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Biden: US Prisoner Swap Required 'Difficult Decisions'

US frees Afghan drug lord in exchange for American Mark Frerichs

(Newser) - Update: The White House acknowledged and hailed the release of American hostage Mark Frerichs from Afghanistan on Monday. "Bringing the negotiations that led to Mark’s freedom to a successful resolution required difficult decisions, which I did not take lightly," said President Biden in a statement, per USA ...

Syria Issues First Statement on Austin Tice Since 2016

Country's foreign ministry denies 'it has kidnapped or is hiding any American'

(Newser) - On Tuesday, the New York Times reported on the apparent "revival" of a multinational effort to bring home US journalist Austin Tice, who disappeared a decade ago in Syria. On Wednesday, Syria made clear it's not part of that effort. In what CNN reports is its first statement...

On 10-Year Anniversary of Tice Abduction, a Message From Biden

President says 'we know with certainty' Syria has US journo, calls on Syria to 'help us bring him home'

(Newser) - Austin Tice was abducted in Syria 10 years ago this week, and no government or group has claimed responsibility or admitted to detaining him since. But on Wednesday, President Biden said "we know with certainty" that Syria has the 41-year-old US freelance journalist and Marine Corps veteran in captivity,...

Biden Signs Order Meant to Deter Hostage Taking

Some families of detained Americans say it doesn't go far enough though

(Newser) - President Biden signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at increasing the flow of information to families of Americans detained abroad and at imposing sanctions on the criminals, terrorists, or government officials who hold them captive. It is unclear if the new order will result in bringing home more Americans jailed...

Cops: Woman Rescued After Adding Note to Grubhub Order
At This Eatery, a Grubhub
Order Stopped Workers Cold
in case you missed it

At This Eatery, a Grubhub Order Stopped Workers Cold

Cops say hostage was rescued after writing on her order: 'Please call the police'

(Newser) - Usually in the "additional instructions" field on Grubhub orders, customers specify food allergies or ask for extra condiments. Cops say for one New York City-area woman, that section on the app became a place to plead for help, and helped lead to her rescue. ABC7 reports that an order...

Cops: Kidnapped Woman Is Helped by Bank Employees

She asked for a 'help loan,' and police were soon on the scene in Pennsylvania

(Newser) - Police in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, say a woman being held against her will managed to signal to bank employees that she needed help—and those employees picked right up on the plea. As WNEP reports, police say Wilson Medina-Garcia began holding the woman captive in her home on Tuesday, threatening to...

ISIS Captive's Letter to Dad Leaves Courtroom in 'Tears'

Peter Kassig, killed in 2014, wrote that his last thought would be of the love of his parents

(Newser) - If Peter Kassig was true to his word, the only thought running through his mind as he was beheaded by Islamic State terrorists was how much his parents loved him. Ed Kassig, the father of the US aid worker who was taken hostage in Syria in 2013 and killed a...

Police: Apple Store Hostage Forced a Breakthrough

Amsterdam police say man fled, and the suspected gunman chased after him

(Newser) - Update: In the aftermath of a hostage situation at an Apple Store in Amsterdam, details are emerging about the alleged gunman and a man police are framing as a hero. The AP cites Police Chief Frank Paauw as describing the suspect as an armed 27-year-old who demanded he be paid...

Biden to Taliban: Release US Hostage

On 2nd anniversary of Mark Frerichs' kidnapping, president issues call for his release

(Newser) - President Biden on Sunday called for the release of US Navy veteran Mark Frerichs, reports the AP , who was taken hostage in Afghanistan nearly two years ago. Frerichs, a civil engineer and contractor from Lombard, Ill., was kidnapped in January 2020 from the capital of Kabul. He is believed to...

Hostages Told to Cling to Car Hoods or Be Shot in Face

They're speaking out after ordeal in Aracatuba, Brazil

(Newser) - Brazilian bank robbers strapped hostages to the hoods and roofs of getaway vehicles early Monday, and now those victims are speaking of their ordeal. One said they were told their options were to hang on or be shot in the face: "I was put onto the [hood] of a...

