"This sounds like the worst sequel of Alien vs. Predator yet," Washington Post's Daniel Drezner tweets of former CIA Director David Petraeus's idea to pit Al Qaeda fighters against ISIS (at 5,200 shares so far). "This is like that bit in Jurassic Park when they get the old dinosaurs to fight the new ones. WORKED GREAT," muses Lucy Hunter-Johnston at the London Evening Standard. "We must steel ourselves for Endless War to vanquish this Unprecedented Evil. On second thought, let's ally with them," is how The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald bills it. Although Washington Institute's Neri Zilber points out, "Fwiw many in Israeli army-intel-media circles argue same thing as Petraeus re. Nusra."
In other major headlines, murder rates are on the rise in the U.S. "Still not the 1980s, but 10%+ increases in 8 major cities since 2014," notices WBEZ's Chris Bentley. Valerie Schremp Hahn with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch adds that the spike "may not be for the reasons you think." Also, Apple is considering making original programming, which would put it in direct competition with companies like Netflix and Hulu. Mathew Ingram with Fortune wonders, "why not just buy Netflix?" Ahead of his visit to the U.S., Pope Francis held a virtual audience with Americans in a special ABC News event. "Wow: ABC just taped a "global gathering" between Pope Francis and Americans in 3 cities. It'll air Friday at 10pm," shares CNN's Brian Stelter.
Checking in on our scandal beat, Annalee Newitz's ongoing digging into web site Ashley Madison's code reveals more women, but even more bots. "Earlier conclusion about # of women on Ashley Madison premature ... but further analysis shows bots bots bots," explains Macworld's Glenn Fleishman. U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon is facing a furor from parents who say he made an outrageous civics presentation to their schoolchildren. "Congressman decides to teach second graders about vetoes by invoking Iran and suicide bombers," elucidates Guardian's Sabrina Siddiqui. And in Canada, the RCMP launches an investigation into a senator's questionable expense claims.
Finally, don't click this unless you're prepared to question what's become of humanity in the digital age: these texts reveal teen’s efforts to pressure boyfriend into suicide. Speaking for pretty much everyone, National Journal's Dylan Scott tweets, "Oh so this is the worst thing I learned about today."