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Religious envoy says hikers' release is imminent

A delegation of Christian and Muslim leaders from the United States met with the Iranian president and other top officials over the weekend. The delegation says Iran hopes that, in exchange, the United States will consider freeing Iranians now imprisoned here.
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Iran courts cast doubt on hikers' release

Iran's powerful judiciary says it's still studying a bail offer that would free a Minnesota native and his friend imprisoned there. Just a day earlier Iran's president said the Americans could be free in a couple of days. But the president has long been locked in a power struggle with the country's clerics, who control the courts.

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The delegation met for over an hour this weekend with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad about releasing Minnesota-native Shane Bauer and his friend Josh Fattal.

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A coalition that includes Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders says it will encourage its 50,000 followers to oppose the voter ID amendment on Minnesota's ballot. Members of the group Prophetic Voices say requiring a government-issued photo ID would take votes away from poor people, the elderly, and students. Some say the push is tinged with racism. Supporters of the measure say it would guard against vote fraud.

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NewsCore reports Masoud Shafii has been barred from leaving the country. His passport was confiscated as he was trying to board a plane for the United States.

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Minnesota-native Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal traveled to Capitol Hil to meet with Sens. Al Franken and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania to express their gratitude. Franken was a vocal advocate for the hikers since their arrest in 2009.

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An Iranian court has set bail at $500,000 each for a Minnesota man and his friend. A third member of their group, Sarah Shourd, was freed last year on the same bail.

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Officials from Oman say a plane is in the Iranian capital standing by to transport Minnesota native Shane Bauer and his friend Josh Fattal if they're released. Mediators are reportedly negotiating with Iran. The pair has been held for more than two years on charges of spying.