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from Data Dive:

Years of living dangerously

Yesterday, the Islamic State released footage of the beheading of American journalist James Foley, who was captured in Syria two years ago. The group also says it may execute another American journalist depending on the next moves of President Obama.

Reuters reports that the gruesome decapitation video seemed to suggest that the Islamic State was opening a new anti-U.S. front that could result in attacks on U.S. interests or even American soil. “The stronger the war against the States gets, the better this will help hesitant brothers to join us,” said one Islamic militant.

Iraq has by far been the most dangerous country for journalists over the past two decades, with 165 journalist deaths there since 1992.

But press freedom is threatened even in countries that don’t necessarily resort to violence against journalists. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the countries with the most journalists in prison include Turkey, China, Iran, Eritrea, and Vietnam:

from Breakingviews:

Ballmer’s exit value is now Nadella’s to preserve

By Jeffrey Goldfarb

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Steve Ballmer’s exit value is now Satya Nadella’s to preserve. Microsoft’s market capitalization swelled by over $100 billion from the day about a year ago when the 34-year veteran of the software giant said he would resign as chief executive until Tuesday, when he stepped down from the board of directors. With Ballmer fading from the picture, maintaining the momentum is now firmly up to new boss Nadella.

from Mark Jones:

Years of living dangerously http://t.co/G6fmR5ZWgb

Years of living dangerously http://t.co/G6fmR5ZWgb

from James Saft:

Buffett hoards cash, individuals’ holdings hit 14-year low

Aug 20 (Reuters) - Individual investors have been cutting
back on cash in portfolios, the exact reverse of what Warren
Buffett has been doing at Berkshire Hathaway.

Who do you think has got it right?

Cash at Berkshire Hathaway stood at just over $55
billion as of June 30, an all-time high and two and a half times
the level he's in the past said he likes to keep on tap to meet
extraordinary claims at his insurance businesses. That's also up
more than 50 percent from a year ago.

from Reuters FYI:

Politics happens next to the guy in the chicken suit

Texas Governor Rick Perry leaves the Travis County courthouse in Austin, Texas August 19, 2014. REUTERS/Ashley Landis

Slideshow: Texas Governor Rick Perry is indicted

Governor Perry appeared at the Travis County courthouse in Austin, Texas, to provide fingerprints and a mugshot. The governor is facing felony charges of abuse of power.

from Mark Jones:

Did America’s policy on ransom help kill James Foley? http://t.co/jxcyfiiz2Z

Did America’s policy on ransom help kill James Foley? http://t.co/jxcyfiiz2Z

from Mark Jones:

UK rate consensus nearly rock-solid even as markets flip-flop over timing http://t.co/IOsKg3ukIc

UK rate consensus nearly rock-solid even as markets flip-flop over timing http://t.co/IOsKg3ukIc

from MacroScope:

UK rate consensus nearly rock-solid even as markets flip-flop over timing

BFor all of the flip-flopping in sterling markets in recent months over when the Bank of England will finally lift interest rates off their lowest floor in more than 300 years, the consensus view among forecasters has been remarkably stable.

Not only that, but surprise news that two of the nine members of the Monetary Policy Committee voted this month to hike Bank Rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 percent does not seem to have shaken the view that it will be early next year before rates go up.

from The Great Debate:

Did America’s policy on ransom contribute to James Foley’s killing?

[CROSSPOST blog: 2373 post: 3187]

Original Post Text:

Still image from undated video of a masked Islamic State militant holding a knife speaking next to man purported to be James Foley at an unknown location

Somewhere in the desert of eastern Syria, a militant from the Islamic State beheaded the American journalist James Foley this week. The killer and his terrorist group are responsible for Foley’s death. They should be the focus of public anger.

But Foley’s execution is also a chilling wake-up call for American and European policymakers, as well as U.S. news outlets and aid organizations. It is the clearest evidence yet of how vastly different responses to kidnappings by U.S. and European governments save European hostages but can doom the Americans. Hostages and their families realize this fully -- even if the public does not.

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