Daily Briefing

Deep buzz for the content-deprived

Every weekday, while you get showered and dressed, we pluck these dewy- fresh, breaking stories from the info-clogged byways of the datasphere. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and stoke up on everything you need to know, or at least enough to fake it.

Seeds Of Doubt
Michael Specter, The New Yorker | Seeds Of Doubt | August 18, 2014

...Shiva’s fiery opposition to globalization and to the use of genetically modified crops has made her a hero to anti-G.M.O. activists everywhere. The purpose of the trip through Europe, she had told me a few weeks earlier, was to focus attention there on “the voices of those who want their agriculture to be free of poison and G.M.O.s.”

Amazon's Russell Grandinetti: Kindle Champ Takes On The Books Trade
Edward Helmore, The Observer | Grandinetti vs. Publishers | August 18, 2014

Why are some of the world's most widely read authors now at daggers drawn with Amazon? The answer lies in Jeff Bezos's chief lieutenant, now the most powerful man in publishing...

The Guardian
The Guardian | August 1, 2014
Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor | August 1, 2014
PBS Newshour
PBS Newshour | August 1, 2014
Downsizing The War: Layoffs And Yardsales In Afghanistan
Nick Willard, The Daily Beast | Downsizing The War In Afghanistan | August 1, 2014

The signs of a dying war are everywhere in Afghanistan. An officer serving there reports on the layoffs and yard sales that mark the strange last days of American's longest war.

On July 8, a suicide bomber killed four Czech soldiers, two Afghan security forces, and at least 12 civilians a few miles outside Bagram Airfield. The bombing left another Czech soldier and eight others wounded. The U.N. reported that at least 10 of those killed, and six of the wounded, were children. The base called for blood donors, and the line of volunteers wrapped around the building within minutes...

Research Plan On Bear Bile Medicine Is Hailed By Animal Activists
Shaojie Huang, The New York Times | Synthetic Bear Bile | August 1, 2014

China’s leading producer of bear bile pharmaceuticals says it is searching for synthetic alternatives, a move hailed by animal welfare advocates.

Bear bile, an ingredient prized in traditional Chinese medicine, is harvested from caged live bears through tubes inserted into their gall bladders, a practice animals welfare activists decry as cruel. About 10,000 bears are kept in bile farms in China...

The Abortion Ministry Of Dr. Willie Parker
John H. Richardson, Esquire Magazine | Abortion Ministry | July 31, 2014

In Mississippi, there is only one clinic where a woman can go if she needs an abortion. The state is trying to close it down. At that clinic. there is a doctor who tends to the needs of these women, and he has to fly in from out of state to do it. There is no shutting him down...

Positively Un-American Tax Dodges
Allan Sloan, Fortune Magazine | Un-American Tax Dodges | July 31, 2014

Bigtime companies are moving their "headquarters" overseas to dodge billions in taxes... That means the rest of us pay their share.



Second-Chance Med School
Amenmona Hartocollis, The New York Times | Second Chance Med School | July 31, 2014

Sitting around an outdoor table at the Red Crab, a restaurant on the tropical island of Grenada festooned with palm trees and fiery bougainvillea, a dozen aspiring doctors bashfully conceded that they had been, at best, near misses when it came to getting into medical school in the United States.

Many of them had not earned A’s in college physics and organic chemistry. Many had tried other careers first — among them were a talent scout, a ballerina, a pianist and an engineer. And some had come tantalizingly close to the prize...