Eight things PR pros need to know on Monday morning, 12.1.2014

Thanksgiving retail sales down from last year; Edelman and TransCanada split; St. Louis police group wants protesting Rams players punished.

1. Are Americans over Black Friday? Statistics from the National Retail Federation show in-store and online sales from Thanksgiving through this weekend were down 11% compared with last year.

2. The St. Louis Police Officers Association is demanding the punishment of five St. Louis Rams players who jogged onto the field on Sunday with their hands up in protest of last week’s grand jury decision not to pursue charges against Officer Darren Wilson. Unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot by Wilson in August.

3. People magazine accidentally published an obituary for 97-year-old actor Kirk Douglas over the weekend. The Hollywood legend is set to celebrate his 98th birthday next week.

4. Edelman and TransCanada said last Wednesday that they are planning to part company. Greenpeace leaked Edelman strategy documents for dealing with TransCanada’s opponents a week prior to what both organizations called a mutual decision to split.

5. Longtime Boston Red Sox PR manager Dick Bresciani died on Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 76. Bresciani worked for the baseball club for more than four decades.

6. OAO Novatek, a Russian oil company owned by a friend of Vladimir Putin, paid Qorvis MSLGroup $280,000 for lobbying in the third quarter, according to The Wall Street Journal. The report comes as a Senate bill could multiply sanctions against Russian interests.

7. Sony Pictures Entertainment is investigating a large-scale hacking attack against the company. Five movies have been leaked online since the attack started.

8. The communications director for Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN) apologized on Friday for criticizing Sasha and Malia Obama for looking disinterested during the White House "ceremony" in which President Obama pardoned two turkeys before Thanksgiving. Staffer Elizabeth Lauten later said she rushed to judgment. 

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