Eight things for PR pros to know Thursday morning

Billionaire backers of immigration reform pull back; A night of relative calm in Ferguson, Missouri; UPS acknowledges data breach; Bank of America agrees to record settlement.

1. Dr. Kent Brantly, one of the American aid workers who contracted the Ebola virus, was set to be discharged from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Thursday. More than 1,300 people have died from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Here’s how major health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization communicated with the public about the disease.

2. Billionaire backers of immigration reform such as former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg have pulled back on spending or buying airtime on the issue this year, seeing any congressional action as a lost cause.

3. Pandora and Indiegogo are the two latest Silicon Valley companies to release workplace diversity data. Pandora’s US team is 71% white, and its global workforce is 51% male. Eighty-five percent of executives are white and 61% are male at the company. Indiegogo’s US staff is 64% white, while its leadership is 86% Caucasian. Fifty-five percent of the company’s workforce is male.


4. Ferguson, Missouri, saw its first night of relative calm in a week on Wednesday night, with only a limited number of protestors on the streets. Attorney General Eric Holder visited the city on Wednesday. Local pastors and other members of the clergy are also getting credit for turning around the state of the St. Louis suburb.

5. UPS said Wednesday night that information from more than 100,000 transactions made in July and August may have been compromised in a data breach affecting 51 retail locations. The company does not plan to notify affected customers by mail, but is encouraging them to check the UPS Store website.


6. Twitter’s decision to ban graphic images, such as the beheading of American journalist James Foley by members of ISIS, is a fine line. While many media outlets have similar standards, others are accusing the platform of whitewashing the news, according to NBC News.


7. Bank of America agreed to a $16.7 billion settlement with the US Justice Department that will end the federal government’s investigation into the possible sale of mortgage-backed securities by the bank before the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

8. Mike Ditka is not among those who want to see the Washington Redskins change their name. "It’s all the politically correct idiots in America, that’s all it is," said the legendary Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints coach and ESPN commentator. Ditka made the comments to RedskinsHistorian.com

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