California photographer is freed
Kevin Patrick Dawes, a resident of San Diego, California, and a freelance photographer, who was abducted in Syria in 2012 was finally released April 8 after months of negotiations, reported Fox News. Both the U.S. and Russia were involved with the release, according to State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner. Syria made the decision to release Dawes based on “humanitarian grounds,” according to the Russian Foreign Ministry. “The United States continues to work through every possible means to ensure the safe release of U.S. citizens reported missing or taken hostage in Syria,” said spokesman John Kirby. Other Americans, including former U.S. marine Austin Tice, are likely still captives in Syria.
Paris attack suspect is arrested in Brussels
The last remaining suspect in the November Paris attacks has been arrested on terror charges in Brussels, Belgium, reported the BBC on April 9. Five other suspects have been detained. The suspect, Mohamed Abrini, has also been linked to the Brussels attack that took place in March. Abrini is also known as “the man in the hat” because of his appearance on CCTV on March 22 before the attack. This footage was released to the public April 7 in hopes of finding Abrini. It is also suspected that Abrini was filmed near the site of the Paris attacks two days before the event.
For more information: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36000407.
Italy withdraws its ambassador to Egypt
Italy and Egypt have been involved in a joint investigation over the death of an Italian graduate student in Cairo earlier this year. In protest to what Italy says is a “lack of cooperation” in the investigation, Italy announced April 8 that it was withdrawing its ambassador to Egypt, according to the New York Times. The announcement was made following two days of collaboration between both Egyptian and Italian investigators working together in Rome. Italy requested cellphone data as well as surveillance footage to help determine what happened to Giulio Regini, who was found dead along a highway Feb. 3. There are widespread suspicions that Egypt’s police forces were responsible for Regini’s death since he was found with telltale signs of typical Egyptian police brutality. The withdrawal will not close the embassy in Egypt.