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This is one of those times when having an embassy in Damascus would be helpful: Americans are working with Czech diplomats to confirm the status of Austin Tice, the freelance journalist missing in Syria since mid-August, and at least it now appears he's alive. Most of the information in the Washington Post and McClatchy reports about Tice, who worked for both organizations, comes from the Czech ambassador to Syria, who in an interview with Czech television said details on his situation had been hard to come by because of Ramadan. According to McClatchy's Hannah Allam, a Czech radio report first described Tice's situation over the weekend, but it's taken this long to confirm the information. "One reporter for a Western news organization who had seen Tice in Daraya around Aug. 7 said that during a return visit Aug. 18, rebels who had been with Tice expressed concern, saying he had left abruptly three days earlier and not returned," Allam reported. It's a great relief that he's safe, but still frustrating that so little else is known. Both the Post and McClatchy are still asking people to come forward with information.

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