Six things PR pros need to know Friday morning, 12.5.2014

Twitter: #BlackLivesMatter; Canada approves Burger King-Tim Hortons deal; Christie cleared in GWB inquiry.

1. Protests took place in several American cities for the second straight night in response to the grand jury decision not to indict the New York City police officer who killed Eric Garner while trying to arrest him this summer.

Twitter itself took a stand on the issue on Thursday night, as staffers posted a picture of one of its office walls with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter painted on it.

Clearly acting out of an abundance of caution, Walmart pulled an ad on Thursday that featured a black actor saying, "I can’t breathe," as his daughter hugs and takes selfies with him. Though the spot has no relation to any police case, "I can’t breathe" were Garner’s last words.

2. President Barack Obama is set to formally announce Defense Department official Ashton Carter as his choice for defense secretary at 10 am on Friday. Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will reportedly join both men at the press event.

3. Canadian authorities have approved Burger King’s plan to buy Tim Hortons and move its corporate headquarters north of the border. The "tax inversion" deal was slammed as unpatriotic when it was announced because it will allow the fast-food chain to save millions in US taxes.

4. The cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment leaked the personal information of many prominent actors, including the Social Security number of Sylvester Stallone.

5. Twitter VP of global media Katie Jacobs Stanton described her company’s frenemy relationship with media outlets at a Re/code event on Thursday by saying, "We’re not a media company…we’re a communications platform that helps service the media business."

6. A report by New Jersey legislators found that Governor Chris Christie did not know about a plan by top aides to close lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge last year for political reasons. Christie is widely expected to kick off his 2016 campaign for the White House soon. 

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