The 8 stories PR pros need to know on Wednesday morning, 7.1.2015

Power List 2015; Julie Hamp resigns from Toyota.

1. PRWeek’s Power List 2015 is out, ranking the 50 most powerful people in PR and communications. There’s a new face at the top of the rankings this year.

2. Toyota global communications leader Julie Hamp, also the automaker’s top female executive, has stepped down after she was arrested last month for allegedly violating Japan’s strict drug laws. Senior Managing Officer Shigeru Hayakawa has taken over her duties in the interim. Hamp, a veteran of PepsiCo and General Motors, faces a range of scenarios in Japan’s legal system.

3. The US women’s national soccer team beat Germany 2-0 on Tuesday night, setting up a trip to the championship match on Sunday. Starting last month, brands tried to capitalize on the growing popularity of the women’s team with video-focused campaigns.

4. About 8% of Instagram accounts are still run by bots, despite a well-publicized purge of fake accounts by the social network late last year, according to Italian security researchers.

5. The Twitter account run by Univision’s PR team has turned heads by tweeting that it "applauds" the Supreme Court decision last week that essentially made gay marriage legal across the country. The Washington Post's Erik Wemple contends the language it used is more befitting of an advocacy group than a media outlet.

6. Mark Zuckerberg’s Tuesday Q&A session with Facebook users was marred by technical difficulties, as the program went offline for several minutes due to the load of questions asked.

7. The US and Cuba are set to announce on Wednesday the reopening of embassies in Havana and Washington, DC, thawing five decades of diplomatic stalemate between the two countries. However, experts say brand building is still a ways off in the island country.

8. Major companies and business groups are not fans of President Obama’s plan to raise the threshold for overtime pay, making millions more Americans eligible for time-and-a-half wages. The US Chamber of Commerce says the move will limit workers’ career opportunities. 

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