November 21, 2017
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Disney Animation head and Toy Story director John Lasseter announced he is taking a six-month leave of absence from Pixar, which is owned by Disney, after "painful" conversations, The Hollywood Reporter writes. "It's never easy to face your missteps," he wrote in a memo to employees, adding: "It's been brought to my attention that I have made some of you feel disrespected or uncomfortable. That was never my intent."

The Hollywood Reporter writes that it is "hard to overstate Lasseter's value to Disney. He is known as the genius behind Pixar films from Toy Story to the upcoming Coco. He took charge of Walt Disney Animation in 2006 and led a revival that included such gigantic hits as Frozen and Inside Out."

One Pixar employee revealed Lasseter was known by entertainment industry insiders for "grabbing, kissing, [and] making comments about physical attributes." Another employee recalled walking into a meeting where a woman was sitting beside Lasseter with her hand over her thigh and his hand on her knee. Afterwards the woman told the employee that "it was unfortunate for her to wear a skirt that day and if she didn't have her hand on her own right leg, his hand would have travelled." Read more of the allegations at The Hollywood Reporter. Jeva Lange

November 10, 2017

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte unexpectedly bragged about stabbing a person to death when he was a teenager ahead of his meeting with President Trump in Vietnam, CNN reports. "One fight there, another here — at the age of 16, I killed someone. A person, really. During a fight. Stabbing," Duterte told regional leaders in Da Nang. "That was when I was 16 years old, just because we just looked at each other."

Duterte and Trump have been on friendly terms, despite former President Barack Obama's tumultuous relationship with the controversial Filipino leader. Duterte has been heavily criticized by many in the international community for encouraging the extrajudicial murder of drug dealers. More than 13,000 suspected users and dealers are thought to have been killed so far across the Philippines. "To endorse Duterte is to endorse a man who advocates mass murder and who has admitted to killing people himself," John Sifton, the Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, told The Intercept in May after the White House praised Duterte for doing a "great job."

Duterte's spokesman walked back the president's comments Friday when speaking with a CNN affiliate. "I think it was in jest," the spokesman said. "The president uses colorful language when with [Filipinos] overseas." Jeva Lange

October 25, 2017

Diabetes has long been divided into Type 1 and Type 2. But a third type has entered the mix — and doctors aren't diagnosing it correctly.

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce insulin and is usually diagnosed at a young age. Type 2 diabetes shows up later in life when the pancreas can't make enough insulin to keep up with the body. This new third type, Type 3c, starts with a damaged pancreas.

A recent study from the American Diabetes Association found only 3 percent of people with Type 3c have actually received a correct diagnosis. These misdiagnoses mean people with Type 3c might not be getting effective treatments. Type 3c diabetics require insulin, but may also benefit from taking digestive enzyme tablets, one of the study's researchers wrote in The Conversation. That alternative treatment option is what sets Type 3c apart from the other types.

Likewise, drugs used for Type 2 diabetes — what 3c is usually misdiagnosed as — might not be effective in treating this new type. Thus, researchers hope this new study can stress the prevalence of this disease and encourage its proper diagnosis. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 24, 2017

A protester managed to get into the Capitol building ahead of President Trump's lunch with Republican leaders and proceeded to throw Russian flags at the commander in chief while shouting "Trump is treason," The Intercept's Aída Chávez reports:

The protester identified himself as Americans Take Action president Ryan Clayton. In February, Clayton passed out Russian flags branded with "Trump" to attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference. "The reason we trolled Trump with these flags is to draw attention to the Russian interference in our most recent American election, helping to decide the outcome in favor of the Trump campaign," Clayton wrote at the time. "Working with a foreign power to undermine our free and fair elections is treason. Let's be clear, Putin picked Trump because it's good for Russia, not because he's great for America."

Concern quickly spread about how Clayton got in the building — and within feet of the president. "How did he get in? That's not a publicly accessible space without an escort/staff or press badge," tweeted Salt Lake Tribune's Washington bureau chief Thomas Burr.

