The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Glenn Garvin, The Miami Herald

It was a day of quiet waiting Thursday for the family of Steven Sotloff, a Pinecrest journalist abducted by Muslim jihadists in Syria who on Tuesday threatened to kill him.

“He’s still alive, so there is nothing to say,” his mother, Shirley Sotloff, told a crowd of reporters assembled outside the family home when she emerged briefly to shop for groceries.

Steven Sotloff, 31, disappeared a little over a year ago, shortly after crossing from Turkey into Syria to report on the civil war there.

His abduction by the fundamentalist rebel group Islamic State was kept almost entirely secret until Tuesday, when the organization posted a video of the decapitation of another American journalist, followed by footage of Sotloff and a threat to kill him next.

Kidnappings of reporters — usually for ransom or prisoner exchanges — have become a common tactic in the three-cornered civil war.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that the Islamic State demanded a ransom of 100 million euros (about $132 million) for the life of James Foley, the 40-year New Hampshire journalist whose videotaped murder was posted on the Internet on Tuesday.

Whether a ransom has been asked for Sotloff is unknown. But friends said he has called his family at least once — last December — since his kidnapping.

Miami Herald staff writer Matias Ocner contributed to this story.

AFP Photo

Interested in national news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Screenshot from NewsNation's "Banfield"

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

I have to confess, I can’t figure Kyle Rittenhouse out. One minute, his lawyers are repeatedly throwing out a Tucker Carlson film crew. The next minute, Rittenhouse is sitting down for an interview with Carlson, and is traveling to Mar-a-Lago to meet Trump.

Keep reading... Show less

While the emergence of yet another troubling coronavirus variant seems abrupt, it was entirely predictable — and fully anticipated here and elsewhere. More than predictable, the mutation of the virus will remain inevitable for so long as it continues to infect millions of human hosts.

Scientists don't yet know for certain whether the new "omicron" variant — so named by the World Health Organization — will prove to be substantially more infectious, transmissible or dangerous than the delta variant that became dominant last year. What they do know, however, is that sooner or later, as COVID-19 continues to spread and change, our prospects for emerging from the pandemic will dim, and millions more will die.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}