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Islamic State Kidnaps More than 200 Assyrian Christians


A general view shows a church in the Assyrian village of Abu Tina, Syria, which was recently captured by Islamic State fighters.

A general view shows a church in the Assyrian village of Abu Tina, Syria, which was recently captured by Islamic State fighters.

Islamic State fighters have kidnapped at least 220 Assyrian Christians in raids in northeastern Syria over the last three days. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday that Islamic State militants have taken the hostages to the Abd al-Asiz mountains.

The Islamic State began raiding Assyrian Christian towns Monday. Last month in Libya, Islamic State fighters killed 20 members of Egypt's Coptic Christian minority.

News reports say the Islamic State militant who appeared in several videos of hostage beheadings has been identified by his friends. The man appeared in the videos with his face covered by a cloth. He became known as “Jihadi John.” Now, reported friends of Jihadi John say he is actually named Mohammed Emwazi. However, security sources say the reports may not be accurate.

Mohammed Emwazi is reported to be a Kuwait-born Muslim man who lives in London.

US spy plane flying over South China Sea

The United States Navy said Thursday it has begun flying its most advanced surveillance aircraft.

The plane takes off from of the Philippines for observation flights over the South China Sea. China has increased its activities in the South China Sea. The United States has promised to share information on what is happening in Philippine waters.

Every year $5 trillion in shipping trade sails the waters. China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea. But the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims on the Sea.

US approves 'Net Neutrality' for Internet providers

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday in favor of “net neutrality.” This means that all content on the Internet should be treated equally.

Internet service providers have wanted to be able to charge more money for heavy Internet traffic or users who want special services.

Thursday’s vote confirmed the FCC’s new policy of regulating the Internet like a public utility. The chairman of the FCC said Thursday that “The American people reasonably expect and deserve an Internet that is fast, fair, and open. Today they get what they deserve.”

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Words in the News

surveillance – n. the act of carefully watching someone or something especially in order to prevent or detect a crime

net neutralityn. the principle that Internet service providers should allow access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking certain products or websites.

public utilityn. a company (such as an electric company) that provides a public service and must follow special rules made by the government

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