The 8 stories PR pros need to know on Monday morning, 10.5.2015

American Apparel files for Chapter 11; More details emerge about Volkswagen scandal; Tech brands top Interbrand rankings; Hillary Clinton to unveil gun-control plan; Steve Jobs' widow unhappy with biopic.

American Apparel files for Chapter 11
Struggling retailer American Apparel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection early Monday after years of losses. The company will continue to operate throughout its restructuring process. It fired Dov Charney, its controversial founder and CEO, in 2014.

More details on Volkswagen emissions scandal
Volkswagen executives found it would be cheaper for the company to elude emissions tests than to throw out years of work on its diesel engines, according to reports. Meanwhile, the company’s investigation into the matter has focused on two top engineers. Its supervisory board will meet on Wednesday.

Tech brands at the top of Interbrand rankings
Apple and Google are again the top brands in Interbrand’s rankings of the world’s most valuable brands. Apple’s brand is worth $170 billion, while Google’s is $120 billion, according to the rankings, which are based on financial performance and the ability to influence customer decisions.

Milestone for NYT
The New York Times has hit a digital milestone: 1 million digital-only subscribers, which it said is "far more than any other news organization in the world." Executive editor Dean Banquet penned an announcement story about the achievement on Monday morning.

Apple allies line up to criticize Steve Jobs
Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, tried to block the production of the Danny Boyle-Aaron Sorkin collaboration on the technology innovator’s life, which will hit theaters this week. Powell Jobs said the film minimizes his accomplishments and paints him as unnecessarily mean, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Disney weighs Uber-like model
Disney is considering instituting demand-based pricing at its theme parks, meaning customers would get more benefits on less busy days but pay more when theme parks such as Disneyland are crowded. It would be the first change in Disney’s pricing model in six decades.

Clinton to announce gun-control plan     
Hillary Clinton is set to take the wraps off her gun-control plan on Monday in two separate events in New Hampshire, two days after making a cameo on Saturday Night Live. Information continues to trickle out about the Thursday afternoon mass shooting at an Oregon community college in which 10 people were killed.

Google becomes Alphabet
Google’s reorganization into a holding company called Alphabet, including a well-known unit called "Google," is official on Monday. Some observers noted that Google’s institutional "Don’t Be Evil" slogan is not a part of Alphabet’s ethics code.

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