USA

In the fifth day of a hunger strike, 91 of the 300 Afghan War detainees at the US Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, refused breakfast Sunday. US military officials said about 75 captives at Camp X-ray participate at any given meal, and at least six were being fed intravenously as a result of their fasts. The commander of the detention mission said that while the confiscation of a turban touched off the strike, it was rooted in the detainees' uncertainty over their situation. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has said they may be tried by military tribunals or in US courts, returned to their homelands for prosecution, or simply released.

Federal authorities want to create a DNA database to identify and track terrorism suspects, and would use samples from the Guantanamo Bay detainees to set it up, The New York Times reported. The Justice Department is reviewing the proposal, which would need congressional approval, the paper said. Government officials already are seeking DNA samples from family members of Osama bin Laden as they try to determine whether the elusive Al Qaeda leader is alive or dead.

Nine of the hijackers responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks were singled out for extra airport scrutiny, but all were allowed to board, a government official said on condition of anonymity, confirming a Washington Post report. The official said that in keeping with security procedures in place at the time, the men and their luggage were searched for explosives. They were allowed to keep the box cutters and knives later used to seize control of the aircraft, three of which crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Investors are anticipating today's opening on the New York Stock Exchange after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a six-month high Friday. The Dow rose more than 262 points to end at 10,368.86, a level not seen on Wall Street since Aug. 27.

Astronauts aboard the shuttle Columbia are due to step outside today for the first of five space walks in as many days, on a mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Yesterday, astronaut Nancy Currie retrieved the decade-old observatory using a 50-foot, Canadian-built robot arm.

The 30th running of Alaska's Iditarod Trail sled dog race got under way officially with 64 mushers and teams. The winner of the 1,100-mile Anchorage-to-Nome event takes home more than $62,000 and a new pickup truck. Above, seven-time competitor Linwood Fiedler, an Alaska native, and rider Dave Rosetti of California put their dogs through the paces at Saturday's ceremonial start.

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