Breakfast Briefing, 4.17.2017: United crisis prompts policy changes at airlines

Three airlines have changed their policies to give customers a little more security that they won't be violently dragged from their seats.

Airlines change removal policies after United crisis
Three major airlines are changing their policies on bumping customers from flights in the wake of United’s reputation disaster. United said it will no longer displace passengers who have boarded a plane, while American Airlines pledged to not bump customers who have been seated, according to CBS News. Delta has increased the amount of money it will pay passengers to give up their seats to nearly $10,000, according to the network. United is facing fresh outrage on Monday morning after it removed a couple flying to Costa Rica for their wedding amid murky circumstances. MarketWatch: This is how long—years, not months—it could take United to recover from its PR disaster. Wall Street Journal: Behind United Airlines’ fateful decision to call police.

April the Giraffe (finally) gives birth
After keeping nature aficionados and just plain curious people waiting with bated breath for more than a month, internet star April the Giraffe finally gave birth to a male calf on Saturday morning. More than 1.2 million people watched the birth, according to NBC News. April’s pregnancy was a publicity boon for Upstate New York’s Animal Adventure Park, which began live-streaming April’s pen in February, convinced she would give birth at any moment. It was also a win for Toys "R" Us, which paid to place its logo in the bottom-left-hand corner of the live-steam.


Spicey’s back…in a bunny suit
Melissa McCarthy made her third guest appearance as White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Saturday Night Live, angrily apologizing for comparing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Adolf Hitler last week. There was a bunny suit, and props. CNN: Sean Spicer’s worst week in Washington. Washington Post: A complete guide to every reference in Melissa McCarthy’s epic Sean Spicer sketch on SNL.

The dark side of Facebook
A Cleveland man reportedly used the social network to broadcast murdering another man on Sunday and bragged that he’s committed other murders. The suspect, Steve Stephens, is still at large. Facebook has been working to clarify to media outlets that the murder was not live-streamed but recorded and uploaded later.

Pope Francis, the communicator
The Economist looks at the communications style of Pope Francis, saying he "would be a dream, and a nightmare, to work for." The pontiff’s unscripted style is one ingredient to his popularity, but it also makes it more difficult for the Vatican to manage a unified message, according to the magazine.

News to know on Monday
NBC News: Trump calls for investigation into tax day protests. New York Times: Inside the hotel industry’s plan to take on Airbnb. BuzzFeed: How Mark Zuckerberg’s listening tour is and is not like a presidential campaign. NYT/ProPublica: Trump is hiring lobbyists, and top ethics official says ‘there’s no transparency.’ 

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