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'More That Could Have Been Done' To Help Foley, His Brother Says

Aug 22, 2014

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Faulting the U.S. approach to dealing with hostage situations, Michael Foley says more could have been done to free his brother, American journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by extremist group the Islamic State after being held captive since 2012.

From Yahoo News:

"'There's more that could have been done directly on Jim's behalf,' Michael Foley, 38, told Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric in an exclusive interview from his parents' home in New Hampshire. 'I really, really hope that Jim's death pushes us to take another look at our approach to terrorist and hostage negotiations.'"

Foley said part of the problem is that the U.S. position of not negotiating with terrorists or paying ransoms isn't consistent with other countries.

He said, "We are sitting on prisoners in Guantanamo. It doesn't even have to be financial. There's ways to do it. ... I just feel strongly that more can be done, moving forward."

Michael Foley also said he hopes the government takes action quickly on behalf of the remaining hostages held by the Islamic State. A video the group released of Foley's killing included a warning that another journalist, Time's Steven Joel Sotloff, would also die if the U.S. didn't meet its demands.

James Foley's captors set several conditions for his release in the nearly two years they held him hostage. Communicating with Foley's family and GlobalPost, the company he worked for as a freelancer in Syria, they demanded a ransom of around $130 million and called for a prisoner exchange orchestrated by the U.S.

GlobalPost CEO Phil Balboni detailed the fight to save Foley in an interview with Fresh Air yesterday, in which he said:

"It's very easy to have these theoretical policies about not paying a ransom until you're faced with the real life-and-death situation. Personally — and I know I speak for the Foleys as well — we would've paid a ransom. We were working very hard to raise the money. We had extensive conversations about this with branches of the United States government, with legal counsel."

But Mark Foley says that some in his family lost hope on Aug. 12, when they received an email from militants in the Islamist State that he calls "chilling."

"It's just full of so much hate," he said.

That email has been published on the GlobalPost website. It includes the statement that, "You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings! The first of which being the blood of the American citizen, James Foley!"

Foley's sister, Katie, who also spoke to Couric from the family's home, added, "I don't know how a human being can even have that amount of fierce, intense hate for someone else, or for something. I don't even understand where that type of hate comes from."

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Kate Davis. (Courtesy of the artist)

Kate Davis On 'Song Travels'

Aug 22, 2014

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Vocalist, bassist and songwriter Kate Davis was recognized as a National Young Arts Silver Winner and twice invited to the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony. Hailed as a "talent not to be missed" by The Herald Tribune, she's performed at prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center and Rockwood Music Hall.

On this episode of Song Travels, Davis joins host Michael Feinstein to perform a set of her original songs — including "Movie," which won ASCAP's Robert Allen Award in 2012. She also performs a lighthearted rendition of the standard "Tea for Two."

Subscribe to the Song Travels Express podcast.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Set List

  • Davis (voice, piano), "Movie" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Only Growing Old" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Tea For Two" (Youmans, Caesar)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Sunday Morning" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Be Honest, But Be Kind" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, ukulele), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Philip" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Every Good Girl Is A Unicorn" (Davis)

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Copyright(c) 2014, NPR
A U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft takes off from Perth International Airport during the search for Malaysia Airlines MH370. The same general type of aircraft was involved in a "dangerous intercept" by a Chinese fighter jet earlier this week off Hainan island. (Reuters/Landov)

Chinese Fighter Buzzed U.S. Navy Plane In 'Dangerous Intercept'

Aug 22, 2014

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Update at 2:20 p.m. ET

A Chinese fighter jet conducted what is being describing as a "dangerous intercept" of a U.S. Navy P-8 Poseidon in international waters off the island of Hainan in the South China Sea earlier this week, the Pentagon confirms.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the Chinese fighter's posture was "aggressive and unprofessional," making several passes under and alongside the U.S. Navy maritime patrol aircraft, doing a barrel roll and flying wingtip-to-wingtip within 20-30 feet of the American plane.

Kirby did not say what type of Chinese fighter was involved.

The incident, he said, took place Tuesday about 135 miles east of Hainan in the South China Sea.

"We expressed our concerns through diplomatic channels," Kirby told reporters at an afternoon briefing that also touched on the situations in Ukraine and Iraq.

Later, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes said the Chinese move was a "deeply concerning provocation" and that those concerns had been conveyed to Beijing.

Similar close-quarters maneuvers by a Chinese J-8 interceptor jet resulted in a mid-air collision with a U.S. Navy EP-3 Orion surveillance aircraft in April 2001, forcing the American plane to land on Hainan island, where the crew of 24 was detained and questioned for more than a week before releasing them.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Set List

  • Davis (voice, piano), "Movie" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Only Growing Old" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Tea For Two" (Youmans, Caesar)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Sunday Morning" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Be Honest, But Be Kind" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, ukulele), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Philip" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Every Good Girl Is A Unicorn" (Davis)

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Hip Hop Community Responds To Ferguson

Aug 22, 2014 (Here & Now / WBUR-FM)

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Following the events in Ferguson, Missouri, singer Lauryn Hill shared a previously unreleased version of her song “Black Rage (sketch),” with the words “Peace for MO.”

In the song, Hill takes the tune from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” and reinvents it with lyrics about things that fuel black anger at society. (Read the lyrics here.)

“Black Rage” is one of several songs that have been released amid the protests sparked by the police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Tricia Rose,†author of the book “The Hip Hop Wars,” is a†professor of Africana studies and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown University. She†joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to listen to and discuss some of those songs.

Songs Heard In This Segment

Note: Songs may contain strong language.

Lauryn Hill, “Black Rage (sketch)”

J. Cole, “Be Free”

MC Keem, “Frontline”

Guest

Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

Set List

  • Davis (voice, piano), "Movie" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Only Growing Old" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Tea For Two" (Youmans, Caesar)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Sunday Morning" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Be Honest, But Be Kind" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, ukulele), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Philip" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Every Good Girl Is A Unicorn" (Davis)

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

L.A. Considers Cash Prizes To Combat Dismal Voter Turnout

Aug 22, 2014 (Here & Now / WBUR-FM)

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About 20 percent of registered voters in Los Angeles turn out to vote in local elections. City officials call the lack of civic engagement a “crisis,” and they’ve come up with a way to fix the problem — cash prizes.

The city’s ethics commission has supported a plan to use a random drawing to reward people who come to the ballot box. Critics say the process will debase the election process by attracting people who aren’t knowledgeable about the issues.

The president of the city’s ethics commission discusses the plan with Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti.

Guest

Copyright 2014 WBUR-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wbur.org.

Set List

  • Davis (voice, piano), "Movie" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Only Growing Old" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Tea For Two" (Youmans, Caesar)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Sunday Morning" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Be Honest, But Be Kind" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, ukulele), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Philip" (Davis)
  • Davis (voice, bass), Schnider (guitar), Szymanski (percussion), "Every Good Girl Is A Unicorn" (Davis)

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

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