Eight things PR pros need to know on Wednesday, 11.19.2014

Uber investigates NY GM for tracking reporter's location; Netflix postpones Cosby special; UNC's PR agency bill now more than $2 million.

1. Uber is investigating its New York general manager for reportedly tracking the location of a BuzzFeed reporter without her consent. One day earlier, the website reported Uber executive Emil Michael said at a dinner attended by prominent journalists that the car service could look into the personal lives and families of reporters who had penned unflattering stories about it. Uber also made its customer privacy policy public on Tuesday.

2. Netflix said late Tuesday that it will postpone a comedy special starting Bill Cosby after a number of women accused the entertainment legend of sexual assaulting them in incidents dating back to the 1960s. On Tuesday night, model and reality-show star Janice Dickinson became the latest woman to accuse Cosby of rape.

3. Dollar General may be forced to sell or shutter 4,000 stores in order to buy rival discount chain Family Dollar to avoid anti-trust concerns posed by the Federal Trade Commission.

4. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is asking airbag-maker Takata and automakers to expand a recall of cars with a certain type of airbag due to safety concerns.

5. The University of North Carolina’s tab for PR agency support as it deals with an academic fraud crisis has shot past $2 million, with Edelman receiving the lion’s share of that amount. Fourteen Edelman employees worked on the release of a former Justice Department official’s report on the scandal, according to the News & Observer.

6. The Senate shot down a bill that would force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline by a 59-to-41 margin on Tuesday. Earlier this week, Greenpeace leaked Edelman strategy documents for helping client TransCanada overcome objections to getting a different oil pipeline built in that country.

7. The Senate also blocked major reforms on Tuesday to the NSA programs that collect the phone data of millions of Americans. The Obama administration and tech giants such as Apple and Google had supported the bill.

8. Twitter updated its search tools on Tuesday to allow users to find any tweet ever sent by any user. A half-trillion messages of 140 characters or less have been published over the past eight years. 

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