Breakfast Briefing: International Women's Day

It's looking like Thursday morning's commute will be a little longer than usual, with snow blanketing the Northeast and thousands of flights delayed. The silver lining: more time to catch up on the top communications and PR news of the day, detailed below.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

New this morning from PRWeek: London-based travel specialist firm Hills Balfour has been acquired by U.S.-based MMGY Global; New Burson Cohn & Wolfe North America president Chris Foster on diversity and providing senior counsel to clients; The PR Council’s Renee Wilson on the skills that are needed for a successful career in communications.

It’s International Women’s Day, or #IWD2018 if you’re celebrating online. Mattel has rolled out a line of 17 Barbies based on role models for young women, from gymnast Gabby Douglas to Amelia Earhart (Fortune). McDonald’s is flipping its iconic arches upside down on all of its digital properties to salute women (USA Today).

It’s bound to be (another) extra-busy day of White House news. President Donald Trump is set to meet with video game executives after linking gaming to real-world violence in the wake of the Parkland shooting (Reuters). He’s also expected to sign significant tariffs on aluminum and steel imports (NPR), though the rollout of that policy has been anything but smooth (CNN). Meanwhile, The New York Times and The Washington Post dropped two more big stories about the Russia probe on Wednesday evening. And then there’s Stormy (NBC News).

Hicks hacked. Exiting White House Communications Director Hope Hicks told members of the House Intelligence Committee last month that one of her email accounts has been hacked. It was unclear whether her campaign account or personal email was compromised (NBC News).

A haunting? Skynet becoming self aware? Amazon tried to calm the nerves of freaked out Alexa users on Wednesday by reassuring them that unprompted laughter from Alexa is just a glitch, not a sign of an impending robot takeover. The company said it is working to address the cackling problem (The Verge).

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