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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.

The Repentant Radical
Michael Moynihan, The Daily Beast | The Repentant Radicao | September 17, 2013

After a Danish newspaper published cartoons satirizing the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, Ahmed Akkari spearheaded protests that ultimately cost the lives of 200 people. Now he says he's sorry. Michael Moynihan on what changed Akkari's mind.

 

A Single Girl's Guide To Finding Love In Kabul
Jamieson Lesko, World News on NBCNews.com | A Single Girl's Guide To Finding Love In Kabul | September 16, 2013

Think it's hard to find Mr. Right in a big city like New York or Los Angeles? Try Kabul, where it's considered a crime for a woman to be seen in public with a man she is not engaged, married or related to.

The stakes are shockingly high and the reality harsh: most girls born in Afghanistan will be married off as teenagers to men they are either related to or have never met. If a woman dares to spend time with a man privately, she could end up in jail, charged with the moral crime of "intending to have pre-marital sex."...

Chicken Is Killing The Planet
Deena Shanker. Salon | Chicken Is Killing The Planet | September 16, 2013

Earlier this month, while you were busy sneaking out of your empty office, hoping nobody would notice your starting the holiday weekend early, the USDA was also doing something it was hoping nobody would notice. It was green-lighting the sale of Chinese processed American chicken.  As Politico explained, “U.S. officials have given the thumbs-up to four Chinese poultry plants, paving the way for the country to send processed chicken to American markets.” But while, “at first, China will only be able to process chicken that has been slaughtered in the U.S. or other certified countries,” that should not be a comfort to fans of the McNugget, Campbell’s chicken soup, or any other processed chicken product...

Enslaved Connecticut Man Honored, Buried 215 Years Too Late
Ed Stannard, New Haven Register | Enslaved Connecticut Man Honored, Buried 215 Years Too Late | September 16, 2013

The man called Fortune, who worked as a slave for a Waterbury doctor and then, after his death, was misused as a medical model, was given his ultimate freedom Thursday, his life celebrated by state and church and his bodily remains put to rest...Fortune was 58 when he died in 1798 by drowning in the Naugatuck River — probably an accident but no one really knows...

Dining With Al Qaeda
Anna Therese Day, The Daily Beast | Dining With Al Qaeda | September 13, 2013

An American reporter in Syria sits down to talk to four Western-educated, radical jihadists about the war and what they think Washington should do.

I knocked over my tea. The explosion outside the house in northern Syria startled me. But the Pakistani, the Kuwaiti, and the two Saudi fighters breaking the Ramadan fast with me seemed unperturbed. "You wouldn't be so scared in you had allah, anna!" one of them said...

I knocked over my tea. The explosion outside the house in northern Syria startled me. But the Pakistani, the Kuwaiti, and the two Saudi fighters breaking the Ramadan fast with me seemed unperturbed. “You wouldn’t be so scared if you had Allah, Anna!” one of them said. - See more at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/13/dining-with-al-qaeda.html#sthash.StANHGiE.dpuf
The Patriarchy Is Dead: Feminists, Accept It.
Hanna Rosin, Slate | The Patriarchy Is Dead: Feminists, Accept It. | September 12, 2013

You would think that a book called The End of Men would be, prima facie, an insult to men. But one of the great surprises I’ve had while speaking about the book over the last year is how little resistance I have gotten from the aggrieved sex. Yes, I’ve been to a forum or two where dude-bros from the men’s rights movement accuse me of destroying American manhood. But most of the resistance to the idea that men have ceased to be the dominant sex has come from women—not from working-class women, who seem to find what I’m describing painfully familiar, if not totally obvious, but from women in the college, professional class...

How We Got From 9/11 To Massive NSA Spying On Americans: A Timeline
AJ Vicens, Dave Gilson and Alex Park, Mother Jones | How We Got From 9/11 To Massive NSA Spying On Americans: A Timeline | September 12, 2013

Recent news reports exposed how the National Security Agency has been collecting millions of Americans' phone data and online communications. Here's how we got from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 to the massive domestic spying operations of today...

I 'Got Snatched': Daniel McGowan's Bizarre Trip Through America's Prison System
Matt Sledge, The Huffington Post | I 'Got Snatched': Daniel McGowan's Bizarre Trip Through America's Prison System | September 12, 2013

...Forty-two prisoners are currently in the CMU at Marion. Another 43 are in a similar facility in Terre Haute, Ind., that was built two years earlier. The special units were developed as part of the federal government's crackdown on terrorism following 9/11. Particularly after Lynne Stewart, the former defense attorney for the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman, was convicted in 2005 of covertly sending messages to her client's followers in Egypt, the Bureau of Prisons was determined to create a new form of incarceration to monitor inmates' every contact with the outside world. When the CMUs were first opened, nearly all of their inmates were Muslim men....

The Falling Man
Tom Junod, Esquire | The Falling Man | September 11, 2013

In the picture, he departs from this earth like an arrow. Although he has not chosen his fate, he appears to have, in his last instants of life, embraced it. If he were not falling, he might very well be flying. He appears relaxed, hurtling through the air. He appears comfortable in the grip of unimaginable motion. He does not appear intimidated by gravity's divine suction or by what awaits him. His arms are by his side, only slightly outriggered. His left leg is bent at the knee, almost casually. His white shirt, or jacket, or frock, is billowing free of his black pants. His black high-tops are still on his feet. In all the other pictures, the people who did what he did -- who jumped -- appear to be struggling against horrific discrepancies of scale. They are made puny by the backdrop of the towers, which loom like colossi, and then by the event itself. Some of them are shirtless; their shoes fly off as they flail and fall; they look confused, as though trying to swim down the side of a mountain. The man in the picture, by contrast, is perfectly vertical, and so is in accord with the lines of the buildings behind him. He splits them, bisects them: Everything to the left of him in the picture is the North Tower; everything to the right, the South. Though oblivious to the geometric balance he has achieved, he is the essential element in the creation of a new flag, a banner composed entirely of steel bars shining in the sun. Some people who look at the picture see stoicism, willpower, a portrait of resignation; others see something else -- something discordant and therefore terrible: freedom...

The First Victim Of Sept. 11
Molly Knight Raskin, Slate | The First Victim Of Sept. 11 | September 11, 2013

He was likely the first person killed, but his influence was felt that entire terrible dayt -- online.

This essay is adapted from No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet, by Molly Knight Raskin, out now from Da Capo Press.

Just before 8 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 11 took off from Boston's Logan Airport. Bound nonstop for Los Angeles, the flight was just one of more than 40,000 scheduled to crisscross the country that day. The plane was partially full -- 81 passengers, nine crewmembers, and two pilots. Many of its passengers were traveling for work on the daily flight, including 31-year-old Internet entrepreneur Danny Lewin...