Previously unknown information is being uncovered about Kayla Mueller's 18 months in captivity on 20/20 "The Girl Left Behind."

Mueller, a 25-year-old humanitarian and activist from Arizona, was kidnapped by ISIS in August 2013 in Syria.

Information about Mueller's time is being pieced together more than a year after her death through interviews with others who were held as hostages alongside her throughout her lengthy time in captivity.

Mueller is said to have been tortured, abused, forced into slave labor and raped, but she continued to be hopeful and stood up for her Christian faith.

The special also includes a proof of life video that was made in 2013, shortly after Mueller had been taken hostage.

The video was only 10 seconds long and featured Mueller in a black headscarf begging for help.

"I need your help. I've been here too long and I've been very sick and it's very terrifying here."

One of her fellow hostages, Daniel Rye Ottosen, a Danish photograph, recounts the story of how Mueller remained a firm Christian.

He told ABC News:

One of the Beatles (a name the hostages gave their guards) started to say, 'Oh, this is Kayla, and she has been held all by herself. And she is much stronger than you guys. And she's much smarter. She converted to Islam.' And then she was like, 'No, I didn't.'

The special also interviews a young Yazidi girl who shares the story of how Mueller gave up a chance to escape with other young hostages who were held as sex slaves so they would have an easier time getting away.

I told Kayla, 'We want to escape,' and I asked her to come with us. She told me, 'No, because I am American. If I escape with you, they will do everything to find us again.' It is better for you to escape alone. I will stay here.

The special will air tonight. Discuss

The White House announced today that 28 companies in the private sector have pledged their commitment to closing the gender pay gap for their employees—fitting for Women's Equality Day.

The companies range across multiple industries including Apple, Delta Air Lines, Hilton, Ikea and more.

In the United States, women working full time earn an average of 79 cents for every dollar men make, according to Census data. Black women are paid 63 cents and Latina women 56 cents compared to every dollar paid to white men.

Several recent studies have confirmed the existence of the wage gap across industries and employment levels.

More than 50 companies have signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge, which has been in the works for some time now. In January, President Obama signed an executive order requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to report their wage data broken down by race and sex to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Each company that signed today included a personal pledge. Some excerpts are below:


Equal work deserves equal pay. This past year, Apple looked at the total compensation for U.S. employees and closed the gaps we found. We’ve achieved pay equity in the United States for similar roles and performance. Women employees at Apple earn one dollar for every dollar male employees earn.


Facebook is a longtime supporter of equal pay. We regularly review our compensation practices to ensure pay equity, and have done so for many years. We complete thorough statistical analyses to compare the compensation of men and women performing similar work. As such, we are proud to share that at Facebook, men and women earn the same. We encourage efforts to establish methods to close the wage gaps around the world.


We know that each individual adds value to the team, and we are committed to creating an inclusive work environment that encourages our diverse and competent co-workers to be themselves, to apply their unique perspectives at work, and to assume responsibility for our growth. In addition to being the right thing to do, creating this environment also improves our business results and strengthens our competitiveness.

If you've ever wondered what would happen if you left a dress in the Dead Sea, wonder no more.

Israeli artist Sigalit Landau decided to submerge a black dress into the Dead Sea for a project called Salt Bride.

The dress spent two months in the water during 2014 and crystallized into a beautiful white gown.

The project was inspired by a 1916 play called Dybbuk about a young Jewish woman who becomes possessed with the spirit of her dead lover. The dress Landau submerged is a replica of the dress from the play.

The photos of the project are on display at London's Marlborough Contemporary museum until September 3.

Images courtesy of Marlborough Contemporary. Discuss

France's top administrative court overturned recent bans on the burkini in France, according to reports.

The Conseil d'Etat overturned the ban specifically in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet—but the decision will also apply as a precedent in 26 of the country's towns and cities—after weeks of scandal and international outrage at the law.

The recent bans were invoked in the name of securalism and anti-terrorism security, according to lawmakers.

Much of the outrage peaked this week when news surfaced of a Muslim woman being forced to undress and remove her burkini by armed police on a beach in Nice.

The ban began with the town of Cannes at the end of July, but spread throughout France following that.

The court ruled that the burkini does not insult the equality of women and is not a symbol of terrorism—two arguments made in support of the ban—and that banning it insulted "fundamental freedoms."

Women who have already been fined for wearing the burkini can appeal them in light of today's decision. Discuss

Two nuns who lived in Durant, Mississippi were found dead in their home on Thursday morning.

Sister Paula Merrill and Sister Margaret Held, both nurse practitioners, worked at the Lexington Medical Clinic treating patients regardless of their ability to pay for the service.

When they did not report to work on Thursday, police were to the home around 10 a.m. to do what assistant police chief James Lee called a wellness check. The officer said the door to the house was open and the bodies were inside.

The blue Toyota Corolla that belonged to one of the sister's was initially reported missing and then found abandoned later that evening on a street less than a mile away from the home, The Associated Press reported.

The Rev. Greg Plata, the priest at St. Thomas Catholic Church, said of the sisters to The Clarion-Ledger: “These were the two sweetest sisters you could imagine. It’s so senseless.”

Elias Abboud, the doctor who owns the clinic the nurses worked at, said the nuns were beloved members of the community who were always willing to go above and beyond for their patients.

Durant police and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation are involved in the investigation. Discuss

It’s hard to find anyone who wasn’t completely blown away by the trailer for the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It was a perfect teaser for the next installment of the Star Wars franchise.

That is, until the Internet intentionally ruined it.

YouTuber murdockmotion recut his own version of the trailer, reimagining the story with George Lucas’ worst creation—Jar Jar Binks—as the star. Oh yeah, Chewbacca Mom shows up to. Discuss