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By Suleiman Al-Khalidi and Elaine Lies AMMAN/TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and Jordan were working closely on Friday to find out what had happened to two of their nationals being held by Islamic State, after a deadline passed for the release of a would-be suicide bomber being held on death row in Amman. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said every effort was being made to secure the release of journalist Kenji Goto. "We are gathering and analyzing information while asking for cooperation from Jordan and other countries, making every effort to free Kenji Goto," he told a parliamentary panel. Jordan said on Thursday it was still holding the Iraqi woman prisoner as a deadline passed for her release set by Islamic State militants, who threatened to kill a Jordanian pilot unless she was handed over by sunset.
By Ed Stoddard PRETORIA (Reuters) - Apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, dubbed 'Prime Evil' for his role in the torture and murder of scores of black South African activists in the 1980s and early 1990s, was granted parole on Friday after more than 20 years in prison. Justice Minister Michael Masutha told a news conference de Kock would be released "in the interests of nation-building and reconciliation" and because he had expressed remorse at his crimes and helped authorities recover the remains of some of his victims. Masutha stressed that his decision was guided only by the law, an attempt to deflect criticism from the many South Africans - black and white - who regard de Kock's crimes as so extreme he should die behind bars. As head of an apartheid counter-insurgency unit at Vlakplaas, a farm 20 km (15 miles) west of Pretoria, de Kock is believed to have been responsible for more atrocities than any other man in the efforts to preserve white rule.