Looks as if ISIS has beheaded another
CAIRO - A Croatian hostage abducted in Egypt by Islamic State militants has been beheaded, according to a gruesome image circulated yesterday online - a killing that, if confirmed, would be the first of its kind involving a foreign captive in the country, undermining government efforts to project stability and buttress an economic turnaround.
- A Croatian hostage abducted in Egypt by Islamic State militants has been beheaded, according to a gruesome image circulated yesterday online - a killing that, if confirmed, would be the first of its kind involving a foreign captive in the country, undermining government efforts to project stability and buttress an economic turnaround.
The still photo, circulated by ISIS supporters on social media, appeared to show the body of Tomislav Salopek, 30, a married father of two, wearing a beige jumpsuit like the one he wore in a previous video. A black flag used by the Islamic State group and a knife were planted in the sand next to his body.
A caption in Arabic said Salopek was killed "for his country's participation in the war against the Islamic State," and came after a deadline had passed for Egypt to meet his captors' demands to free jailed Islamist women.
Hillary's email troubles persist
- Try as she might to focus on the policies she wants to enact if elected president, Hillary Clinton just can't dig out of her inbox.
Clinton's email problems are getting worse. She agreed to turn over her private server to the Justice Department this week on the same day Congress got word that at least two emails that traversed the device while she was secretary of state contained information that warranted one of the government's highest levels of classification.
The developments suggest the investigation into the security of Clinton's email setup could run deep into 2016, as she is trying to win the Democratic nomination for president and, potentially, the general election.
Clinton campaign aides argue there's nothing for investigators to find, and the State Department says it's not yet clear if the material at issue ought to be considered classified at all.
What worries Clinton's team is the lingering whiff of political scandal in a tightening primary race, and they pushed back hard yesterday, trying their best to dismiss the matter as nothing more than politics.
No invite for Cuban dissidents
- Cuban dissidents, so long the center of U.S. policy toward the island, won't be invited to Secretary of State John Kerry's historic flag-raising at the U.S. Embassy in Havana tomorrow, vividly illustrating how U.S. policy is shifting focus to its single-party government. Kerry intends to meet more quietly with prominent activists later in the day, officials said.
The Cuban government labels its domestic opponents as traitorous U.S. mercenaries. As the two countries have moved to restore relations, Cuba has almost entirely stopped meeting with American politicians who visit dissidents during trips to Havana.
That presented a quandary for U.S. officials organizing tomorrow's ceremony to mark the reopening of the embassy on Havana's historic waterfront. Inviting dissidents would risk a boycott by Cuban officials including those who negotiated with the U.S. after President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro declared detente on Dec. 17. Excluding dissidents would certainly provoke fierce criticism from opponents of Obama's new policy, including Cuban-American Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio.
Officials familiar with the plans for Kerry's visit told the Associated Press that a compromise was in the works. The dissidents won't be invited to the embassy event, but a small group will meet with Kerry at the U.S. chief of mission's home in the afternoon, where a lower-key, flag-raising ceremony is scheduled.
Ferguson looks ahead to changes, challenges
- By yesterday, police outnumbered protesters in the St. Louis suburb that launched the "Black Lives Matter" movement, signaling that the nightly demonstrations could be fading after the anniversary of Michael Brown's death. But Ferguson, and the issues that elevated it to national prominence, are sure to be closely watched in the months to come.
One protest organizer said the cause could now pivot to focus more on statehouses and corporate America.
Nabeehah Azeez says civil-rights coalitions will keep calling for economic boycotts, pressing for colorblind police practices and lobbying for criminal-justice reforms.
Long-term health risks after big mine spill?
- Toxic waste that gushed from a Colorado mine and threatened downstream water supplies in at least three states will continue to be dangerous when contaminated sediment gets stirred up from the river bottom, authorities said yesterday, suggesting there is no easy fix to what could be a long-term public health risk.
The immediate impact of the 3 million-gallon spill on Aug. 5 eased as the plume of contamination dissipated on its way to Lake Powell along the Utah-Arizona border. But the strong dose of arsenic, cadmium, lead and other heavy metals settled out as the wastewater traveled downstream, layering river bottoms with contaminants sure to pose risks in the future.
"There will be a source of these contaminants in the rivers for a long time," said hydrologist Tom Myers, who runs a Nevada-based consulting business. "Every time there's a high flow, it will stir it up and it will be moving those contaminants downstream."
- Associated Press