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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.

Gospel Brunch Becomes A Sunday Staple In D.C.
Chris Richards, The Washington Post | Gospel Brunch Becomes A Staple In D.C. | September 29, 2012

If you want some God with your grits, plan to show up around 9 a.m.

That’s when the line starts forming for the first of two gospel brunches held each Sunday at the Hamilton, a nightclub that opened in December in the shell of a shuttered Borders bookstore on 14th and F streets NW.

Queues used to wrap around this corner in the name of Harry Potter. Now, the Sunday morning scrum includes churchgoers, church skippers, extended families and hung-over tourists, all eager to hear a choir deliver the good news while the assembled deliver waffles to their bellies...

Arctic Sea Ice Settles At Record Seasonal Minimum
National Snow & Ice Data Center | Arctic Sea Ice Extenet Settles At Record Seasonal Minimum | September 29, 2012

On September 16, Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its minimum extent for the year of 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles). This is the lowest seasonal minimum extent in the satellite record since 1979 and reinforces the long-term downward trend in Arctic ice extent. The sea ice extent will now begin its seasonal increase through autumn and winter...Please note that this is a preliminary announcement...

Spies Like Us: We're All Big Brother Now
Cord Jefferson, Gizmodo | Spies Like Us: We're All Big Brother Now | September 27, 2012

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign took a tumble last week with the release of a hidden-camera video recorded at a fundraiser in Florida. In it, Romney dismisses nearly half the country in a set of statements some pundits are calling the worst things a modern presidential candidate has ever said.

The words—boneheaded, indiscreet, and un-presidential—might not have been such a huge a problem if not for a saboteur recording what the candidate said. As our gadgets shrink in size and expand in capability, the opportunity to shoot amateur video is becoming as ubiquitous as the devices themselves. Welcome to the future, where an average $200 smartphone can derail a billion-dollar presidential campaign...

From Video To Terrorist Attack: A Definitive Timeline Of Administration Statements On The Libya Attack

In any kind of confused overseas event, initial reports are often wrong. But the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including the ambassador, is a case study of how an administration can carefully keep the focus as long as possible on one storyline — and then turn on a dime when it is no longer tenable...

Guilford Native Gets Second Chance At MLB
LeAnne Gendreau, NBC Connecticut | Guildford Native Gets Second Chance At MLB | September 27, 2012

Adam Greenberg’s major league baseball dream came true on July 9, 2005 and ended moments later when he was hit in the head by a 92-per-mile per hour pitch.

But after a nationwide push, the 31-year-old Guilford native is getting one more chance. It will be with the Miami Marlins, the team he was batting against when he was hit. The team was then the Florida Marlins.

Greenberg, who now lives in Branford, spoke exclusively with the Today Show on Thursday and has been offered a one-day contract to play for the Marlins on Tuesday, Oct. 2 against the New York Mets...

Scientists Create New Element
Clara Moskowitz, CBS News | Scientists Create New Element | September 26, 2012

Scientists in Japan think they've finally created the elusive element 113, one of the missing items on the periodic table of elements.

Element 113 is an atom with 113 protons in its nucleus -- a type of matter that must be created inside a laboratory because it is not found naturally on Earth. Heavier and heavier synthetic elements have been created over the years, with the most massive one being element 118, temporarily named ununoctium.

But element 113 has been stubbornly hard to create...

When You Hear 'Taliban,' Do You Think 'Poetry' ?
Al Kamen, The Washington Post | When You Hear 'Taliban,' Do You Think 'Poetry' ? | September 25, 2012

A book that shouldn’t be missed! It’s “Poetry of the Taliban,” a slim volume hailed by scholars and diplomats as “an essential work” for anyone who wants a better understanding of what makes the Taliban tick.

The book, compiled by writers and researchers Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn and recently published by Columbia University Press, purports to show another side of the infamous bearded beheaders.

The collection “goes beyond humanizing the Taliban toward understanding them,” says a jacket blurb by Harvard’s Michael Semple , a former deputy European Union representative in Afghanistan.

“Anyone claiming to be an Afghan expert should read this book before giving their next opinion,” writes novelist Mohammed Hanif , author of “A Case of Exploding Mangoes.”...

Worldwide Pork Shortage Predicted
British National Pig Association | Worldwide Pork Shortage Predicted | September 25, 2012

A world shortage of pork and bacon next year is now unavoidable, says Britain's National Pig Association. But British supermarkets can protect consumers from shortages and steep price rises if they pay Britain's loss-making pig farmers a fair price, to help them remain in production.

New data shows the European Union pig herd is declining at a significant rate, and this is a trend that is being mirrored around the world. Pig farmers have been plunged into loss by high pig-feed costs, caused by the global failure of maize and soya harvests...

Benghazi Anti-Militia Protest: Libyans March Against Armed Groups After U.S. Embassy Attack

Hundreds of protesters angry over last week's killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya stormed the compound of the Islamic extremist militia suspected in the attack, evicting militiamen and setting fire to their building Friday.

In an unprecedented show of public anger at Libya's rampant militias, the crowd overwhelmed the compound of the Ansar al-Shariah Brigade in the center of the eastern city of Benghazi.

Ansar al-Shariah fighters initially fired in the air to disperse the crowd, but eventually abandoned the site with their weapons and vehicles after it was overrun by waves of protesters shouting "No to militias."...

On Richard Thompson And Cul De Sac
R.C. Harvey, The Comics Journal | On Richard Thompson And Cul De Sac | September 24, 2012

Richard Thompson, the creator of Cul de Sac, is reluctantly retiring from daily comic stripping, effective in September. The last Cul de Sac will be published on Sunday, September 23. Lee Salem, speaking for Thompson’s syndicate, Universal Uclick, explained in a letter to subscribing newspapers:

On September 9, 2007, the remarkable talent of Richard Thompson hit the newspaper pages in the comic strip Cul de Sac. The buzz began even before the strip debuted; Bill Watterson emerged from his retirement to praise the strip’s writing, artwork and imagination. In May, 2011, Richard received the Reuben, the Cartoonist of the Year award from the National Cartoonists Society, an amazing achievement in so short a time. But the last year has been a struggle for Richard. Parkinson’s Disease, first diagnosed in 2009, has so weakened him that he is unable to meet the demands of a comic strip. For a time, he worked with another artist, but the deadlines became too much of a task. So it is with personal and professional sadness that I inform you he has decided to end Cul de Sac.

In accompanying notes and in a subsequent interview with ComicRiffs’ Michael Cavna, Thompson added some details...