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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.

US 'No-Fly' List of Suspected Terrorists Doubles In 12 Months

The size of the US government's secret list of suspected terrorists who are banned from flying to or within the country has more than doubled in the past year.

The no-fly list jumped from about 10,000 known or suspected terrorists one year ago to about 21,000, according to government figures. About 500 are US nationals...

Philippine Officials Say Raid Killed Militants
Floyd Whaley, The New York Times | Philippine Officials Say Raid Killed Militants | February 3, 2012

Philippine military officials said Thursday that an early-morning raid had killed one of the top leaders of a regional terrorist network with links to Al Qaeda, as well as other senior terrorism suspects wanted by the United States...

Note to Christo: Don't Start Hanging the Fabric Yet
Kirk Johnson, The New York Times | Note to Christo: Don't Start Hanging the Fabric Yet | February 2, 2012

The shouting isn't over for "Over the River." The $50 million project by the artist Christo, who hopes to drape nearly six miles of the Arkansas River here in southern Colorado with suspended bank-to-bank fabric, received approval from federal land managers late last year. But on Wednesday, a new battlefield emerged in law and local politics: in Denver, opponents filed a federal lawsuit aiming to block construction, which Christo had hoped to begin this summer...

Beware the Facebook Hype: Investors Encourage Company's Insane IPO
Dan Lyons, The Daily Beast | Beware the Facebook Hype: Investors Encourage Company's Insane IPO | February 2, 2012

Facebook is expected to announce its IPO registration Wednesday, and is rumored to be seeking a valuation of $100 billion. That’s more than half of Google’s market value, which stands at $188 billion. But Facebook brings in only one 10th the revenues that Google does. So how can it possibly be worth half as much as Google?...

The Last Don: Remembering the Conductor of "Soul Train"
Ben Greenman, The New Yorker | The Last Don: Remembering the Conductor of "Soul Train" | February 2, 2012

Don Cornelius, who died earlier today, apparently by suicide (early reports say “self-inflicted gunshot wound”), was one of the giants of American music, though he never played a note. As a Chicago-radio newsman and d.j. in the sixties, Cornelius maintained a sideline in concert promotion, and when he was offered an opportunity to bring his soul-music package tours (or, if you’d prefer, soul trains) to television, he jumped at it...

State For Sale
Jane Mayer, The New Yorker | State For sale | January 30, 2012

A conservative multimillionaire has taken control in North Carolina, one of 2012's top battlegrounds...

Out of Afghanistan: Incredible Stories of the boys Who Walked To Europe
Caroline Brothers, The Guardian | Out of Afghanistan: Incredible Stories of the Boys Who Walked to Europe | January 30, 2012

Behind the security bars of a spartan, white-tiled room, 25 youths are arranging bedrolls on the floor. The workers on the Salvation Army nightshift, who watch over these lone foreign teenagers in a shelter in a gritty corner of Paris, are distributing sheets and sleeping bags; there are a couple of boys from Mali and a contingent of Bangladeshis; the rest have travelled overland, by every conceivable method, from Afghanistan...

The Bookstore's Last Stand
Julie Bosman, The New York Times | The Bookstore's Last Stand | January 30, 2012

In March 2009, an eternity ago in Silicon Valley, a small team of engineers here was in a big hurry to rethink the future of books. Not the paper-and-ink books that have been around since the days of Gutenberg, the ones that the doomsayers proclaim — with glee or dread — will go the way of vinyl records. No, the engineers were instead fixated on the forces that are upending the way books are published, sold, bought and read: e-books and e-readers. Working in secret, behind an unmarked door in a former bread bakery, they rushed to build a device...

Blue Marble 2012: NASA Releases High Definition Image Of Earth
Huffington Post Science | Blue Marble 2012: NASA Releases High Definition Image Of Earth | January 27, 2012

NASA on Wednesday released "Blue Marble 2012," a view of the home planet that the agency calls the "most amazing high definition image of Earth."...

Dirty Money
Matthew Yglesias, Slate | Dirty Money | January 27, 2012

The astonishing new data showing that simply eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies could achieve half the world's carbon reduction goals...