The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Thursday morning, 3.24.2016

NYT exposes flawed research used by NFL in concussion response; Brussels PR officer still missing; Update due from Volkswagen lawyers; North Carolina rolls back LGBT protections in Charlotte; Trump, Cruz fight over wives on Twitter.

Luke Kuechly and Jared Allen at Super Bowl 50 in February. (Image via the NFL's Facbeook page).
Luke Kuechly and Jared Allen at Super Bowl 50 in February. (Image via the NFL's Facbeook page).

NFL used flawed research in concussion response
After a number of star players abruptly retired in 1994 due to head injuries, the National Football League used incomplete research to determine its response to the player-safety issue, omitting injuries to star players such as Troy Aikman and Steve Young in its studies. The league also shared lobbyists and consultants with tobacco companies, according to The New York Times.

Brussels-based PR officer missing after attacks
A press and communications manager at a rail industry association based in Brussels is among those missing after the Tuesday morning attacks in the Belgian capital. Aline Bastin, a PR staffer at the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies, is reportedly still unaccounted for. Several local media outlets have appealed for information.  

Volkswagen to give progress report on ‘defeat device’ fix
Lawyers for Volkswagen are set to give a U.S. District Court judge an update on Thursday on its progress fixing 600,000 diesel cars to make them compliant with emissions laws in California and other states. U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer has told the company it faces consequences if it doesn't respond quickly.

North Carolina rolls back LGBT protections
Pat McCrory, governor of North Carolina, signed a bill on Wednesday that dismisses several LGBT protections put into place in Charlotte, including a measure that allowed transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their choice. Disney and AMC have warned Georgia lawmakers against enacting a similar measure.

Round two: Trump, Cruz spar over wives again
Donald Trump retweeted an unflattering image of Ted Cruz’s wife juxtaposed with his spouse, Melania, on Wednesday night. Cruz responded by tweeting, "Real men don’t attack women." Trump ominously threatened to "spill the beans" about Heidi Cruz earlier this week.

What to know on Thursday:
Seattle #ManInTree finally comes down. Goldman Sachs places U.S. inflation trading leader on leave amid review. Smartwatch-maker Pebble lays off one-quarter of its staff. New Zealand sticks with old flag

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