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Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has appeared in an audio interview calling on fighters to take Western hostages and exchange them for jailed jihadists, the monitoring service SITE Intelligence Group said on Sunday. In recording posted online, Al-Zawahiri called on the global militant network to kidnap Westerners "until they liberate the last Muslim male prisoner and last Muslim female prisoner in the prisons of the Crusaders, apostates, and enemies of Islam," according to SITE. Zawahiri is believed to be seeking refuge in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border area that is the Taliban's base.
Yahoo is near a deal to sell its core online assets, ending a 20-year run as an independent company for one of the most storied names on the internet. Media reports said Yahoo, which introduced many users around the world to the internet, was close to selling its main assets for $5 billion. The online news site Re/Code reported that telecom giant Verizon had emerged as the buyer unless another bidder boosted the price.