Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 28th 2015 Contents A20
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, January 28, 2015
United States wel-
comed yesterday for-
mer Cuban leader Fidel
Castro s belated
response to the thaw in
ties between the Cold
War foes as a sign that
change is underway in
"We take his reference
of international norms
and principles as a pos-
itive sign," State Depart-
ment spokeswoman Jen
Psaki told reporters, after
Castro s letter was
Psaki said Washington
now looked forward "to
the Cuban government
international norms and
principles for a demo-
cratic, prosperous and
The 88-year-old and
still influential former
leader released his letter
to state media late Mon-
day, after last week s
historic first round of
talks on restoring diplo-
matic ties between
America and Cuba.
icon noted that he did
not trust the United
States, but did not repu-
diate the reconciliation
process and defended
the peaceful resolution
of conflicts with "polit-
And his language
contained a nod to a
normalisation in ties.
"Any peaceful and
negotiated solution to
problems between the
BEIRUT---The Islamic State jihadist
group threatened yesterday to kill a
Japanese journalist and a Jordanian
pilot within 24 hours unless Amman
frees a jailed female militant.
A video released on jihadist Web sites
shows a picture of Japanese hostage
Kenji Goto holding a photograph of
Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh.
A voiceover, purportedly by Goto,
warns that Jordan is blocking the Japan-
ese journalist s release by failing to free
Sajida al-Rishawi, a would-be suicide
bomber on death row since 2006.
It follows a video released last week
in which the group claimed to have
beheaded another Japanese hostage,
Haruna Yukawa, and said Goto would
be killed next if Rishawi was not freed.
Japan said following the new threat
that it was seeking help from Jordan.
"The government in this extremely
difficult situation has been asking for
assistance from the Jordanian govern-
ment towards securing Goto s early
release," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshi-
hide Suga told reporters.
Moments after the new video
appeared, Goto s mother Junko Ishido
said: "I think the government should
do whatever it can do."
Earlier Tokyo said it was working
with Jordan to free both Goto and Kas-
"Both countries are closely co-oper-
ating towards the return of each of
them to their countries," deputy foreign
minister Yasuhide Nakayama told
reporters in Amman.
Jordan s King Abdullah pledged full
co-operation with Japan during a meet-
ing with Nakayama to ensure Goto s
release, Tokyo said.
The new video says Goto and Kas-
sasbeh will be killed within 24 hours
if Rishawi is not freed, and urges the
Japanese government to put pressure
There was no immediate comment
from Jordan, a moderate Muslim nation
that is one of Japan s closest diplomatic
allies in the Middle East.
Kassasbeh was captured by IS on
December 24 after his F-16 jet crashed
while on a mission against the jihadists
over northern Syria.
Rishawi was sentenced to death by
a Jordanian court in September 2006
in connection with triple hotel bomb
attacks in Amman the previous year
that killed 60 people.
The 44-year-old was arrested four
days after the attacks in which her hus-
band Ali Hussein al-Shammari and two
other Iraqis blew themselves up.
IS apparently beheaded Yukawa, a
Japanese contractor, last week after a
72-hour deadline for a $200 million
ransom passed without payment.
The ransom demand came as Japan-
ese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged,
during a trip to the Middle East, a $200
million aid package to countries affected
by the militant group s bloody expan-
sion in Iraq and Syria.
In response, Abe vowed to never
"give in to terrorism."
In a video released Saturday, IS said
its demand had now changed and it
wanted Rishawi released from death
row in Jordan in exchange for the life
of Goto. (AFP)
US: Castro message
'positive sign' of change
United States and the
peoples or any people
of Latin America,
which does not imply
force or the use of
force, should be treated
according to interna-
tional norms and prin-
ciples," Castro said.
In December, US
Obama and Raul Cas-
tro, who succeeded an
Fidel as Cuba s presi-
dent in 2006, agreed to
begin normalising ties
more than 50 years
after they were broken
Last week, the high-
est-ranking US delega-
tion in 35 years began
negotiating with Cuban
officials in Havana on
reopening embassies in
their respective capitals
and lifting some travel
A poster of former Cuban President Fidel Castro is seen at the entrance of a hotel in Havana, on January 19. AFP PHOTO
IS threatens to kill Japan hostage,
Jordan pilot within 24 hours
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