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06/04/05 World News: Americans 'Mishandled' Koran 5 Times at Guantanamo


The U.S. military has released details about five incidents in which jailers at the Guantanamo Bay detention center mishandled copies of the Koran.

An investigation at the prison facility in Cuba, housing more than 500 suspected terrorists, heard that a copy of the Muslim holy book was accidentally splashed with urine in one incident. Interrogators stepped on or kicked copies of the Koran on two other occasions, and an inmate once reported that his Koran was defaced with an obscene comment. Another time, copies of the Koran were splashed when guards tossed balloons filled with water into the detainees' quarters.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has voiced concern over China's military buildup, saying it could threaten the security balance in Asia. Mr. Rumsfeld told a forum of defense ministers from 21 nations today (Saturday) that China has the third-largest military budget in the world and the largest in Asia. He added that China appears to be expanding its missile forces, allowing them to target many parts of the world.

The U.S. State Department has blacklisted Burma, Cambodia, and North Korea in their list of countries eligible for U.S. sanctions for failing to adequately fight human trafficking.

In the annual report released today (Friday), Cambodia's government was criticized for its "unsatisfactory" response to a December, 2004, attack at a shelter for trafficking victims, where nearly 100 women and girls were abducted.

The report lambasted North Korea for punishing human trafficking victims with prison sentences -- and for forcing thousands of people to work -- and often perish -- under forced labor.

The report also detailed Burma's failure to address forced labor and sexual exploitation -- particularly in trafficking Burma's ethnic minority to various countries throughout Asia.

Tens of thousands of people will hold a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong today (Saturday) to mark the 16th anniversary of China's bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

Listen to our World News for details of these stories and more….

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