Seven things PR pros need to know on Wednesday morning, 2.4.2015

IBM brings on Bergevin for new cybersecurity comms role; Staples to buy Office Depot for $6.3 billion; Deadliest crash in Metro-North's history.

1. IBM has hired Paul Bergevin as its first VP of cybersecurity communications. The former VP of sales and marketing and GM of global communications at Intel will move from Silicon Valley to Washington, DC, for the role. He’s also worked at firms such as Edelman and Citigate Cunningham.

2. Staples is planning to buy Office Depot in a $6.3 billion deal, the Associated Press reported before the market opened on Wednesday. The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that the two companies were in advanced combination talks.  

3. A Metro-North Railroad train crashed into an SUV stuck on the tracks in Valhalla, New York, on Tuesday night at about 6:30 pm. At least seven people were killed in the worst accident in the history of the commuter line and its second deadly incident since December 2013. The crash will also affect Wednesday morning’s commute for many in the New York Metropolitan Area as Metro-North’s Harlem Line is temporarily shut down while authorities investigate.

4. $15 million is the amount of damages suffered by Sony after the late November cyberattack against studio subsidiary Sony Pictures Entertainment, according to financial numbers released Wednesday morning. The company said it expects to lose $1.4 billion for its 2014 fiscal year, an improvement over earlier projections.

5. Experts say latest and most vicious propaganda video from ISIS, in which a captured Jordanian pilot was burned alive, could backfire on the group, which has had some success recruiting members from the West. The video also prompted a difficult choice for news outlets on whether or not to run excerpts from it.

6. At least 19 people are dead after the latest air disaster in Asia, the crash of a TransAsia Airways plane carrying mostly Chinese tourists in Taiwan.

7. Uber is extending an olive branch to authorities in Seoul, South Korea, where it has faced considerable opposition, in the latest example of its newfound conciliatory tone with critics. 

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