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.

Bingo In Swansea: Maya Arulpragasam's World
Sasha Frere-Jones, The New Yorker | Bingo In Swansea: Maya Arulpragasam's World | February 6, 2012

"World music" is a category that does nobody any favors. Entirely disparate performers, like the dapper Brazilian singer-songwriter Caetano Veloso and the African blues guitarist Ali Farka Toure, get lumped together in American record stores simply because they don’t sing exclusively in English. Also, European and American pop have saturated the world to such an extent that Kylie Minogue and Tupac are now more world music than, say, the Malian singer Oumou Sangare. Finally, most of what you find in the world-music section tends toward the gentle, melodious, and uplifting, as if the world were that way...

After U.N. Veto, U.S. Floats Coalition on Syria
USA Today | After U.N. Veto, U.S. Floats Coaltion on Syria | February 6, 2012

The United States proposed an international coalition to support Syria's opposition Sunday after Russia and China blocked a U.N. attempt to end nearly 11 months of bloodshed, raising fears that violence will escalate. Rebel soldiers said force was now the only way to oust President Bashar Assad, while the regime vowed to press its military crackdown...

Newt Gingrich Campaign Offers Detailed Plan to Carry On
Amy Gardner, The Washington Post | Newt Gingrich Campaign Offers Detailed Plan to Carry On | February 6, 2012

In a meeting room at the Palazzo hotel here over the past week, Newt Gingrich mapped out a detailed strategy that would keep him in the presidential race all the way to the Republican convention in August.

The crux of the former House speaker’s new plan is math: a complex analysis of each state’s delegates, how they’re awarded and how many, reasonably, Gingrich can expect to win...

In Afghan War, Officer Becomes a Whistle-Blower
Scott Shane, The New York Times | In Afghan War, Officer Becomes a Whistle-Blower | February 6, 2012

On his second yearlong deployment to Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Daniel L. Davis traveled 9,000 miles, patrolled with American troops in eight provinces and returned in October of last year with a fervent conviction that the war was going disastrously and that senior military leaders had not leveled with the American public...

Ben Greenman, The New Yorker | Wager | February 4, 2012

The big game was on the horizon, and, as was customary, the governor of the Eastern Seaboard state put up a crate of the local delicacy, a seafood, and his West Coast counterpart responded by staking a case of his state’s finest wine. The wager between the two governors was reported widely in the papers, and the men even scheduled a joint appearance on a morning television program to discuss it...

Most Fattening Super Bowl Snacks: Pizza, Wings, and Potato Chips

Nearly 46 million pounds of potato chips, 1.25 billion chicken wings, and 10 million slices of pizza will be part of this year’s Super Bowl Sunday festivities. But just as we have proven before, not all goodies are the same when it comes to a calories-and-fat-per-bite ratio...

Beli-chic: Is Bill Belichick Quietly the NFL's Best Dressed Coach?

It's been a rough half-decade for Bill Belichick. In 2007, a video-taping scandal tarnished the silver on his three Lombardi trophies. In 2008, a devastating Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants robbed him of a perfect season. His two most recent campaigns have ended with playoff losses at Gillette Stadium, where his Patriots had once been virtually unbeatable. 

Despite these setbacks, however, Belichick enters Super Bowl XLVI with one distinction unchallenged: He is the National Football League's best-dressed coach...

Super Bowl Tackles Web Piracy
Jennifer Martinez, Politico | Super Bowl Tackles Web Piracy | February 3, 2012

Three days before the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, federal authorities are throwing down the penalty flag at websites that illegally live stream sports telecasts and hawk knockoff Tom Brady jerseys...

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...