The 7 stories PR pros need to know on Tuesday morning, 12.15.2015

Cision buys PR Newswire; Fifth GOP debate tonight; How the US is fighting extremism on social media; Seattle lets Uber drivers unionize; Twitter design chief exits.

More newswire consolidation: Cision buys PR Newswire
Cision, which gobbled up rival Vocus last year, has agreed to buy PR Newswire for $841 million from UBM, the companies said Tuesday morning. It will require regulatory approval in the US and a yes vote from UBM shareholders. The deal is expected to close by the end of Q1.

Tonight: GOP debate number five from Las Vegas
The Republicans will square off for the fifth time tonight in Las Vegas. CNN is carrying the debate live starting at 8:30 pm EST; the undercard starts at 6 pm. PRWeek will be live-blogging the event, which some say will be the party’s most contentious event yet.

What the media will be watching
NYT: At Republican debate, candidates are likely to set sights on Ted Cruz; WSJ: Is the GOP shifting on immigration and trade?; AP: Cruz in the spotlight as Republicans take the debate stage; New York: The mysterious origins of everyone’s favorite Trump Twitter joke.

How the US is taking on extremism on social media
Re/code looks at how the federal government and law enforcement authorities are fighting back against Islamic radicals on social media, where the battle for recruitment is taking place. The US may also begin looking at the social media accounts of visa applicants.

Seattle lets Uber, Lyft drivers unionize
A unanimous 9-0 vote by Seattle’s City Council means Uber and Lyft drivers in the city can choose to unionize, in a blow to the ride-hailing services’ business models. Court challenges are expected. The decision is also a win for the App-Based Drivers Association.

Twitter design chief exits
Mike Davidson, VP of design at the platform, is leaving the company where he has worked since 2012, making him the latest in a string of executives to depart the microblogging service. Twitter is still searching for a communications VP.

What led to Volkswagen’s crisis?
The sudden tightening of US emissions standards and a corporate culture too focused on profit, according to Newsweek. Investigators are continuing to look into how many executives at the German automaker were involved in the scandal. 

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