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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.

'First Grandma' Embraces Life in D.C.
Amie Parnes, Politico | 'First Grandma' Embraces Life in D.C. | September 12, 2011

When Marian Robinson moved to Washington more than two and a half years ago, she wasn’t exactly measuring the drapes of her spacious third-floor quarters and looking to stay. She planned to get the first family settled and most likely return to her quiet Chicago life, far from the spotlight of the White House, which she likened to sleeping in a museum.

But the “first grandmother” appears to have gotten over her reluctance, embracing her famous address while maintaining a low-visibility lifestyle, those who know the first family say...

Report Details Rose of Social Media
Stuart Elliott, The New York Times | Report Details Rise of Social Media | September 12, 2011

The Nielsen Company, which has long provided such information about the traditional media, is seeking to become a go-to source of data for new media, too...

The Terrible Missed Chance
Philip Shenon, The Daily Beast | The Terrible Missed Chance | September 11, 2011

Credible terror threats put New York and Washington on highest alert the day before 9/11's tenth anniversary. Exclusive interviews show how the FBI bungled its final opportunity to prevent tragedy the first time...

At Pentagon, No Words Will Fill Void
Elisabeth Bumiller, The New York Times | At Pentagon, No Words Will Fill Void | September 11, 2011

“No memorial, no ceremony, no words will ever fill the void left in your hearts by their loss,” Mr. Biden said...

A Day That Stands Alone in History
James Barron, The New York Times | A Day That Stands Alone in History | September 11, 2011

Just as Sept. 11 was unthinkable, Sunday was inevitable: the 10th anniversary of a day that stands alone. In history. In memory...

Israel Evacuates Ambassador to Egypt After Embassy Attack
David Batty and agencies, The Guardian | Israel Evacuates Ambassador to Egypt After Embassy Attack | September 10, 2011

A senior Egyptian official says at least three people died and more than 1,000 were hurt during street clashes with police and army troops after an angry mob attacked the embassy building...

How 9/11's Sense of Purpose Gave Way to Partisan Divisions
Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post | How 9/11's Sense of Purpose Gave Way to Partisan Divisions | September 10, 2011

It seems almost impossible to imagine in today’s overheated, hyperpartisan environment. But there was a brief time in the weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 , 2001, when congressional leaders of the two parties regarded one another not only as trustworthy allies but also as indispensable partners...

In Afghanistan, 'Unbelievable Force of Life'
The New York Times | In Afghanistan, 'Unbelievable Force of Life' | September 10, 2011

Nobody wanted to tell this story. Images from Afghanistan are always related to military action. But if you want to understand what went wrong in Afghanistan, you have to be a little more focused on the Afghan people. I wanted to show that life goes on every day — that people have hope and dreams like everywhere else...

Mideast's Changing View of America
Randall Lane, The Daily Beast | Mideast's Changing View of America | September 9, 2011

To understand America’s current standing in the Arab world 10 years after 9/11, it’s instructive to visit Obros, a coffeehouse-cum-nightclub in Beirut. The place is a tribute to Kennedy-era “American kitsch,” and its 35-year-old proprietor Joulan El Aschkar displays a sophisticated touch, from Pierre Cardin–period wallpaper to Mad Men–worthy vintage furniture and electronics to 100 gigabytes of forgotten '60s hits like B. J. Thomas’s “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head,” rotating with fully intended irony...

Divining Perry's Meaning on Galileo Remark
Henry Fountain, The New York Times | Divining Perry's Meaning on Galileo Remark | September 9, 2011

In one of the more curious moments in the Republican debate on Wednesday night, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas invoked 17th-century science in discussing his doubts about climate change. He cited the astronomer and mathematician Galileo Galilei — often called the father of modern science — in suggesting that the current thinking that climate change is a result of human activity could be overturned. “Galileo got outvoted for a spell,” he said...