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.

Reward For Killer of Rare White Buffalo Upped to $45,000
Marty Sabota, Crime Time | Reward for Killer of Rare White Buffalo Upped to $45,000 | May 8, 2012

The reward has increased ninefold to $45,000 in last week’s deaths of a rare white buffalo, considered sacred by its Lakota Sioux owner, and its mother on a ranch near Greenville.

Lightning Medicine Cloud and his mother, Buffalo Woman, were killed just shy of the white buffalo’s first birthday.

Arby Little Soldier, great-great-great grandson of Sitting Bull and owner/operator of the Lakota Ranch, said Monday that he found the calf slaughtered and skinned April 30 after returning to the North Texas town from an out-of-town trip to Oklahoma City.

"Someone who probably knew we were out of town killed him and stripped the meat," Little Soldier said. "I could tell it was him because of the white hair that was left on the head and tail."...

Read more here: http://blogs.star-telegram.com/crime_time/2012/05/reward-for-killer-of-rare-white-buffalo-upped-to-45000.html#storylink=cpy
'Magnificent' Collection Faces Breakup
Tiffany Alexander, CNN | 'Magnificent' Collection Faces Breakup | May 8, 2012

Nathaniel Montague spent more than 50 of his 84 years chasing history, meticulously collecting rare and one-of-a-kind fragments of America's past. Slave documents. Photographs. Signatures. Recordings.

Montague -- Magnificent Montague, as he's been known since his days as a pioneering radio DJ -- amassed an 8,000-piece collection reflecting names from the well-known to the forgotten to those history never thought to remember. It's valued in the millions; some call it priceless. One assessment of just five of the pieces puts the total value of those treasures alone somewhere between $592,000 and $940,000...

Fear the Zombie Drone
Jefferson Morley, Salon | Fear the Zombie Drone | May 8, 2012

For a sickening moment, disaster loomed over Kabul in August 2004. A surveillance drone operated by the German armed forces was taking pictures over the Afghan capital when a civilian airliner filled the viewfinder of the drone’s camera. The Air Force later concluded the airliner, carrying more than a hundred passengers, missed the German drone by just 170 feet. (The photo could fool you into thinking it missed by about 17 feet.)

That near-miss is a cautionary tale for the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. military and civilian aviation as they seek to open up domestic airspace to unmanned aviation systems... 

The Frequent Flyers Who Flew Too Much
Ken Bensinger, Los Angeles Times | The Frequent Flyers Who Flew Too Much | May 8, 2012

There are frequent fliers, and then there are people like Steven Rothstein and Jacques Vroom. Both men bought tickets that gave them unlimited first-class travel for life on American Airlines. It was almost like owning a fleet of private jets.

Passes in hand, Rothstein and Vroom flew for business. They flew for pleasure. They flew just because they liked being on planes. They bypassed long lines, booked backup itineraries in case the weather turned, and never worried about cancellation fees. Flight crews memorized their names and favorite meals...

The Maturation of the Billionaire Boy-Man
Henry Blodget, New York Magazine | The Maturation of the Billionaire Boy-Man | May 7, 2012

If all goes as planned, Facebook will finally pull the trigger later this month on its long-salivated-over IPO. The deal could value the company in the neighborhood of $100 billion, making founder and CEO Mark Elliot Zuckerberg’s own unusually large stake worth $25 billion. It is a huge sum, even in context. Zuckerberg’s impending fortune is more money than Wal-Mart’s 10,000-plus stores made last year. It’s more than Wall Street paid in bonuses to New Yorkers last year. And it has been amassed in only eight years by a 27-year-old who not long ago passed out business cards reading “I’m CEO, bitch.”...

Supermoon Makes Photographers Go Crazy
Maev Kennedy, The Guardian | Supermoon Makes Photographers Go Crazy | May 7, 2012

With much of the UK swaddled in the traditional bank holiday blanket of rain and even snow clouds, it wasn't the greatest sky watching weekend. However, those fortunate enough to be under clear skies in many countries saw one of the natural world's most spectacular light shows: a supermoon, when the celestial body appears startlingly large and bright as its closest approach to Earth coincides with its fullest phase.

Amateur photographers were out in force across the world; in San Francisco, Ted Judah reported that he was one of 600 photographers jostling for the best view of the moon over the Golden Gate bridge...

Amid Protests, Putin Returns to Presidency in Russia
Ellen Barry, The New York Times | Amid Protests, Putin Returns to Presidency in Russia | May 7, 2012

Vladimir V. Putin reclaimed the Russian presidency under the gold vaulted ceiling of a Kremlin palace on Monday, as the police tried to stamp out a second day of opposition protests in the city, passing on orders to detain anyone wearing a white ribbon...

US Airstrike Kills Senior Al-Qaida Militant Wanted in 2000 Bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen

An airstrike Sunday killed a top al-Qaida leader on the FBI’s most wanted list for his role in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole warship, Yemeni officials said. The drone attack was carried out by the CIA, U.S. officials said.

Fahd al-Quso was hit by a missile as he stepped out of his vehicle, along with another al-Qaida operative in the southern Shabwa province, Yemeni military officials said. They were speaking on condition of anonymity in accordance with military regulations...

Goodbye To A Beastie Boy
Mary Elizabeth Williams, Salon | Goodbye To A Beastie Boy | May 5, 2012

With the death of Adam Yauch, music loses a generational touchstone -- and an endlessly irreverent wit...

Can the United States Build a Foreign Army?
Owen West, Slate | Can the United States Build a Foreign Army? | May 5, 2012

This article is the first of three excerpts drawn from Owen West's book, The Snake Eaters: An Unlikely Band of Brothers and the Battle for the Soul of Iraq...