A mother's plea to the terrorists holding her son hostage: No individual should be punished for events he cannot control.
The mother is Shirley Sotloff, and she speaks directly to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a video broadcast Wednesday on Al Arabiya Network.
Her son, freelance journalist Steven Sotloff, appeared last week in an ISIS video showing the decapitation of American journalist James Foley.
The militant in the video warns that Steven Sotloff's fate depends on what President Barack Obama does next in Iraq.
A day after the video was posted, Obama vowed that the United States would be "relentless" in striking back against ISIS.
"Steven is a journalist who traveled to the Middle East to cover the suffering of Muslims at the hands of tyrants. Steven is a loyal and generous son, brother and grandson," Shirley Sotloff said in the rare public appeal. "He is an honorable man and has always tried to help the weak."
The journalist has no control over what the United States government does, and he should not be held responsible for its actions, she says.
The mother appeals to al-Baghdadi's self-declared title of caliph of the Islamic State.
As caliph, he has the power to grant amnesty to Steven Sotloff, the mother said.
"I ask you to please release my child," she said.
Steven Sotloff disappeared while reporting from Syria in August 2013, but his family kept the news secret, fearing harm to him if they went public.
Out of public view, the family and a number of government agencies have been trying to gain Sotloff's release for the past year.
See more on this developing story at CNN.com
The twin brothers who lost their HGTV show after a recording surfaced of one's anti-homosexuality views are surprisingly not upset at the network that fired them.
Their beef is not with HGTV, but with the gay "agenda" that "bullied" the network, Jason and David Benham told CNN's "New Day" on Friday.
"I feel they got bullied," David Benham said. "There's an agenda that's out in America right now that demands silence, especially from men and women who profess Jesus Christ and hold to his standards."
Their dismissal from the show they were scheduled to host added fuel to the debate over people losing their jobs for what they say about their personal lives.
It's not a free speech issue, as both sides mostly agree that people have the right to say what they want, but a question of how severe the consequences for unpopular positions should be.
HGTV was within its rights to let the Benham brothers go, but maybe it shouldn't have, Ellis Henican, a Newsday columnist, told "New Day."
"Do they have a legal right? Yes. Should we be cheering it? No, we should not. We ought to be big enough people that we can see people we don't agree with, let them fix their houses, help the nice people. What are we scared of?" Henican said.
The brothers ran afoul of the network after the site Right Wing Watch published a post about the pair, labeling David Benham as an "anti-gay, anti-choice extremist" for reportedly leading a prayer rally in 2012 outside of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The site posted a recording of Benham talking to a talk show host about "homosexuality and its agenda that is attacking the nation" and "demonic ideologies" taking hold in colleges and public schools.
Benham also discusses the fight for North Carolina's Amendment One, which involved a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions in the state constitution.
The Benham brothers were the planned stars of the HGTV show "Flip It Forward," set to premiere in October, in which they would have helped families purchase homes they otherwise could not afford.
"When the firestorm came in, we had an opportunity to speak with HG and the folks over there and explain to them who we were as people," Jason Benham said. "We sell to all people of all kinds, and that we would be glad to take a homosexual couple onto our show."
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A group of low-income and first-generation prospective college students were the victims of a fiery freeway crash that killed 10, including five youths.
It was a trip to open doors and possibilities for the students, but it was cut short by a horrific crash.
Three buses - two from the Los Angeles area and one from the Fresno area - were en route Thursday evening to Humboldt State University in Arcata when a FedEx truck crossed a median and slammed head-on into one of the buses.
The collision killed both drivers, five students and three chaperones, said Lt. Bruce Carpenter with the California Highway Patrol.
The crash resulted in a fire that engulfed the truck and bus, spewing black smoke.
"I went outside, and everything was in flames already," a local resident, Luis Lopez, told CNN affiliate KXTV. "There were a couple of explosions after that."
The reason the FedEx truck crossed the median remains under investigation, the Highway Patrol said. The investigation could take months.
At least 34 people were taken to local hospitals, authorities said.
The collision occurred in Orland, about 100 miles north of Sacramento.
One of the survivors chronicled his experience through Twitter.
"i was asleep and next thing you know i was jumping out for my life," Jonathan Gutierrez wrote, saying he couldn't believe what just happened.
