Breakfast Briefing, 1.31.2017: Corporate opposition to travel ban mounts

Technology-sector CEOs and employees are standing up to President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from seven countries.

New this morning: Burson-Marsteller EVP Erica Swerdlow has joined Wye Communications, the firm rolled out last year by Stagwell Group and Finn Partners, as its first CEO. She will start in the Chicago-based role next month, reporting to Stagwell partner Jay Leveton.

Leading Tuesday morning’s news cycle: President Donald Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Monday night after she declined to support his immigration executive action. The White House issued an unusually strong (at least compared to past administrations) statement saying Yates "betrayed the Justice Department" with her stance and calling her "weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration." Tump also replaced the acting leader of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

More groups stand up to travel ban. The union that represents flight attendants is pushing back against the order, noting that carriers would have to pay to fly detained staffers back to their country of origin. Google employees walked out of their offices late Monday to protest the order. Amazon and Expedia threw their weight behind a legal challenge to the executive order. Other tech-sector leaders are planning to meet on Tuesday to discuss how to challenge the law, according to Fortune.

What to keep an eye on tonight: Trump is set to announce his pick for the Supreme Court at 8 pm EST. Also today: pharma executives are scheduled to meet with the president. Last month, Trump accused their companies of "getting away with murder" on drug prices.

Campaign encourages ACA repeal. A right-wing group is urging Democrats to join in the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act in a new ad campaign. The American Action Network is targeting eight Democrats in the House of Representatives from districts won by Trump in November. The campaign comes with a $1.3 million price tag.

How the military is fumbling the propaganda war. The multimillion-dollar push by the U.S. Armed Forces to combat the Islamic State online is running into several self-imposed roadblocks like poor translation and problems with the awarding of contracts, according to the Associated Press. The investigation found many staffers have little understanding of Islam and are easily outwitted by terrorist recruiters.

Twitter to debut more anti-abuse features. The platform said late Monday that it is rolling out more anti-harassment features in the coming weeks, though it didn’t provide much detail. VP of engineering Ed Ho acknowledged Twitter "didn’t move fast enough last year" to protect users from abuse.  

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