Attempted Bank Robbery Turns Into Hostage Situation

Standoff ends after 8 hours

(Newser) - A standoff at a St. Cloud, Minnesota, bank ended Thursday night around 10:30pm after starting almost nine hours earlier. Police were called to the Wells Fargo branch around 1:45pm to reports of a possible robbery in progress, the St. Cloud Times reports. It turned into a hostage situation,...

Inmate Killed After Taking Corrections Officer Hostage

He also freed several inmates

(Newser) - An inmate at an Oklahoma jail was fatally shot by authorities Saturday after taking a corrections officer hostage. Per NBC News , the unnamed inmate at Oklahoma County jail grabbed the officer while medication was being distributed on the jail's 10th floor. Per the AP , the suspect then used the...

Update on Missing Dubai Princesses Has Cops Involved

Before she went silent, 'hostage' Princess Latifa urged help for her sister, Princess Shamsa

(Newser) - Princess Shamsa, a daughter of Dubai's ruler, was 18 when she fled from her father's estate in Surrey, England, in 2000. She was nabbed on a street in Cambridge two months later and hasn't been seen in public since, though Cambridgeshire police are now looking into the...

Cops: Doc Who Killed Austin Pediatrician Didn't Know Her

Texas authorities look for clues in apparent murder-suicide that left pediatrician Lindley Dodson dead

(Newser) - Details continue to emerge out of Texas after what the Austin Police Department deems a murder-suicide involving two doctors who apparently didn't know each other. Per witnesses and police statements, the Austin American-Statesman reports that Dr. Bharat Narumanchi, 43, showed up at Children's Medical Group on Friday asking...

Hostage Situation in Austin Doctor's Office Ends in Deaths

2 people were found dead after the SWAT team entered the facility

(Newser) - A more than six-hour hostage situation at a doctor's office in Austin, Texas, has ended with two people dead. Police were notified at 4:30pm Tuesday and spent hours attempting to communicate with those inside. The American-Statesman shares some of the lines SWAT team negotiators were overheard saying via...

'They Were All Dead': SEAL Team Saves US Missionary

Philip Walton is rescued from captors in Nigeria, officials say

(Newser) - The Navy's elite SEAL Team 6 rescued an American hostage Saturday in an operation that apparently killed most of his captors, ABC News reports. According to US officials, the commandos managed to free 27-year-old Philip Walton in Nigeria while killing six of his seven captors. "They were all...

3 Dead in Oregon Hostage Situation
3 Dead in Oregon
Hostage Situation

3 Dead in Oregon Hostage Situation

Boy, 11, among the dead

(Newser) - Three people were shot dead during a hostage situation in Oregon Monday, including the suspected gunman, authorities said Tuesday. Police said that when they arrived at the Salem home Monday afternoon, Jose Jesus Lopez-Tinoco, 34, was keeping two adults and two children hostage, reports CNN . Police say deputies had established...

5 Dead, Dozens Arrested After Church Hostage Situation

Incident in South Africa 'may have been motivated by a feud' between church members

(Newser) - Five people are dead and more than 40 have been arrested after an early-morning hostage situation at a long-troubled church near Johannesburg, police in South Africa said Saturday. A statement said police and military who responded to reports of a shooting at the International Pentecostal Holiness Church headquarters in Zuurbekom...

Robber Sexually Assaults Hostage at Bank: Police

Nicholas August, 39, is arrested in Illinois

(Newser) - A man armed with a pellet gun who took a woman hostage inside an Illinois bank sexually assaulted her before surrendering to authorities following a six-hour standoff, police said Saturday, the AP reports. Nicholas August, 39, of Rockford, was being held Saturday at the Winnebago County Jail on $2 million...

Birdwatcher Held 7 Years Is Killed During Rescue Raid

Dutch photographer Ewold Horn was kidnapped by militants in Philippines in 2012

(Newser) - He'd survived seven years of captivity by militants in the jungle in the Philippines, but Ewold Horn did not live through a daring rescue attempt by soldiers. The 59-year-old Dutch birdwatcher/photographer was killed when Filipino soldiers engaged in a 90-minute firefight with Abu Sayyaf militants on the island of...

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