Breakfast Briefing: 3.31.2014

PRWeek's Breakfast Briefing: Everything you need to know to start your day

Congress turns attention to regulators in GM investigation
Legislators investigating General Motors’ long-delayed recall of Chevrolet Cobalts with faulty ignition switches have turned their attention to why federal regulators did not open inquiries into the matter despite knowing about fatal crashes and customer complaints. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration twice declined to open investigations into the cars. Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) said internal documents on the process "paint an unsettling picture."

SNL pans celebrity-fueled Obamacare media-outreach strategy
Monday is the final day to sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, though people who tried and failed to buy plans earlier will get an extension. The White House announced last week that more than 6 million Americans had enrolled in insurance plans, meeting a revised goal but falling short of initial projections of 7 million. And while top communicators praised President Barack Obama’s unusual media outreach campaign starring actor and comedian Zach Galifianakis, Saturday Night Live harshly panned the strategy this weekend.

Former Cisco execs spell out Russian corruption
Former Cisco executives are describing corruption in the Russian business world at length as the company faces an investigation by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission into alleged bribery violations in the country. The US and Russia are still at odds over Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

H+K grows footprint in Asia
WPP Group’s Hill+Knowlton Strategies is planning to acquire Hong Kong- and Shanghai-based digital creative firm Rice5. The agency’s clients include Rayban and L’Oreal.

On opening day, Orioles pay tribute to late PR director
Finally, it’s opening day across much of the country - weather permitting - though Southern California got off to an early start last night with the Padres besting the Dodgers 3-1. Baltimore Orioles players are looking for a way to honor the team’s late PR director Monica Barlow throughout this season in a way that doesn’t violate Major League Baseball’s strict uniform policies. Barlow died February 28 after a four-year battle with cancer.

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