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US denies threatening Foley family over raising ransom

Parishioners wait to greet the family of James Foley after a Catholic mass at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Parish August 24, 2014 in Rochester, New HampshireThe United States denied threatening the family of executed reporter James Foley with prosecution had they raised a ransom for his release, insisting the government did everything possible to bring him home. Foley’s mother, Diane, had told US media her family was warned it could be charged if it had tried to raise the money to free their son. Spokesman Josh Earnest said the White House had been “in regular touch with the Foley family” to give updates and to communicate that the captured reporter’s “return and his rescue continued to be a priority of this administration.” Secretary of State John Kerry also responded to the remarks, saying he was “really taken aback,” and that he was “totally unaware and would not condone anybody” at the State Department making any threatening statements.

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