Nation: Gambits in the Hostage Game

New hopes, and old frustrations, as negotiations drag on

On the 400th day of captivity for the 52 Americans in Iran, the father of Hostage Kevin Hermening raised the 400th U.S. flag at Hillcrest cemetery in Hermitage, Pa. The flag had once flown over the U.S.S. Arizona, which 39 years ago fell under attack from the Japanese at Pearl Harbor. The 404th day, however, brought new hopes for the hostages' imminent return—hopes that were lowered almost as soon as the 404th flag was raised.

As-Safir, a leftist Beirut newspaper reported to be close to the...

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