US News

Obama to Soften Ransom Policy for Hostage Families

The government will no longer threaten to prosecute families who try to negotiate with the captors of Americans being held hostage overseas or pay ransom to win their release, media reports said. President Barack Obama is expected to soften a policy when he releases a broad review of hostage guidelines Wednesday at the White House alongside several hostage families. The six-month review was prompted by sharp criticism of the Obama administration by some victims' relatives, who said they had been threatened with prosecution if they tried to raise money to pay a ransom. officials say new administrative measures will improve…
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World News

Hostages Held in Cafe in Sydney, Australia

Hundreds of armed police in Sydney, Australia, have sealed off an area of the central business district where gunmen are holding what appears to be more than three dozen people hostage inside a cafe. Live television from the scene showed people inside a Lindt chocolate cafe standing with their hands pushed up against the windows. A black flag with Arabic writing on it also could be seen through the glass. Police say nearby offices have been evacuated as a precaution. Sydney's famed Opera House also was evacuated. Streets in the area were cordoned off. Authorities were trying to make contact…
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