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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.

Ryan Is Republican Point Man
Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal | Ryan Is Republican Point Man | January 25, 2011

When Rep. Paul Ryan delivers the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, many viewers will get their first look at a man whom GOP leaders are trusting to manage a central policy issue—how to cut the federal budget—that could shape the party's image for years. While unknown to most Americans, Mr. Ryan, 40 years old, has established himself as a leading conservative thinker on federal spending, shaped in part by his early work for supply-side icon Jack Kemp...

The Palestine Papers
Seumas Milne and Ian Black, The Guardian | The Palestine Papers | January 24, 2011

The biggest leak of confidential documents in the history of the Middle East conflict has revealed that Palestinian negotiators secretly agreed to accept Israel's annexation of all but one of the settlements built illegally in occupied East Jerusalem. This unprecedented proposal was one of a string of concessions that will cause shockwaves among Palestinians and in the wider Arab world...

The Understudy Takes the Stage at Apple
Miquel Helft, The New York Times | The Understudy Takes the Stage at Apple | January 24, 2011

On an 18-hour flight from California to Singapore a few years ago, Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer, had little time for small talk with a colleague. Glued to his business class seat, Mr. Cook had his nose in spreadsheets, preparing for a thorough review of Apple’s Asian operations. The two landed at 6 a.m., took time to shower and headed into a meeting with Apple’s local executives. Twelve hours later, and well past dinnertime, the local executives were ready to call it quits. “They were absolutely exhausted,” said Michael Janes, the Apple executive who accompanied Mr. Cook. “Tim was not. He was ready to jump to the next slide and the next slide after that. He is absolutely relentless.”...

Job Candidates Who Made a Strong Impression, But the Wrong Impression
Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post | Job Candidates Who Made a Strong Impression | January 23, 2011

One would think that in an economy where unemployment is high, applicants for the precious few job openings would be on their best behavior. But many people just can't help but show their true selves, even when so much is at stake, according to a new nationwide CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,400 hiring managers. The managers reported some of the really outrageous actions of job candidates. Can we just take this opportunity to shake off our economic blues to have a laugh at the way some job applicants behave? They won't know...

Don't Look Back
Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker | Don't Look Back | January 22, 2011

Darrell Issa, the congressman about to make life more difficult for President Obama, has had some troubles of his own...

F.B.I. and Police Arrest More Than 100 in Mob Sweep
William K. Rashbaum, The New York Times | Mob Sweep | January 20, 2011

In a blanket assault against seven mob families in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, the F.B.I. and local authorities began arresting close to 130 people on Thursday on charges including murder, racketeering and extortion, federal law enforcement officials said...

Sargent Shriver's America
Adam Clymer, The Daily Beast | Sargent Shriver's America | January 20, 2011

Robert Sargent Shriver did more than any other New Frontiersman to heed his brother-in-law's famous call: "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." In the Peace Corps and then the War on Poverty, he led thousands of Americans in taking up that challenge...

The Chinese Mom Backlash
Melinda Liu, Newsweek | The Chinese Mom Backlash | January 20, 2011

“Chinese moms” in China aren’t raising superior kids, actually. U.S. author Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother—and The Wall Street Journal extract of her memoir headlined “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior”—has sparked huge debate inside China. But the response from what should surely be the Wild Kingdom of “tiger moms” might surprise you...

Joe Lieberman Retiring From the Senate
Howard Kurtz, The Daily Beasst | Joe Lieberman Retiring From the Senate | January 19, 2011

In the end, Joe Lieberman decided he didn’t need any more tsuris. Not that the Connecticut senator would describe his decision to retire with that Yiddish term. He will offer a more philosophical explanation when he makes the official announcement Wednesday, a move that a Lieberman aide confirmed to The Daily Beast...

Job Creation Seen As Key to China's Investment in U.S.
John Pomfret, The Washington Post | Job Creation Seen as Key to China's Investment in U.S. | January 19, 2011

Ni Pin believes in the United States. He's lived here for almost 20 years. His three children were born here. And, unlike many Americans, he thinks that even in the middle of the Rust Belt, there's hope for manufacturing in this country. Ni runs the U.S. operations of a Chinese company called Wanxiang International, an auto parts giant with worldwide revenue of $8 billion. Over the past decade, Wanxiang America has purchased or invested in more than 20 U.S. firms and now employs more Americans - 5,000 at last count - than any other Chinese company...