Charlie Sheen Reveals He Is HIV Positive
"It's a hard three letters to absorb," the former "Two and a Half Men" star told NBC's "Today Show." Sheen said he was not entirely sure how he contracted the virus, but was certain he had not transmitted it to anyone since then. The actor also said that ever since he learned about the diagnosis about four years ago a number of people who knew about it had extorted money from him, including a prostitute who took a photograph of his anti-viral medication and threatened to sell it to the tabloids. He paid millions of dollars to keep it secret, but now he said he would no longer have to do that. [Today]
Here’s How to Respectfully Talk About HIV/AIDS
With Charlie Sheen's announcement, many people may need a refresher on how to discuss HIV/AIDS in a sensitive, informed, and thoughtful manner. This will help you do that. [Mic]
A Rumor About ISIS Terrorists Using PlayStation 4 To Plan Attacks Is Called “Baseless”
Over the weekend, a viral Forbes article — that so far has more than 500,000 views — reported that terrorists who orchestrated the devastating attacks on Paris last week may have been communication through PlayStation 4. Outlets like The Verge and Motherboard have posts on why that information is false. [The Verge & Motherboard]
Trying to Understand ISIS and Syria’s Civil War
In the aftermath of horrific attacks in Paris and Beirut last week, and a declaration that France is now at war, you may want a better understanding of what ISIS is, and how the terrorist group has managed to gain such a stronghold in Syria. The Atlantic’s “What ISIS Really Wants” and “A Brief Guide to the Syrian War” are good - and devastating - primers. [The Atlantic]
Number of People Killed by Police in 2015 reaches 1,000
The Guardian has been tracking civilian death by police officers across the U.S. since the beginning of the year with their project “The Counted.” This Sunday evening, its tracker reached 1,000 deaths after a man in Oakland, whose name had not yet been released as of Tuesday morning, was shot after he allegedly aimed a fake pistol at officers during “sideshow,” an illegal gathering of car racing and stunts.
The Guardian’s comprehensive tally had earlier caused FBI Director James. B. Comey frustration, calling it “unacceptable” that publications like The Guardian, which is based in the U.K., were keeping better tabs on police-involved civilian casualties than the United States government.
A Mother Whose Baby Died at an Unlicensed Day Care in SoHo Shares Her Story
The mother of the 3-month-old baby who died at an unlicensed day care center in SoHo earlier this year wrote a heartbreaking essay for the New York Times’ Motherlode blog. Amber Scorah's article is a moving remembrance of her brief time with her son, and a devastating account of her experience going to the day care on her lunch break to nurse her son, only to find the unlicensed care provider incorrectly attempting to perform CPR. Scorah is now pushing for longer, paid, job-secure parental leave. Her son died on her first day back to work. [NYT]
Bonus: Here’s DNAinfo’s primer on how to check if your day care is licensed and has a good safety record.
Anonymous Threatens ISIS with a Cyber Attack
Anonymous, the vigilante hacker group that has gone after the KKK, Westboro Baptist Church and Monsanto among others, has declared war on ISIS after the Paris attacks. The group released a video this week, showing one of its members wearing a Guy Fawkes mask, warning ISIS in French to be prepared for “the biggest operation” against it. By Tuesday, Anonymous already began taking down what they say are the Twitter and Facebook accounts of extremists. [CNET]
The Problematic Story of Women at Gawker
After months of reporting from the inside on how female staff are (problematically) treated at Gawker Media, editors at the notorious news site nixed this piece, forcing its author, former Gawker writer Dayna Evans, to bring the story to Medium. There, you can read all about a cultural of gender inequality that aims to put not just Gawker but many media companies — and workplaces in general — on notice. [Medium]
Losing Religion Via Twitter
Megan Phelps-Roper, granddaughter of Westboro Baptist Church head Fred Phelps, explains in-depth of her decision to leave the church and what led her to question its beliefs. She spearheaded the group’s foray into the social media world through a strong presence on Twitter with messages like “Thank God for AIDS!” However, the online network that she used to spread controversial messages exposed her to the views of her critics and served as a push in her decision to leave her childhood life behind. [New Yorker]
West Village Woman Buys a Whole Toy Store for Homeless Kids
It’s never too early for a feel-good holiday story: a philanthropist who noticed a shuttered toy store in her West Village neighborhood approached its owner and bought everything inside, donating all the stuffed animals and toys to the city’s Department of Homeless Services to give to kids in need. "I know everyone can use a gift around the holidays,” she told NY1. [NY1]
Urban Outfitters Bought a Pizza Chain
Urban Outfitters is known mostly as a clothing store, but that may change going forward given that the company recently announced its purchase of a group of restaurants from The Vetri Family that includes the fast-casual chain Pizzeria Vetri. The company will probably start integrating Pizzeria Vetri into new and existing stores, and the move is meant to give people multiple reasons to go visit Urban Outfitters. You might not like the outfits, but maybe you’ll like the pizza. [Slate]
Taco Bell Commits to Cage-Free Eggs by December 2016
Taco Bell has committed to serving and using only cage-free eggs at its more than 6,000 locations by December 2016. Other fast-food chains, such as McDonalds and Panera Bread have made similar announcements already, but over much longer time frames. It’s not clear whether KFC and Pizza Hut, owned by the same parent company as Taco Bell, will also start using cage-free eggs. [Quartz]
Oxford Dictionaries Selects the Word of the Year
Oxford’s Word of the Year for 2015 isn’t a word at all, but an emoji? It’s the first time the esteemed Oxford University Press selects a pictograph as the best “word” to reflect the mood of 2015. The “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji beat out several real word contenders like Dark Web, lumbersexual, sharing economy and refugee. [The Verge]
This column was compiled by DNA reporters Camille Bautista, Jeanmarie Evelly, Emily Frost, Gwynne Hogan, Noah Hurowitz, Ewa Kern-Jedryshowska, Irene Plagianos, Carolina Pichardo, Eddie Small, Rachel Holliday Smith, Danielle Tcholakian, Shaye Weaver and Nikhita Venugopal.