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The unassuming hero of Jonas Karlsson's clever, Kafkaesque parable is the opposite of a malcontent. Despite scant education, a limited social life, and no prospects for success as it is usually defined, he's that rarity, a most happy fella with an amazing ability to content himself with very little. But one day, returning to his barebones flat from his dead-end, part-time job at a video store, he finds an astronomical bill from an entity called W.R.D. He assumes it's a scam. Actually, it is more sinister-- and it forces him to take a good hard look at his life and values.

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The season for blueberries used to be short. You'd find fresh berries in the store just during a couple of months in the middle of summer.

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U.S. Officials Say Pakistan Gave Go-Ahead For Airstrikes

Dec 2, 2011

"Pakistani officials at a border coordination center gave the go-ahead to American airstrikes that inadvertently killed 24 Pakistan troops, unaware that their own forces were in the area, according to U.S. officials briefed on the preliminary investigation," The Wall Street Journal reports this morning.

A Pakistani official quoted by Reuters says that's not true.

As NPR's Tom Bowman said earlier today on Morning Edition, the Journal's story adds detail to the American side's account of the Nov. 26 incident that has rocked already shaky U.S.-Pakistan relations. Tom had previously reported that U.S. officials said they had been in contact with Pakistani officials before and during the military operation on the Afghanistan side of the border.

Now, according to the anonymous officials the Journal has interviewed, a preliminary investigation indicates that before calling in the airstrikes to counter what they said was fire coming from the Pakistani side of the border, U.S. commandos contacted "a joint border-control center to determine whether Pakistani forces were in the area."

The Journal writes, and Tom says U.S. officials he has spoken with "confirm the basic outlines" of the report, that "Pakistani representatives at the center said there were no Pakistani military forces in the area identified by the commandos."

But, Tom says, "Pakistani troops were there. It turns out they had set up a campsite."

Pakistani officials have said there was no fire coming from their side of the border. There has been outrage in Pakistan and officials there have closed some border crossings to U.S. and NATO supply convoys.

According to Reuters, a Pakistani military official today "categorically denied the Journal's account, saying the aircraft had already engaged when Pakistan was contacted:

"Wrong information about the area of operation was provided to Pakistani officials a few minutes before the strike," said the official, who was not authorized to speak to the media. "Without getting clearance from the Pakistan side, the post had already been engaged by U.S. helicopters and fighter jets. Pakistan did not have any prior information about any operation in the area."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.