In new hostage policy, U.S. will not prosecute families for paying ransom

U.S. President Barack Obama announces a change in U.S. policy in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in WashingtonThe White House on Wednesday released a new policy aimed at becoming more sensitive to the needs of families of U.S. hostages held abroad, saying the government needed to “evolve” to take account of a shift in the way groups take captives. After a six-month review that included discussions with families of people held overseas, the White House said the government will continue its longstanding policy of not making concessions to hostage-takers. The government may communicate with hostage-takers and intermediaries, and it may help families who are trying to pay ransom, the White House said.

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