He wrote that he suffered a bruised leg, cut eyebrow and scratches. Later, he said his left leg was injured to the point that he couldn't walk.
"All my stuff that I packed is burned. I'm beyond thankful that I'm still here," Gutierrez tweeted.
He called the experience traumatizing.
"Seeing everyone hurt was not how (I) expected my day to go," he said.
The other two buses made it to the university, and those students were placed in dorms, Humboldt officials said.
The university is offering counseling to those students.
An annual university program brings low-income and first-generation college prospects to campus each year for a two-day visit.
The students stay in residence halls, attend events and visit with staff and students from a program that helps historically underrepresented students, the university said.
The Los Angeles Unified School District confirmed that there were 19 students from the district on the trip but that many other districts had students on board as well. District officials could not confirm whether any LAUSD students were among those killed or the conditions of their students.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved in the tragic accident on I-5 in California. We are cooperating fully with authorities as they investigate," FedEx spokeswoman Bonnie Kourvelas said.
The truck sideswiped another car before crashing into the bus. The two occupants of that vehicle were not seriously injured but were sent to a hospital for treatment.
The National Transportation Safety Board announced Friday that it is sending a team to California to investigate as well.
"One, we're going to be investigating the human, the machine and the environment, and what's critical for us especially in highway accidents if for us to collect perishable information, the kind of information that goes away very quickly," NTSB Member Mark Rosekind said.
The NTSB's role will be to determine whether anything from the accident could have a national impact.
The agency seeks to determine not just what happened but why it happened, Rosekind said.
"And then the most important thing we can do is issue recommendations so that these kinds of accidents don't happen again," he said.
A protest turned into a chaotic scene Wednesday, a sign that patience is fraying among the relatives of the passengers on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
The families of the missing have been mostly out of the spotlight as Malaysian authorities spearhead a mission to locate the plane. But as Day 12 rolled around with no answers, the frustration became evident.
Three women, relatives of the passengers, staged a protest at the Kuala Lumpur hotel where the world's press is staying. Their efforts were cut short by security guards who removed them through a crush of reporters, dragging one as she screamed.
"I don't care what your government does," one woman shouted, referring to the Malaysians. "I just want my son back."
The flashes from dozens of cameras lit up her face as she spoke.
The woman identified herself as the mother of Li Le, a 26-year-old Chinese national aboard the missing plane.
"My son," she said, weeping. "I just want my son back."
Another woman, wearing a blue shirt, white baseball cap, sunglasses and a face mask raised her right arm as she demanded more information from the Malaysian government.
"We need media from the entire world help us find our lost families and find the MH370 plane," the woman said. "We have no information at all. ... They only say 'keep searching' - from South China Sea to Malacca Strait to Andaman Sea."
She and the other families waiting in Kuala Lumpur said they aren't satisfied with "the Malaysian government's inaction."
"What we need is to know the truth, to know where the plane is," she shouted. "We have had enough. Malaysian government are liars."
Guards then escorted the women out, apparently against their will.
The screams of Li Le's mother were piercing as she was dragged through a sea of reporters.
The other two women were also led out by guards. All three were taken to a room in the hotel, where Malaysian authorities blocked the door.
The agony of the wait was felt not just in Kuala Lumpur. Families in Beijing - the scheduled destination for MH370 - also gather daily for a briefing with officials.
Ye Lun, whose brother-in-law is on the missing plane, says every day is the same. He and his group leave the hotel in the morning for a daily briefing, and that's it. They go back to the hotel to watch the news on television.
The deepening mystery has taken its toll on the families.
The emotions of Ye's sister - wife of one of the passengers - have become very unstable, he said.
"Every morning, she feels that she's got hope when she comes to the briefing. Then they simply say those blurry things again," Ye said. "Then she loses hope again."
He continued: "It's like this every single day. She always hopes that a miracle will happen, but it doesn't. I don't know when this miracle will happen. How many days have we got left, I don't know."
Ye's brother-in-law is a veteran of the Malaysia Airlines' Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route, a silver-level frequent flyer.
The airline's handling of the situation is so unpopular that the families in Beijing are talking about potential lawsuits. Ye asked for an envoy from the airline to confer with the families to explain the details of the situation.
"The longer the wait, the bigger the mental shadow we have," he said.