The 7 stories PR pros need to know on Monday morning, 11.9.2015

Reports: Volkswagen to announce cash-back initiative on Monday; University of Missouri football team boycotts amid racial tensions; Obama, Netanyahu to meet; NYT embraces virtual reality; SNL scores with Trump; What's next for Airbnb?

Volkswagen tries to win back US customers
The embattled automaker could offer US diesel car customers as much as $1,250 in cash back in an effort to win back trust amid its emissions scandal. Volkswagen has not confirmed reports about the initiative, but has planned an announcement for Monday.

Football team boycotts amid racial tension at University of Missouri
The University of Missouri’s football team said it won’t play or practice until the school’s president, Tim Wolfe, resigns or is pushed out of office. Student activists have accused Wolfe of being non-responsive to racial incidents on campus. Faculty members are calling for walkouts this week.

Obama, Netanyahu to meet amid tensions
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet with President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday, amid long-simmering tensions between the two leaders, including a controversy over Israel’s recently appointed spokesman.

Times embraces virtual reality
The New York Times sent subscribers a cardboard viewing device with their Sunday papers, helping them to view stories in the world of virtual reality. The head-mounted Google Cardboard device allows users to see some stories in a 360-degree panorama.

SNL scores high ratings with Trump
Saturday Night Live received its highest ratings in three years with Donald Trump hosting last week, even amid protests. Comedian Larry David stole the show. Also in politics, the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund is set to endorse Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday. Ben Carson continued to push back over the weekend against investigative reports.

Starbucks’ holiday cups don’t bring everyone cheer
Some Christian activists aren’t happy with Starbucks’ holiday-season cups, which have a plain red design and are minimalist on holiday symbolism. One activist told the chain his name is "Merry Christmas" just to get it written on the cup.

What’s next for Airbnb?
BuzzFeed looks at the challenges facing Airbnb fresh off its public affairs win in a San Francisco referendum last week. The startup faces additional votes and opposition from municipalities across the country seeking to place more regulations on the company. 

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