The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Thursday morning, 3.17.2016

SeaWorld calls it quits on breeding killer whales in captivity; Obama's Supreme Court pick to visit Capitol Hill; Nike unveils self-tying shoes; Putin not a fan of Trump's latest ad; Michigan governor on Capitol Hill.

The 5 stories PR pros need to know on Thursday morning, 3.17.2016

SeaWorld to stop breeding killer whales in captivity
The theme park said early Thursday morning that it will no longer breed killer whales in captivity after this generation, bowing to pressure from advocacy groups and changing public attitudes. SeaWorld president and CEO Joel Manby announced the news in an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times.

Have you seen the big news?SeaWorld has helped make orcas among the world's most beloved animals. By making this the last generation of orcas in our care and reimagining how guests will experience these beautiful animals, we are fulfilling our ongoing mission of providing visitors with experiences that matter. Learn more about this announcement and how we're changing here:

Posted by SeaWorld on Thursday, March 17, 2016

Supreme Court nominee to visit Capitol Hill
Judge Merrick Garland will chat with influential senators on Thursday amid indications that some Republicans are cracking on their pledge to stop President Obama’s nominee from joining the High Court. The White House introduced a Twitter account on Wednesday dedicated to getting Garland approved by the Senate.

Nike takes self-tying sneakers out of the box
Nearly 27 years after Back to the Future hit theaters, Nike unveiled sneakers that tie themselves at a Wednesday evening event in New York. The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 will be on sale by the holiday shopping season. The brand also developed this trailer for the self-tying shoes.

Trump ad raises eyebrows in the Kremlin
An ad released on Instagram on Wednesday by Donald Trump’s team — the one that depicted Hillary Clinton barking like a dog — also got the attention of the Kremlin for calling Russian President Vladimir Putin one of America’s "toughest opponents" along with the Islamic State.

Michigan governor called to Capitol Hill amid water crisis
Governor Rick Snyder will testify in front of the House Oversight Committee on Thursday. He is expected to counter testimony by EPA administrator Gina McCarthy by saying that the Flint water crisis was a failure of government at all levels. McCarthy will likely blame state officials.

What to know on Thursday:
Historic Obama trip to Cuba takes shape. Candy makers pledge to stop marketing to kids under the age of 12. Harley-Davidson launches marketing campaign for March Madness. GlaxoSmithKline CEO to retire next March

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