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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.

Guatemalans Spend a Night on Watch, After Six Earthquakes Hit in Single Day
Nic Wirtz, The Christian Science Monitor | Guatemalans spend a Night on Watch, After Six Earthquakes Hit in Single Day | September 20, 2011

Six earthquakes hit the tiny Central American nation of Guatemala Monday, killing at least three people...

Don't Ask Don't Tell: Marriages, Coming Out Mark the Occasion
Elizabeth Flock, The Washington Post | Don't Ask Don't Tell: Marriages, Coming Out Mark the Occasion | September 20, 2011

After years of debate, the military can no longer prevent gays from serving openly in its ranks as of this morning at 12:01 a.m. EDT. For the first time, troops can publicly reveal they’re gay without fear of official retribution. Those troops who were discharged under the ban are being encourage to reenlist. And the Defense Department says it will have no tolerance for anti-gay behavior....

Huge Defunct Satellite Falling to Earth Faster Than Expected, NASA Says

NASA space junk experts have refined the forecast for the anticipated death plunge of a giant satellite, with the U.S. space agency now predicting the 6 1/2-ton climate probe will plummet to Earth around Sept. 23, a day earlier than previously reported...

GOP Faces Omnibus Headache
Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan, Politico | GOP Faces Omnibus Headache | September 19, 2011

House Republicans have backed themselves into a corner: How do they keep the government open and pass year-end spending bills without wrapping them all into a monstrous omnibus bill — just the kind that conservatives despise and Speaker John Boehner himself slammed when Democrats ran the House?...

Obama's Tax Gauntlet
Zachary Karabell, The Daily Beast | Obama's Tax Gauntlet | September 19, 2011

The Republicans are crying "class warfare," but the president is pledging to fight for Warren Buffett's proposal that millionaires should pay higher taxes -- and he just might win...

Ron Paul the Unlikely Star of State GOP Convention
Carla Marinucci, San Francisco Chronicle | Paul the Unlikely Star of State GOP Convention | September 18, 2011

At California's usually staid GOP state convention, hundreds of unlikely Republican activists - many sporting porkpie hats, dreadlocks and tie-dyed shirts - lined up Saturday to cast ballots in the party straw poll, then jammed meeting rooms and hallways to ecstatically greet their favorite candidate. "President Paul! President Paul!" they chanted...

In South China Sea, a Dispute Over Energy
Andrew Higgins, The Washington Post | In South China Sea, A Dispute Over Energy | September 18, 2011

When China’s largest offshore petroleum producer launched a $1 billion oil rig this summer from Shanghai, Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, the commander of Philippine military forces 1,500 miles away in the South China Sea, began preparing for trouble.

The drilling platform, said China, would soon be heading in the general’s direction — southward into waters rich in oil and natural gas, and also in volatile fuel for potential conflict...

Gaddafi Loyalists Stage Desperate Defence in Stronghold of Sirte
Chris Stephen, The Guardian | Gaddafi Loyalists Stage Desperate Defence in Stronghold of Sirte | September 18, 2011

The three rockets came out of a blue sky with a sound something between a howl and a hiss, exploding with harsh, dry detonations on the far side of the hill from the rebel field hospital outside Sirte...

Rick Perry Is George W. Bush 2.0
Meghan McCain, The Daily Beast | Rick Perry Is George W. Bush 2.0 | September 17, 2011

When the initial buzz about Rick Perry started getting louder and louder this summer, I asked a friend of mine, who is a longtime veteran of Republican politics, what I should expect from the Texas governor who was trying to become our party's next nominee for president. The response was quick and to the point: “Rick Perry is George Bush on crack, just wait.” So far, I don't necessarily agree that Rick Perry is George Bush on crack, but he could definitely be described as George Bush 2.0...

Libya Counts More Martyrs Than Bodies
Rod Nordland, The New York Times | Libya Counts More Martyrs Than Bodies | September 17, 2011

Officially, according to Libya’s new leaders, their martyrs in the struggle against the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi should number 30,000 to 50,000, not even counting their enemies who have fallen. Yet in the country’s morgues, the war dead registered from both sides in each area so far are mostly in the hundreds, not the thousands...