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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

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Fort Worth Police at the scene of a violent crime.

Photo by Brandon Harer (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

If you're worried by the rise in violent crime — a real and troubling phenomenon — don't ask Republicans for solutions. All they can offer is a blame game that relies on dubious cherry-picked data. To get their message, just glance at Breitbart.com, the home of hard-right hackery: "Violent Crime Surges 25 Percent in 2021 With Democrats in Washington." You can find dozens of similar headlines across right-wing platforms, which invariably announce "skyrocketing crime rates in Dem-run cities." (Stay tuned for grainy video of a disturbing attack.)

Then there's former President Donald Trump himself, the loudest presidential loser in history, blathering fantastical statistics that are meant to show how dangerous life is in America now that he's gone.

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