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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.

Fatah and Hamas Announce Outline of Deal
Ethan Bronner and Isabel Kershner, The New York Times | Fatah and Hamas Announce Outline of Deal | April 28, 2011

The two main Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas, announced Wednesday that they were putting aside years of bitter rivalry to create an interim unity government and hold elections within a year, a surprise move that promised to reshape the diplomatic landscape of the Middle East. The deal, brokered in secret talks by the caretaker Egyptian government, was announced at a news conference in Cairo where the two negotiators referred to each side as brothers and declared a new chapter in the Palestinian struggle for independence...

Hollywood Confronts the Last Taboo
Chris Lee, The Daily Beast | Hollywood Confronts the Last Taboo | April 27, 2011

From HBO's Game of Thrones to the recently released Your Highness, the male appendage is taking the spotlight on screen. In this week's Newsweek, Chris Lee looks at why so many acgtors are dropping their pants. Plus, see 12 clips of stars dropping trou...

Friendster to Erase Early Posts and Old Photos
Jenna Wortham, The New York Times | Friendster to Erase Early Posts and Old Photos | April 27, 2011

Long before there was a Facebook, or even a MySpace, there was Friendster, a Web site that gave many people their first taste of the socially networked world to come. Friendster, which started in 2003, has long been eclipsed by younger, more nimble rivals, turning into something of a ghost town. But on Tuesday, its current owners told users of plans to change its business strategy — and to wipe out the site’s trove of digital memories, including ancient dorm-room photos, late-night blog entries and heartfelt friend endorsements, known as “testimonials.”...

Culture of Complicity Tied to Stricken Nuclear Plant
Norimitsu Onishi and Ken Belson, The New York Times | http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/27/world/asia/27collusion.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha2 | April 27, 2011

Given the fierce insularity of Japan’s nuclear industry, it was perhaps fitting that an outsider exposed the most serious safety cover-up in the history of Japanese nuclear power. It took place at Fukushima Daiichi, the plant that Japan has been struggling to get under control since last month’s earthquake and tsunami. In 2000, Kei Sugaoka, a Japanese-American nuclear inspector who had done work for General Electric at Daiichi, told Japan’s main nuclear regulator about a cracked steam dryer that he believed was being concealed. If exposed, the revelations could have forced the operator, Tokyo Electric Power, to do what utilities least want to do: undertake costly repairs...

 

What's Left of the Left: Paul Krugman's Lonely Crusade
Benjamin Wallace-Wells, New York Magazine | What's Left of the Left: Paul Krugman's Lonely Crusade | April 26, 2011

...For the first two years of the Obama administration, Krugman has been building, in his columns and on his blog, not just a critique of this presidency but something grander and more expansively detailed, something closer to an alternate architecture for what Obamaism might be. The project has remade Krugman’s public image, as if he had spent years becoming a chemically isolate form of himself—first a moderate, then an anti-Bush partisan, and now the leading exponent of a kind of liberal purism against which the compromises of the White House might be judged...

In Dossier, Portrait of Push for Post-9/11 Attacks
Scott Shane and Banjamin Weiser, The New York Times | In Dossier, Portrait of Push for Post-9/11 Attacks | April 26, 2011

He peers out from the photo in the classified file through heavy-framed spectacles, an owlish face with a graying beard and a half-smile. Saifullah Paracha, a successful businessman and for years a New York travel agent, appears to be the oldest of the 172 prisoners still held at the Guantánamo Bay prison. His dossier is among the most chilling...

A Short History of the F-Bomb
John Leo | A Short History of the F-Bomb | April 26, 2011

A professor's email retort to campus Republicans set off a scandal in Iowa this week. John Leo on the latest in America's long line of f-bomb detonations...

Predators Need Editors

Now that NATO is using unmanned aerial vehicles to destroy Libyan artillery—now that drones are a mainstream global weapon—it's time to clear up a misconception about them. Drones aren't robots. They're remotely piloted by humans. And our challenge is to keep it that way...

The Guantanamo Docket: A History of the Detainee Population

Documents and research related to the 779 people who have been sent to the Guantanamo Bay prison since 2002...

Royal Wedding: Route & Guest List
The Sun | Royal Wedding: Route & Guest List | April 25, 2011

With just four days to go, The sun gives you the lowdown on Friday's Royal Wedding at Westminster Abbey...