Steven Sotloff, centre in black helmet, in Libya in 2011. Photo: Getty
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American journalist Steven Sotloff "beheaded by Islamic state"

A video claiming to show the killing of another kidnapped American journalist, Steven Sotloff, has been released.

A video claiming to show the beheading of the kidnapped journalist Steven Sotloff has been uploaded to a file-sharing site.

American authorities are trying to verify the video, with the state department saying it is "sickened" by the news.

Two weeks ago, the jihadi group Islamic State (also known as Isis) released a video showing the beheading of photojournalist James Foley. Steven Sotloff appeared in that recording alive. Both recordings appear to show the same killer, who spoke with a British accent.

David Cameron has called the beheading "absolutely disgusting and despicable". 

Sotloff was kidnapped last year, having previously worked in Libya, Bahrain and Egypt.

Helen Lewis is deputy editor of the New Statesman. She has presented BBC Radio 4’s Week in Westminster and is a regular panellist on BBC1’s Sunday Politics.

Photo: Getty
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Liam Fox as International Trade Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for International Trade.

Only Nixon, it is said, could have gone to China. Only a politician with the impeccable Commie-bashing credentials of the 37th President had the political capital necessary to strike a deal with the People’s Republic of China.

Theresa May’s great hope is that only Liam Fox, the newly-installed Secretary of State for International Trade, has the Euro-bashing credentials to break the news to the Brexiteers that a deal between a post-Leave United Kingdom and China might be somewhat harder to negotiate than Vote Leave suggested.

The biggest item on the agenda: striking a deal that allows Britain to stay in the single market. Elsewhere, Fox should use his political capital with the Conservative right to wait longer to sign deals than a Remainer would have to, to avoid the United Kingdom being caught in a series of bad deals. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. He usually writes about politics.