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US softens stance on hostage ransoms: report

Hostage James Foley was killed by Islamic State fightersUS officials are expected to stop prosecuting families of American hostages who communicate with kidnappers abroad or raise funds and pay ransoms, ABC news reported Sunday. A National Counterterrorism Center advisory group, ordered by the White House, is expected to recommend what would mark a radical shift in US hostage policy, according to the report. The NCTC interviewed families of hostages, including the parents of journalist James Foley, who was killed by Islamic State fighters. Foley's mother Diane has said that officials from President Barack Obama's administration repeatedly told her family it was illegal to try to raise a ransom to free her son, and warned that her family could face prosecution for doing so.



Guide to the Colorado theater shooting trial

FILE - In this June 4, 2013 file photo, Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes is seated in court in Centennial, Colo. Holmes faces trial starting on April 27, 2015, in the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater that left 12 dead and 70 wounded. (Andy Cross, Pool via AP, file)CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Opening statements are set Monday in the long-awaited trial of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes. Here's a look at top elements in the case:



Boston Marathon bomber's lawyers prepare case for life

This April 15, 2013 forensics photograph made by the FBI, and provided Thursday, April 23, 2015, by the U.S. Attorney's office, and presented in federal court as evidence during the penalty phase of convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial, shows the scene where the second bomb exploded on Boylston Street near the marathon finish line in Boston. Three people were killed and more than 260 others were wounded when twin bombs exploded. The prosecution rested its case Thursday during the penalty phase of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's trial after playing a video showing a mother crouched over her 8-year-old son and resting her head on his chest as he lay dying. (U.S. Attorney's Office via AP)BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will begin presenting witnesses this week in the penalty phase of his trial as they try to make their case that he should be sentenced to life in prison — not death — for his role in the deadly 2013 attack.



French leader visits gas chamber to honor Nazi camp victims

PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande urged vigilance against resurgent anti-Semitism and racism, as he visited a former gas chamber Sunday to honor Jews, Gypsies and French resistance fighters who died in the only Nazi concentration camp on French soil.
Togo counts votes as president seeks third term

A election official counts votes during the Togo elections at a polling station in Lome, Togo, Saturday, April 25, 2015. Togo's president, whose family has ruled this small West African nation for nearly 50 years, appealed for peace as he vied for re-election Saturday against four other candidates. (AP Photo/Erick Kaglan)LOME, Togo (AP) — Togo's election officials on Sunday added up results from a presidential vote that had the lowest turnout of any election conducted in the past decade.





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