UK gov't tries to win release of BBC reporter

Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said Tuesday the British government is "using every channel and opportunity" to secure the release of a BBC correspondent who was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. Alan Johnston, 44, was headed for his apartment in Gaza City on March 12 when four masked gunmen snatched him from his car. Beckett told the House of Commons she has raised the issue with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "I'm assured by President Abbas that it is very much a goal of the Palestinian government and authorities," she said. "It's extremely important that we try to secure this and I think it is particularly sad ... when someone who has been a long-standing friend of the people of Palestine suffers in this way and it does nothing to help."