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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.

How I Learned the Secret Rule of Grief
Sheila M. Trask, Salon | How I Learned the Secret Rule of Grief | August 8, 2011

After I lost my family, I refused to believe how long it would take to heal. Now I see the wisdom in that number...

Plenty of Good Seats Still Available: The Collapse of the Sports Ticket Bubble

A few months ago, it seemed like Major League Baseball was in the throes of a ticket apocalypse. Through the first two weeks of the season, six teams had set all-time single-game lows at their current homes. The surprising Cleveland Indians led the American League Central in the standings, but remained in the cellar at the turnstiles. The New York Yankees, whose ultrapricey new stadium has been beset by empty seats since it opened in 2009, hosted record-low crowds for four games in a row. It was as if fans, having quietly absorbed more than a decade of price hikes and the advent of $9 beers, had spontaneously decided to go on strike...

Cat Fight at U.S. Embassy in Kabul
Joshua Partlow, The Washington Post | Cat Fight at U.S. Embassy in Kabul | August 4, 2011

Veteran diplomat Ryan C. Crocker can handle Islamist insurgencies, hostile heads of state and management of some of the world’s largest embassies. But what’s he going to do about the cats?...

UN Council Condemns Use of Force by Syria
Al Jazeera | UN Council Condemns Use of Force by Syria | August 4, 2011

UN Security Council envoys have issued a statement condemning human rights violations and use of force against civilians by the Syrian government, amid a tank attack on Hama, a city of 800,000 residents...

Mubarak Spectacle Captivates the Middle East
Rick Gladstone | Mubarak Spectacle Captivates the Middle East | August 4, 2011

Hosni Mubarak’s televised trial transformed Egypt and much of the Middle East into a vast living room on Wednesday, with millions of viewers, from the shops of Amman and Jerusalem to the hovels of impoverished Yemen, mesmerized by the live broadcasts of a once-unthinkable spectacle beamed from a Cairo court...

Getting Bin Laden: What Happened That Night in Abbottabad
Nicholas Schmidle, The New Yorker | Getting Bin Laden: What Happened That Night in Abbottabad | August 1, 2011

Shortly after eleven o'clock on the night of May 1st, two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters lifted off from Jalalabad Air Field, in eastern Afghanistan, and embarked on a covert mission into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden....

Media Blackout in China After Wreck
Sharon LaFraniere, The New York Times | Media Blackout in China After Wreck | August 1, 2011

After days of growing public fury over last month’s high-speed train crash and the government’s reaction, Chinese authorities have enacted a virtual news blackout on the disaster except for positive stories or information officially released by the government...

Rapic, Cheap HIV Test Finds Success...
Christian Torres, The Washington Post | Rapid, Cheap HIV Test Finds Success... | August 1, 2011

The first field trial for a “lab on a chip” accurately detected both HIV and syphilis among a Rwandan population, researchers reported Sunday...

Obama and Leaders Reach Debt Deal
Carl Hulse and Helene Cooper, The New York Times | Obama and Leaders Reach Debt Deal | August 1, 2011

President Obama and Congressional leaders of both parties said late Sunday that they had agreed to a framework for a budget deal that would cut trillions of dollars in federal spending over the next decade and clear the way for an increase in the government’s borrowing limit...

The Boehner Trap
Michael Tomasky | The Boehner Trap | July 29, 2011

Don’t worry about the House’s failure to vote on John Boehner’s debt plan Thursday night. That’s Boehner’s problem, not the country’s. True, I suppose we should devote a moment to reflecting on how terrible it’s gotten when a speaker with a lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union of 94 can’t pass a bill in his own party because he and it are “too left wing.”...