Friday final reads
"ISIS is a horrifying blight on humanity and needs to be wiped out," announces Guardian's Ben Jacobs, in the wake of news that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi sexually abused the American hostage Kayla Mueller (at 8,000+ shares so far). "ABC has horrible details of abuse of Kayla Mueller, personally inflicted by ISIS chief al-Baghdadi," shares The Atlantic's David Frum. "Yazidi girls & women systematically raped by ISIS ... Officials say Baghdadi raped Kayla Mueller," points out BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray. Gray is referencing yesterday's groundbreaking story by the New York Times on ISIS using rape as a weapon of war, as Kaelyn Forde writes for Refinery29. To sum, as Bloomberg View's Eli Lake tweets, "ISIS = barbarians."
In other trending headlines, documents confirm Apple is building self-driving car. "A day after we learn Apple may be working on a car HUD ... We learn it has a driverless car," realizes Washington Post's Brian Fung. Speaking of the Post, U.N. human rights experts are calling for the "immediate release" of their reporter Jason Rezaian. "Our colleague Jason Rezaian has been held 13 months," observes Ann Gerhart there. And DNAInfo got a heckuva scoop in the form of an interview with Garland Tyree during his fatal standoff with police. "Surely one of the more memorable conversations @AidanGardiner has ever had," suggests colleague Emily Frost.
On the political beat, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's presidential campaign is defending his plan to block the removal of the confederate monuments in New Orleans. "Who is in favor of public memorials for white supremacists who kill police officers? @BobbyJindal!" tweets Anil Dash. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cuba today to reopen the American embassy there, but tensions remain. "@JohnKerry's visit marks the symbolic end of one of the last vestiges of the Cold War," CNN tweets. Meanwhile, BuzzFeed was hinting that Al Gore is “figuring out if there’s a path” for him to join the 2016 race, but Politico says he's not planning to go against Hillary. "It took seven hours and 21 minutes for the 'Al Gore for President' story to die," muses Time.com's Ryan Teague Beckwith.