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<January 2015>


ISIS demands release of terrorist to save captive
A video posted online by a known ISIS supporter shows Japanese hostage Kenji Goto holding a photograph of what appears to be beheaded ISIS hostage Haruna Yukawa.

Failed suicide bomber sought in prisoner swap
In a televised confession in 2005 Sajida al-Rishawi recounted how she tried to take part in a string of attacks that killed at least 57 people, but her bomb failed to detonate.

What hostage crisis means for Japan
Academic Ryo Hinata-Yamaguchi says that the hostage crisis may have far-reaching consequences -- a more assertive policy will expose Japan to more conflict.

Current Weather Conditions In Guthrie, OK
Mostly Cloudy, and 50 ° F. For more details?


Viewers respond to report about euthanasia in Belgium

Graphic credit: Lisa Overton/NewsHour Weekend

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HARI SREENIVASAN: And now to Viewers Like You: Your comments about our recent work. Tonight, some of what you had to say about last Saturday’s signature segment from Belgium describing that country’s euthanasia laws, the least restrictive in the world.

One viewer (PancakeSorting) said: I’ve seen patients get great comfort out of simply knowing they have the choice to end their suffering… I am, however, somewhat dubious about using euthanasia on psychiatric patients. Not because I doubt their suffering, but because I doubt their mental competency to make a life altering decision.

Hana Sheala added: I live with muscular dystrophy, and I hope euthanasia will not be legal, that there always are alternatives for being self determined even as a vented functional quadriplegic.

There was this from lstcaress: After suffering from severe depression for thirty years and growing tired of being a drugged zombie, I’m appalled I’m not allowed this option.

And from Michelle A. Mead: My mother and my cat were both dying at the same time. One of them was allowed to die with dignity. It was not my mother.

Others commented about the provision in the Belgian law that allows for terminally ill children to choose euthanasia with their parents’ consent.

Briee della Rocca added: I wish we had this in the states. Everyone, even children, should be allowed to free themselves from unending pain and terminal conditions where treatment is only torture.

Beth DeRoos said: Putting an innocent child to death because medical ‘professionals’ or parents feel its best? Sorry but actually executing a child which is what this is, is just so wrong.

And finally, there was this from Hillery Geelon: Unless you’re ever in that situation no one would ever be able to judge.

As always, we welcome your feedback at, or on our Facebook page, or tweet us @NewsHour.

The post Viewers respond to report about euthanasia in Belgium appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

After hostage execution, Japan devotes ‘all efforts’ to rescue second from ISIS

Japan's PM Abe speaks to the media at his official residence in Tokyo

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HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR ANCHOR: For more about today’s beheading of one Japanese hostage and Japan’s efforts to free the second, we are joined now by Hajime Ozaki. He is the New York bureau chief of the Kyodo News Agency.

So, what steps did the Japanese government take to try and free this particular hostage? Or what are they still doing to try to get the next one?

HAJIME OZAKI, KYODO NEWS: I believe that the Japanese government is trying all its effort to release Mr. Kenji Goto, the second hostage, so there are channels, including neighboring countries, countries to ISIS, and then Jordan and so on.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Uh-huh. And there’s been some concern that this is in retaliation to the prime minister’s visit to the Middle East region, pledging another $200 million for countermeasures against ISIL, but also humanitarian support.

HAJIME OZAKI: Correct. Prime Minister Abe last week visited Cairo and issued that statement that the Japanese government is trying to help the refugees and neighboring countries to ISIS, which are fighting the threat of ISIS. Apparently, ISIS seized the moment of Prime Minister Abe’s statement, and the ransom that they demanded coincides with the amount of the money that Prime Minister Abe pledged to humanitarian assistance.

HARI SREENIVASAN: So, is there any chance Japan would pay the ransom? I mean, back in the late ‘70s, there was an incident in Bangladesh and there was some question about an incident in the late ‘90s in Kyrgyzstan. Was there an official government policy that said they wouldn’t pay?

HAJIME OZAKI: The official government policy is to comply with the kind of international norm, that not to bend to the threats of the terrorists. So, it is understood that the Japanese government is not ready to pay the ransom.

But everything may be possible. But, on the other hand, now ISIS changed their demand from the ransom to the release of the hostage taken in Jordan.

HARI SREENIVASAN: So, what has the reaction been in Japan over the past few days? Obviously, this news broke so late at night that most Japanese were asleep and they won’t know until tomorrow morning and & that will be the reaction to this hostage’s assassination. But over the past several days, as this story has been building in Japan, what’s it been like?

HAJIME OZAKI: Yes, of course, most of the Japanese population are very much concerned and worried about the fate of the two hostages, and there was a press conference by one of the — the mother of one of the hostages the other day, and it — her appeal to free the — free her son was widely appreciated and a lot of compassion grown in Japanese society.


HAJIME OZAKI: On the other hand, there are some sentiments in certain people in Japan that the guys went to Syria knowing that there are risks, and there are some voices that blame the behavior –

HARI SREENIVASAN: That they engaged in risky behavior.

HAJIME OZAKI: Right, correct.

HARI SREENIVASAN: OK, Hajime Ozaki, the New York bureau chief of Kyodo News Agency, thanks so much.

HAJIME OZAKI: Thank you very much.

The post After hostage execution, Japan devotes ‘all efforts’ to rescue second from ISIS appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Fighter jets escort two planes to Atlanta after social media threats

Two passenger planes were safely escorted by fighter jets to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airport Saturday afternoon, following bomb threats posted online.

Delta flight 1156 – coming from Portland, Ore. – and Southwest flight 2492 – flying from Milwaukee, Wis. – were both bound for Atlanta, when bomb threats were posted on social media. In response, jets were dispatched by the North American Aerospace Defense Command.

Asked whether the threats were credible, F.B.I. spokesman Stephen Emmett said: “That’s the best way to characterize the threats,” the New York Times reported.

No additional information about the threats has been given, but according to local media reports, they originated from Twitter handle @kingzortic, and were sent to the two airlines’ Twitter accounts.

After passengers safely left the planes, their luggage was searched by bomb-sniffing dogs, airport spokesman Reese McCranie told Reuters.

The Times also reported that the airport was partially shut down as a result of the online threats.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Southwest officials said: “Our top priority is the safety of our customers and employees. We cannot comment on the nature of the security situation.”

The post Fighter jets escort two planes to Atlanta after social media threats appeared first on PBS NewsHour.