10948. The Nasdaq rose three points to close at 2383.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.