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The Obama Administration says it’s reviewing its policy of refusing to negotiate with terrorist groups for the return of hostages. The hard line is designed to discourage ISIS and others from seizing Americans. Is it working? Is paying ransom turning some European countries into ATM’s for terrorist organizations?

Also, nationwide protesters convene in Mexico City, and Bill Cosby and a journalist’s dilemma.

Photo: The late journalist, James Foley, in Syria 2012. © Manu Brabo

Stalling for Time

Gary Noesner

Nationwide Protesters Convene on Mexico City 6 MIN, 30 SEC

It’s the anniversary of Mexico’s revolution in 1910, but a day of celebration has turned into a day of mass protest against political corruption and the likely murders of 43 students. Eric Martin reports for Bloomberg News from Mexico City.

Eric Martin, Bloomberg News (@EMPosts)

America's Hostage Policy: Is It Time for a Change? 35 MIN, 23 SEC

The US and Britain refuse to negotiate with terrorists.  Paying ransom will only encourage extremists to raise money by seizing hostages. The parents of American journalist James Foley learned that can have unintended consequences when the so-called Islamic State released video of his beheading. But Foley’s former cellmates from France and Spain are alive and well, and ISIS is still holding at least one other American. Now US policy is “under review.” Is that real or political posturing? What are the alternatives? We talk with James Foley’s mother and others.

Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times (@rcallimachi)
Diane Foley, mother of James Foley (@freejamesfoley)
Wayne White, Middle East Policy Council (@middleeastinst)
Gary Noesner, FBI's Crisis Negotiation Unit (retired)

Bill Cosby and a Journalist’s Dilemma 7 MIN, 58 SEC

Among African Americans six years ago, the Pew survey showed Bill Cosby was second only to Oprah Winfrey as a “good influence” on the black community. Cosby is enormously popular with all other Americans, too. But now his reputation may have been irredeemably tarnished by reports from 15 different women, with similar claims that he drugged and raped them over a period of some 30 years. Should his alleged transgressions have received more attention a long time ago?

Ta-Nehisi Coates is national correspondent for The Atlantic. In his first long-form essay for the magazine, in 2008, he profiled Cosby. He made what he now calls “a brief and limp mention of the accusations against Cosby,” and now regrets he didn’t do more -- because he believed them.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, Atlantic magazine (@tanehisicoates)

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