Breakfast Briefing, 12.9.2016: Russian doping allegations; Twitter backtracks on update

Victoria's Secret apologizes after accusation of racial profiling; Hillary Clinton takes on fake news.

Russian doping even more widespread. More than 1,000 Russian athletes in over 30 sports benefitted from state-sponsored steroid programs between 2011 and 2015, according to a report released Friday by Canadian law professor and investigator Richard McLaren. "The Russian Olympic team corrupted the London Games on an unprecedented scale," he said, via The Guardian. Earlier this year, Russia began looking to hire as many as four major PR agencies to improve its image in the West.

Twitter quickly backtracks on update. The platform tested an update on Thursday removing @names from the beginning of replies, as well as their character count, but it did not go over well with users. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey apologized for the test.


Victoria’s Secret issues mea culpa. The lingerie chain apologized to a customer who posted a video on Facebook stating that she and another black woman were asked to leave an Alabama store on Wednesday. Victoria’s Secret said the employee who asked the two women to exit is no longer with the company.

Clinton: ‘Lives are at risk’ due to fake news. In a Capitol Hill speech marking the retirement of Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on government and the private sector to do something about fake news. "This isn’t about politics or partisanship," she said, according to Bloomberg. "Lives are at risk." Last weekend, a man opened fire at Washington, DC, pizza restaurant Comet Ping Pong after fake news stories accused it of being the epicenter of a child-abuse ring run by former top Clinton aide John Podesta.

Tough headline for Sears. Salon: "Sears death watch update: Is it time to prepare an obit for our least-essential department store?" The article notes prominently that the company has lost $1.6 billion this year, and contends that it just doesn’t give customers a good reason to shop there.

Phone calls on flights: Necessity or needless annoyance? The Transportation Department signaled on Thursday that it could eventually allow phone calls during flights, raising the debate of whether the move would create another flight-long annoyance during air travel. Two caveats: airlines would make the call on whether flights would allow phone calls, and they’d have to notify customers well in advance.

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