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IS THERE LIFE AFTER GITMO?

After a decade behind bars, Hussein al-Merfedy wants to start over. But he and others like him are stuck in limbo
A DIFFERENT CAGE: “I imagined having a family and children one day. But here I am, still alone,” says former Gitmo detainee al-Merfedy, a Yemeni.
ALEX POTTER

IT’S EARLY SUNDAY morning, and the streets of Zvolen are empty. Most in this midsize town in Slovakia are attending church, while others battle hangovers from the previous night. Hussein al-Merfedy has a bad headache too, but it’s a migraine, not something alcohol-related. He’s a Muslim and former detainee at the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Two years ago, al-Merfedy was one of dozens of detainees the U.S. kept locked up at Gitmo, even though they were never charged with a crime. Though he had been cleared for release in 2008, he spent more than a decade in prison without explanation. That changed on November 14, 2014, when the military handcuffed and blindfolded al-Merfedy and put him on a plane. When he landed, however, he was not home in Yemen; he was thousands of miles away in Slovakia, a stranger in a new country.

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Not since before the beginning of the Cold War has a U.S. politician been as fervently pro-Russian as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Does Trump truly hold American ideals and is it finally pay-back for Putin?
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