U.S. military: No detainees giving up on hunger strike

The U.S. military on Saturday said no Guantanamo captives had quit their months-old hunger strike, reporting that 106 prisoners were refusing meals — and Navy medical forces put 45 of them on a list for forced feedings.

Lawyers for the detainees say the protest erupted after a February search of their cells, when the prisoners perceived that the guards had disrespected their Qurans.

The chief prison camp spokesman, Navy Capt. Robert Durand, said the protest began a month later after a false report by the Taliban and that Guantanamo’s guards treat Islam’s holy book respectfully.

Marine Gen. John F. Kelly, who has oversight of the prison, said the captives were “devastated” that, after pledging to close the prison in Cuba, President Obama appeared to retreat from that vow.

SEOUL, South Korea

Two Koreas’ envoys discuss restarting industrial park

Delegates from North and South Korea held talks Saturday on restarting a stalled joint factory park that had been a symbol of cooperation between the bitter rivals, but there was no word on whether any significant progress had been made as discussions went into the night.

The Kaesong industrial zone, just north of the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas, was the centerpiece of inter-Korean projects hatched during a previous era of warming ties. But it was closed in April as tensions rose between the rivals when South Korea held military exercises with U.S. troops not far from the border. North Korea pulled its 53,000 workers out of the industrial park, and South Korea then ordered its managers to leave as well, against their wishes.

Representatives from the two sides met Saturday in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the DMZ for working-level talks.


Fugitive cocaine trafficker captured in Colombian mall

A fugitive Italian mobster, who allegedly arranged major shipments of South American cocaine to Europe each month and was one of the world’s most powerful drug brokers, has been captured in a Colombian shopping mall, authorities said Saturday.

Roberto Pannunzi “at the moment is the most important broker for cocaine trafficking from South America to Europe,” Gen. Andrea De Gennaro, an Italian anti-drug customs police official, was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA.

Italian news reports said the fugitive, who fled while under arrest in a private Rome clinic in 2010, was captured Thursday. Italian anti-Mafia prosecutor Nicola Gratteri told reporters that Colombia had agreed to deport Pannunzi, 67.

— From news service reports


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