"This is pretty shocking to see happen right in the heart of our Capitol," tweeted CNN contributor Amanda Carpenter. "Steps from the Senate floor." Jeva Lange

October 19, 2017
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Silicon Valley's diversity problem is no secret — and now, there are damning statistics to prove it.

A new investigation from Reveal broke down 23 top tech companies' employees by race, gender, and job categories. The results were illuminating: Apple employs the highest percentage of underrepresented minority women ... at 9 percent. And that was the highest percentage.

TechCrunch pointed out that Apple's data includes its retail employees, not just corporate workers, which likely boosts the company's numbers. When the data is filtered to just include professionals, Apple drops to almost the bottom of the list; underrepresented minority women make up just 3 percent of Apple professional employees.

That's not too far from Lyft's 5 percent — which was, you may have guessed, the highest percentage of underrepresented minority women in professional roles. Meanwhile, not a single company had a majority of female employees, though 23andMe came closest with a 50-50 male-female split.

It's important to note that only 23 of the world's leading tech companies are represented in this data, though not for lack of trying. Reveal requested government-mandated diversity reports from 211 top companies.

So until those 188 other companies decide to be transparent, there's no telling just how homogenous things are in the tech world. Read more about the investigation's findings at Reveal. Kathryn Krawczyk

October 18, 2017

The mother of Army Sgt. La David Terrence Johnson, killed in Niger this month told The Washington Post on Wednesday: "President Trump did disrespect my son and my daughter and also me and my husband." Cowanda Jones-Johnson, the mother of Johnson, made her comments after Rep. Frederica S. Wilson (D-Fla.) claimed Trump made Johnson's widow, Myeshia, cry.

"She was crying the whole time, and when she hung up the phone, she looked at me and said, 'He didn't even remember his name,'" said Wilson, who was in the car with Myeshia Johnson and Cowanda Jones-Johnson at the time of the call. "That's the hurting part."

Trump denied the allegations Wednesday. "Democrat Congresswoman totally fabricated what I said to the wife of a soldier who died in action (and I have proof). Sad!" he tweeted.

Jones-Johnson did not elaborate to the Post about how Trump disrespected her family, but she confirmed that Wilson's account of the conversation between the president and her daughter-in-law was accurate.

When asked for a comment about the phone call to Johnson, the White House said: "The president's conversations with the families of American heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice are private." Jeva Lange

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized Sgt. La David T. Johnson's Army role. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.

October 18, 2017

President Trump invited scrutiny of his condolences after erroneously claiming Monday that presidents before him did not call the bereaved families of fallen troops. "I think I've called every family of someone who's died," Trump said, although The Associated Press found that isn't true.

Critics reacted to Trump's statements as going a step too far, especially after the president reignited the controversy Tuesday by telling Fox News: "You could ask General [John] Kelly, did he get a call from Obama?"

"I just wish that this commander in chief would stop using Gold Star families as pawns in whatever sick game he's trying to play here," said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran.

Trump has also been criticized for how he's handled phone calls to grieving families, with a Democratic congresswoman reporting Wednesday that the president made the widow of Army Sgt. La David Terrence Johnson break down in tears. The wife, Myeshia Johnson, reportedly told Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) that Trump "didn't even know" her husband's name. Jeva Lange

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized Sgt. La David T. Johnson's Army role. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.

October 18, 2017

Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) stood by her claim that President Trump made the widow of Army Sgt. La David Terrence Johnson, killed in Niger, break down in tears, even after the commander in chief denied the allegations on Twitter on Wednesday morning:

"I don't know what kind of proof he could be talking about," said Wilson, who was in the car with the grieving wife when she received Trump's phone call. Wilson added: "This man is a sick man. He's cold-hearted, and he feels no pity or sympathy for anyone."

Wilson added that the widow, Myeshia Johnson, told her that Trump "didn't even know" her husband's name.

"This might wind up to be Mr. Trump's Benghazi," Wilson said. Jeva Lange

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story mischaracterized Sgt. La David T. Johnson's Army role. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.

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