Six things PR pros need to know on Thursday, 12.11.2014

Hackings reveal embarrassing emails sent by Sony executives; 'Enhanced interrogation' proponents make media rounds; EBay considers massive job cuts.

1. The recent cyberattacks against Sony Pictures Entertainment have revealed embarrassing emails sent by executives about Hollywood stars — one calls Angelina Jolie a "spoiled brat" — and President Obama’s movie preferences. One executive joked in poor taste about Obama, "I bet he likes Kevin Hart."


2. $275 million: that’s the amount Burger King could save on US income taxes alone from 2015 to 2018, according to analysis by Americans for Tax Fairness, a group that pushes the federal government to close loopholes for corporations. The fast-food chain says the organization’s numbers are flawed.


3. Google is shutting down Google News in Spain after lawmakers there said the search engine has to pay local newspapers and media outlets every time it picks up one of their stories. The company is also dealing with the aftermath of a European Union court’s "right to be forgotten" ruling earlier this year.


4. Proponents of the CIA interrogation techniques put into place after the 9-11 attacks are continuing to make the rounds with media outlets to defend the practices after the Senate report released on Monday. Former Vice President Dick Cheney went on Fox News’ Special Report on Wednesday and said, "The report’s full of crap, excuse me." The psychologist who was one of the architects of the interrogation methods is also defending them.

5. EBay is considering cutting about 10% of its workforce, or about 3,000 positions, early next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. The job eliminations would primarily take place in its key marketplace division.

6. Three students identified by pseudonyms in the flawed Rolling Stone story on a purported gang-rape incident at the University of Virginia said in a Washington Post article published on Wednesday that they had doubts about the accuser’s story. Rolling Stone first apologized for the investigative report on Friday. 

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