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In brief: Unions side with Turkish protesters

Tue., June 18, 2013

ISTANBUL – Turkish labor groups fanned a wave of defiance against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authority, leading rallies and a one-day strike to support activists whose two-week standoff with the government has shaken the country’s secular democracy.

Riot police again deployed in Turkey’s two main cities, and authorities kept up their unyielding stance against the street demonstrations centering on Istanbul’s Taksim Square. But Monday’s police sweep was less forceful than in recent days.

After activists were ousted from their sit-in in adjacent Gezi Park during the weekend, two labor confederations that represent some 330,000 workers picked up the slack Monday by calling a strike and demonstrations nationwide.

In a sign that authorities were increasingly impatient, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc floated the prospect that authorities could call in troops to quash the protests.

U.S., Cuba to resume talks on direct mail

WASHINGTON – The United States and Cuba will resume talks this week on restarting direct mail service despite a deadlock between Washington and Havana over detainees that has largely stalled most rapprochement efforts, a U.S. official said Monday.

U.S. and Cuban diplomats and postal representatives will meet in Washington today and Wednesday for technical talks aimed at ending a 50-year suspension in direct mail between the United States and the communist island. Cuba and the U.S. have had no direct mail service since 1963.

Officials identify indefinite detainees

GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba – A list released by the U.S. government Monday identifies several dozen Guantanamo Bay prisoners who have been designated as too dangerous to release but who can’t be prosecuted.

Those on the list are prisoners who have been held without charge under the Authorized Use of Military Force act passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2001, said a spokesman for the Pentagon, Army Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale.

The names of all Guantanamo prisoners have been public for years. But the administration of President Barack Obama had declined to disclose which detainees had been designated for indefinite detention in 2010 by an inter-agency review panel.

The government released the list after the Miami Herald sued for the document under the Freedom of Information Act.


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