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The 85-year old American veteran detained in North Korea has returned to American soil and is now on the Central Coast.  Palo Alto resident Merrill Newman was completing his 10-day vacation tour in North Korea on October 26th, when he was taken captive while waiting for a plane back to China.   North Korean officials cited Newman’s age and heart condition when they released him Friday. Newman said he was kept comfortable in a hotel room, and was well fed eating traditional Korean food while being forced against his will to stay in the communist country.   Newman was reportedly held after North Korean authorities claimed an email he sent to his fellow anti-communist fighters, who had fled south after the war, was evidence of espionage.   Newman is currently staying at his vacation home in Santa Cruz this week. 

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