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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.

Cairo Protests Make Chinese Censors Nervous
Reshma Patil, Hindustan Times | Cairo Protests Make Chinese Censors Nervous | February 4, 2011

The online censors stepped in when comparisons between Cairo's Tahrir Square and Tiananmen Square began spreading on popular Chinese microblogs. This week, a search typed in the Chinese characters for Egypt was blocked on China's microblogging service Sina Weibo, which has over 50 million users. A search for Egypt leads to a terse statement: according to relevant laws, regulations and policies, the search results are not shown'. Asked about the online censorship at a media briefing on Tuesday, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei replied in one sentence: "The Chinese Internet is open."...

As Islamist Group Rises, Its Intentions Are Clear
Scott Shane, The New York Times | As Islamist Group Rises, Its Intentions Are Clear | February 4, 2011

After maintaining a low profile in protests led largely by secular young Egyptians, the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition force, appeared to be taking a more assertive role on Thursday, issuing a statement asking for President Hosni Mubarak to step aside for a transitional government...

Foreign Journalists Targeted In Egypt Rage: An Inside Look
Kristen Chick, The Christian Science Monitor | Journalists Targeted In Egypt Rage | February 4, 2011

The Egyptian government launched an all-out attack on foreign and domestic journalists Thursday, detaining, beating, and harassing those trying to cover the violence unleashed on peaceful democracy protesters...

Arab World Faces Its Uncertain Future
Anthony Shadid, The New York Times | Arab World Faces Its Uncertain Future | February 3, 2011

The future of the Arab world, perched between revolt and the contempt of a crumbling order, was fought for in the streets of downtown Cairo on Wednesday...

Clashes Erupt in Cairo Between Mubarak's Allies and Foes
Anthony Shadid, David D. Kirkpatrick and Kareem Fahim, The New York Times | Clashes Erupt in Cairo | February 2, 2011

President Obama’s calls for a rapid transition to a new order in Egypt seemed eclipsed on Wednesday as a choreographed surge of thousands of people chanting support for the Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak fought running battles with a larger number of antigovernment protesters in and around Cairo’s Tahrir Square...

Mubarak Says He Won't Run for President Again
David D. Kirkpatric and Mark Landler, The New York Times | Mubarak Says He Won't Run for President Again | February 1, 2011

President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt said he would not run for another term as president of Egypt. His decision came after President Obama told the embattled president of Egypt, that he should not run for another term in elections scheduled for the fall, effectively withdrawing American support for its closest Arab ally, according to American diplomats in Cairo and Washington. Mr. Mubarak issued the statement on Tuesday evening, saying it was necessary for the stbility of the nation...

Middle East Geography Quiz
Jacob Turcotte, The Christian Science Monitor | Middle East Geography Quiz | February 1, 2011

The Middle East has long been a major center of human affairs. Located at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, and Asia, the Middle East was home to the world's earliest civilizations and is the spiritual center of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Yezidi, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and the Bahá'í Faith. Do you have a good enough understanding of the Greater Middle East to complete this geography quiz?...

Larry Page's Google 3.0
Brad Stone, Bloomberg Businessweek | Larry Page's Google 3.0 | February 1, 2011

Every Monday afternoon at the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif., more than a dozen of Google's (GOOG) top executives gather in the company's boardroom. The weekly meeting, known as Execute, was launched last summer with a specific mission: to get the near-sovereign leaders of Google's far-flung product groups into a single room and harmonize their disparate initiatives...

Julian Assange Compares Wikileaks to US Founding Fathers
Peter Hutchison, The Telegraph | Julian Assange Compares Wikileaks to US Founding Fathers | January 31, 2011

In a CBS interview with 60 Minutes aired on Sunday night Mr Assange, who is currently under US criminal investigation over the leaking of hundreds of thousands of secret military reports and diplomatic cables, also denied that he was motivated by a dislike of America. Our founding values are those of the US revolution,” Mr Assange told Steve Kroft. “They are those of people like [Thomas] Jefferson and [James] Madison," he added...

El Shaheed: The Mysterious "Anonymous" Behind Egypt's Revolt
Mike Giglio, The Daily Beast | Egypt's Facebook Rebel | January 31, 2011

Iran’s Green Revolution had a martyr named Neda, a 26-year-old woman gunned down in the streets of Tehran. Tunisia’s was Mohamed Bouazizi, an unemployed university graduate who set himself ablaze outside a government building. Egypt’s is Khaled Said—because someone has been agitating under the dead man’s name...