Breakfast Briefing: 5 things for PR pros to know on Friday morning

FedEx responds to mass shooting; Simon & Schuster washes hands of book amid calls for boycott; Facebook threatened with data-leak lawsuit.

Happening overnight: At least eight people are dead after a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis. Nearly 150 mass shootings have taken place in 2021, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

What FedEx is saying: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by the loss of our team members following the tragic shooting at our FedEx Ground facility in Indianapolis," the shipper told NPR. "Our most heartfelt sympathies are with all those affected by this senseless act of violence. The safety of our team members is our top priority, and we are fully cooperating with investigating authorities."

Simon & Schuster said Thursday night that it will not distribute a book written by a Louisville, Kentucky, officer involved in the police operation in which Breonna Taylor was killed. The publisher said it learned that day that the book, "The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy," was to be published by distribution client Post Hill Press and decided not to be involved.

New this morning: Johnson & Johnson quietly asked other pharmaceutical companies last week to collectively study the risks of blood clots related to COVID-19 vaccines and speak jointly about vaccine safety, according to The Wall Street Journal. AstraZeneca agreed, but Moderna and Pfizer declined, according to the report.

Facebook is staring down a lawsuit in Europe over a mass leak of user data that started in 2019 but only emerged recently after information on more than 500 million accounts was posted for download on a hacker forum. The group Digital Rights Ireland said it is commencing a mass action to sue the social media giant and urged users to investigate whether their details have been leaked.

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