Need To Know

Hundreds of people under siege by the Islamic State on Mount Sinjar in Iraq have finally been freed. The people are mostly from the minority Yazidi community, which the Islamic State has terrorized ever since the group took control of parts of Iraq in August.

The siege was broken by a combination of American airstrikes and Kurdish forces in what was described by Kurdish officials as one of the biggest and “most successful” operations against the Islamic State since the war began over the summer.

The New York Times called the operation a “successful demonstration” of US President Barack Obama’s strategy to fight the Islamic State, which is to use American jets to support local fighters on the ground. And US officials said recent airstrikes have killed some of the terrorist group's leaders, though they were not specific and there is no way of confirming that.

Despite the success of the Mount Sinjar offensive, the Islamic State remains in control of large parts of Iraq and Syria. And where it still controls, terror reigns. The group released a series of horrifying pictures on Thursday, one of which showed the public beheading of a man accused of “sorcery.” And where the US has had success working with the Kurds in northern Iraq, it has had much less success working with the Iraqi army elsewhere. Despite American training and a huge amount of American investment, the Iraqi army has repeatedly stumbled in its battles againt the Islamic State.

Want To Know

Are you an ejoying your new iPhone 6? Or perhaps you splurged for the more absurdly giant iPhone 6 Plus. Maybe you are planning to give one to yourself for Christmas. When you do, as you open that carefully designed package and hold for the first time that super slim portable computer in your hands, be sure to power it up, log into the WiFi and then read this investigation by the BBC.

Reporters for the venerable British newscaster went undercover, working at an Apple factory just outside of Shanghai. And they found dismal conditions. It seems that Apple is not treating their workers as well as one would hope. In fact, it seems they are treating them terribly.

The undercover journalists said they were forced to work for weeks straight without a day off, despite repeated requests for one. Others reported working 16-hour shifts. The program also traveled to Indonesia to investigate Apple’s sourcing of minerals. What it found wasn't good.

Apple denied these problems exist and refused to be interviewed by the BBC. The company came under fire four years ago when 14 people working for Foxconn, Apple’s largest supplier in China, killed themselves. Apple responded by releasing a set of standards for working conditions. But, according to the BBC, those standards are not exactly lived up to in practice.

Strange But True

GlobalPost Senior Correspondent Geoffrey Cain met Kim Jong-un, shared a few drinks, and discussed America’s role in the region. At one point Kim exclaimed, “You drink soju like a Korean!”

“This is my chance to press him for answers, and the inebriated Kim Jong-un soon gives me his spiel,” Cain writes. “He detests American military bases in the South. As long as the Yankees stay put, he argues, the prospect of a single, unified Korea will be far-fetched.”

Kim Jong-un is a hard-drinking South Korean businessman, of course, not North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (see the difference?), who at the moment is somehow at the center of a Hollywood scandal. There are, in fact, many people with the same name as the baby-faced despot. This, despite the fact that the North Korean regime reportedly banned anyone else from enjoying the name. South Koreans couldn't care less and have no problem hurling invective toward the leader. North Koreans, on the other hand, are probably taking the order more seriously.