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Slain Americans’ parents urge Obama to bring home missing reporter

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The families of four Americans killed by Islamic State on Wednesday urged U.S. President Barack Obama to do everything possible to bring home the only U.S. journalist known to be held in war-torn Syria.

“We are asking the president … to engage boldly and to use all appropriate means to bring Austin Tice safely home as soon as possible,” said the appeal distributed to the U.S. media. (http://tmsnrt.rs/28Pzo1D)

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Tice, a freelance reporter and U.S. Marine veteran of the Iraq war from Houston, Texas, whose work was carried by McClatchy newspapers, The Washington Post and other news outlets, was kidnapped in August 2012 while reporting in Damascus on the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Nothing has been heard publicly about him since a 43-second video was posted online five weeks after he disappeared that showed him in the custody of men dressed like Islamic militants.

Experts, however, doubt that the men in the video were militants. U.S. officials and Tice’s parents do not think he is held by Islamic State, which typically announces its Western captives in propaganda videos.

The Assad government denies knowing his whereabouts.

The appeal to Obama was issued by the families of four American hostages killed by Islamic State: freelance journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff and aid workers Kayla Mueller and Abdul Rahman, formerly known as Peter Kassig.

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“We are four families bonded by tragedy and terror,” they wrote. “We will never fully recover from the horrific outcome of our own hostage crises. But there is something that still can be done: bring Austin Tice home.”

The parents recalled that one year ago this week – after the killings of their children – Obama made a commitment to improve what they called “our government’s dismal record” on the return of American hostages and ordered a new policy aimed at recovering American hostages held overseas unharmed.

“His safe return will satisfy a significant and necessary measure of the success of the new policy,” they wrote.

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They quoted Obama as saying at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner that he would “fight for the release of American hostages held against their will.”

“We were stunned and disheartened when the president chose not to refer by name to Austin, the only American news journalist held against his will,” they wrote.

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(Reporting by Jonathan Landay; Editing by John Walcott and Richard Chang)


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Law enforcement files discredit Brian Kemp’s accusation that Democrats tried to hack the Georgia election

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It was a stunning accusation: Two days before the 2018 election for Georgia governor, Republican Brian Kemp used his power as secretary of state to open an investigation into what he called a “failed hacking attempt” of voter registration systems involving the Democratic Party.

But newly released case files from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reveal that there was no such hacking attempt.

The evidence from the closed investigation indicates that Kemp’s office mistook planned security tests and a warning about potential election security holes for malicious hacking.

Kemp then wrongly accused his political opponents just before Election Day — a high-profile salvo that drew national media attention in one of the most closely watched races of 2018.

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Brooklyn 88 Precinct ‘overrun’ — one night after Minneapolis police station was burned to the ground: report

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Protesters have overrun a police station in New York City, according to a CNN law enforcement analyst.

"NYPD source informs me 88 Pct in Brooklyn just been overrun," former FBI Agent James Gagliano reported Friday evening.

"Police Commissioner Shea has called a Level 3 mobilization. Requires all special units respond and four cars from every command in the city to location," he explained.

He said 84 Precinct and Brooklyn North are also "under siege."

https://twitter.com/JamesAGagliano/status/1266546781569142784

Brooklyn 88 precinct overrun pic.twitter.com/rCyV41XKmN

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WATCH: Prisoners at Chicago correctional facility bang on the walls in solidarity with protesters

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On Friday, as protests raged across the nation over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Chicago protesters were joined by the inmates of a correctional facility, who audibly banked on the walls in solidarity.

Watch below:

Not sure if you can hear...but the people locked inside the correctional center are banging on the walls like crazy. #chicagoprotest pic.twitter.com/e4bMxtiAh9

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