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2014-08-25 | The murky world of hostage negotiations: is the price ever right?
As the risks to westerners working abroad have increased in recent years, K&R insurance has coalesced into a formalised industry with standardised prices, procedures and middlemen. The business has also boomed. Foreign oil, mining and security firms are expanding into new territories and insurance premiums are rising – from $50m (£30m) a decade ago to at least $250m (£150m), according to British security company Control Risks, the largest and best-known crisis response firm. Increased publicity from Somali piracy and Arab spring-related kidnapping cases has accelerated this trend.

2014-08-21 | A look at govt ransom polices in US, Europe
A look at how the United States and various European nations have dealt with hostage-taking and ransom demands for their citizens in recent years:

2014-08-18 | ‘Identification of bodies was a disaster after air crash’
Eventually, out of 158 bodies, 136 were handed over, while the rest were kept until DNA results come. “Out of 22 bodies, DNA samples of just 10 claims matched. This meant that 12 bodies had been mistakenly claimed by others,” he said.

2014-08-15 | Family ‘relieved’ as MH17 victims Mary and Gerry Menke identified
Tony Abbott said the Dutch forensic investigators were working to the “highest possible standard”. “As we have watched this situation over the days and weeks since the atrocity … no-one could fail to have been moved and I guess reassured by the extraordinary dignity and solemnity with which the Dutch received our dead, and their own and the dead of other countries,” the Prime Minister said.

2014-08-09 | Forensic investigators identify 23 MH17 crash victims using fingerprints and dental records
Two of the victims were identified using fingerprints while dental records were used to help identify the other 21.

2014-08-06 | MH17: Another 2 to 3 weeks before bodies can be identified
Subramaniam said in one to two weeks time the examination of the remains would conclude and the next phase of matching it with fingerprints, dental records and DNA samples would commence.

2014-07-31 | MH17 Forensics Experts In Race Against Time To Find And Identify Missing Bodies
Two weeks after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over war-torn eastern Ukraine, forensic investigators are in a race against time to recover the bodies that haven't been found yet and that experts say are rapidly decomposing. The number of bodies still missing is believed to be about 100, based on Dutch government reports. Investigators believe the body parts recovered so far account for around 198 of the 298 passengers and crew aboard.

2014-07-31 | Air Algerie crash identification to take time
Identifying the victims from last week's Air Algerie crash in Mali "could take weeks, months and maybe years", Algeria's chief of police says. An Air Algerie McDonnell Douglas 83, flying from Burkina Faso to Algiers, crashed in northern Mali on July 24, killing all 118 people on board.

2014-07-30 | Kidnap-for-Ransom: An al-Qaeda Manual
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb which is active in northern Africa, Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Somali-affiliate al-Shabab remain some of the dominant forces engaged in this dreaded tactic, pushing susceptible European governments to pay the ransom to save the hostages, according to a series of investigations carried out by the New York Times. Following interviews with several diplomats, hostages, negotiators, and government officials – who spoke mostly on conditions of anonymity – across continents, the NYT report points to a sharp shift the manner in which the al-Qaeda and its affiliates conduct its kidnappings. Since 2008, the governments, chiefly from Europe, have paid at least $125m in ransom in return for the release of captives through several intermediaries, and in turn unwittingly become one of the major sponsors for the militants' terror operations across the world.

2014-07-27 | Youngest victims of MH17 the hardest to identify
Because many of the victims on the doomed July 17 flight were children, police and health workers visiting relatives around the world have asked for treasured children’s finger paintings or other items that may contain prints such as baby bottles.

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