In brief: Hikers held in Iran make rare call home

MONDAY, MAY 23, 2011

MINNEAPOLIS – Two American hikers held captive in Iran have called home for only the third time since their arrest nearly two years ago.

Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal, both 28, told their families they had staged a 17-day hunger strike after they were stopped from receiving letters, the hikers’ families said in a news release.

Bauer’s mother, Cindy Hickey of Pine City, Minn., and Fattal’s mother, Laura Fattal of suburban Philadelphia, began what they called a “rolling” hunger strike last Thursday out of concern their sons also were fasting. Hickey said that her son’s phone call lasted about four minutes and that he sounded “OK.”

“I was very glad to hear his voice,” Hickey said Sunday. “After the third phone call in 21 months, it’s a little. We want him home.”

Hickey said that she and Laura Fattal have stopped fasting and that Bauer’s fiancee, Sarah Shourd joined the hunger strike Saturday and that Fattal’s older brother, Alex Fattal, joined it Sunday.

Five rescued after 60-foot boat sinks

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A Coast Guard rescue swimmer and helicopter plucked four men and a teenage boy from a life raft Sunday as their pleasure boat sank about 85 miles north of Kodiak Island in Alaska.

Names of the people on board the 60-foot Nordic Mistress were not immediately available, said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Lally, but all were from Anchorage.

All five people on board had donned survival suits and boarded a life raft. The helicopter dropped a rescue swimmer to assist the five in the raft. They were hoisted into the helicopter and flown to Kodiak.


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