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Hostage Situations

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An alleged member of an Islamic State hostage-taking cell nicknamed “The Beatles” has been charged with terrorism offenses in Britain on Thursday after being deported from Turkey. London police say Aine Davis was arrested at Luton Airport north of London on Wednesday night and charged with offenses under the Terrorism Act. During a court appearance on Thursday, Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring ordered Davis held in custody until his next court appearance on Sept. 2. The militants dubbed “The Beatles” by their hostages because of their British accents, held about two dozen Westerners a decade ago, when IS controlled a large swath of Syria and Iraq. Several of the captives were killed in gruesome beheadings.

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Police say a man went into a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in Florida and fatally shot his ex-girlfriend and her friend before turning the gun on himself. Edgewater police Chief Josephy Mahoney says Quinton Hunter brandished the gun shortly after entering the Monday night meeting, and that about 20 other people fled the room when the shooting started. He says Hunter killed Erica Hoffman and Ian Greenfield and then recorded a Facebook Live video before killing himself. The chief says Hunter had a violent criminal history. They don't yet know details of the relationship between the victims, but he says Hunter may have been motivated by jealousy.

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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says China should not hold talks on important global matters such as the climate crisis “hostage,” after Beijing cut off contacts with Washington in retaliation for U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan earlier this week. Blinken also said in a news conference Saturday in Manila that the U.S. aims to deescalate tensions, which have flared after China launched war drills just off Taiwan and took other retaliatory steps. Pelosi’s trip to the self-governed island outraged China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary. Blinken says China's shutting down cooperation on climate change “doesn’t punish the United States — it punishes the world.”

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Israel unleashed a wave of airstrikes on Gaza, killing at least 10 people, including a senior militant. That's according to Palestinian officials who spoke Friday. Israel says it targeted the Islamic Jihad militant group in response to an “imminent threat” following the recent arrest of another senior militant. Hours later, Palestinian militants launched a barrage of rockets as air-raid sirens wailed in Israel and the two sides drew closer to another all-out war. Islamic Jihad claimed to have fired 100 rockets. Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers have fought four wars and several smaller battles over the last 15 years.

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President Joe Biden has signed an executive order designed to impose sanctions on criminals, terrorists or government officials who hold Americans captive abroad. The order also aims to increase the flow of information to families of detained Americans. The order signed Tuesday comes as WNBA star Brittney Griner's detention in Russia has brought increased attention to the issue. It's unclear if the order will result in bringing home more Americans jailed in foreign countries. Senior Biden administration officials say they regard the order as an important way to raise the cost of hostage-taking. The State Department is adding a new risk indicator to warn travelers about nations where there’s elevated risk of detention.

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