The 7 stories PR pros need to know on Wednesday morning, 12.16.2015

GOP debate recap and reactions; Netflix scores during debate night; The biggest and weirdest Star Wars tie-ins; LA public schools set to reopen; Uber tries out emoji ratings.

Jeb Bush and Donald Trump disagree on whether the businessman can insult his way to the presidency. (Image via CNN's YouTube page).
Jeb Bush and Donald Trump disagree on whether the businessman can insult his way to the presidency. (Image via CNN's YouTube page).

Republicans talk tough on terrorism in fifth debate
In the last presidential debate of the year, the nine Republican candidates on the main stage took hard lines on the Islamic State. Donald Trump and Marco Rubio were frequent targets of rivals. Trump said he will not run as an independent if he fails to lock up the GOP nod.

The media reaction
Politico: All those times Bush used the word ‘serious’ during the debate; FiveThirtyEight: Fifth Republican debate ends in a nine-way draw; BuzzFeed: Why everyone wants to fight with Marco Rubio; AP: Bush strong in GOP debate but it may not matter.

A good, old fashioned news dump?
With politicos focused on the GOP debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that both parties had reached a budget deal on a $1.1 trillion spending plan. The accord makes a government shutdown this year extremely unlikely.

High scores for timing for Netflix
The entertainment streaming platform’s biggest star, Kevin Spacey as fictional President Frank Underwood, made a big announcement during Tuesday night’s debate: there will be a third season of House of Cards. The company ran an ad during a commercial break previewed by tweets.

Some of the best Star Wars brand tie-ins
Heard about this Star Wars movie hitting theaters this week? Here are spoiler-free previews courtesy of The Verge and Mashable and 10 of the most creative, and oddest, brand campaigns connected to the expected blockbuster.

LA public schools set to reopen today
Public schools across Los Angeles are set to reopen on Wednesday morning after officials shut down the second-largest system in the country on Tuesday due to an emailed threat. Some are questioning if they overreacted after New York quickly determined the same threat was a hoax.

Uber gives rating emojis a try
The ride-hailing service is reportedly experimenting with replacing its star-based driver-rating system with smiley face and thumbs up or thumbs down emojis. Customers in Denver, Nashville, and Austin, Texas, are seeing the changes. 

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