1. National

Kayla Mueller: Obama confirms IS hostage's death

American aid worker Kayla Mueller - who was being held by Islamic State - has died, President Barack Obama has confirmed.

Ms Mueller's family said they were "heartbroken" at the news, and released a copy of a letter she had written in captivity.

Confirmation of Mueller's death comes days after Islamic State claimed the 26-year-old had died in a Jordanian air strike.

View all 23 updates ›

State Department 'cannot confirm' US hostage reports

The US State Department says it cannot confirm reports that a female American hostage has been killed in a recent air strike in Syria targeting Islamic State.

Marie Harf speaking to the media on Friday.

"I cannot confirm those reports in any way - obviously people are looking into them," spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.

She acknowledged that Islamic State militants were holding American hostages.

"There are a number of Americans being held overseas, including by Islamic State."

More on this story