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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.

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...

Cairo Protestors Urge Mass Rally on Tuesday
Anthony Shadid and David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times | Cairo Protestors Urge Mass Rally on Tuesday | January 31, 2011

Egyptian opposition groups gathered on Monday for a seventh day in the central Liberation Square, seeking to maintain the momentum of their uprising against President Hosni Mubarak as the army struggled to control a capital seized variously by fears of chaos and euphoria that change may be imminent. Organizers said they were calling for the largest demonstrations yet — a “march of millions” — on Tuesday, seen as an attempt to retake the initiative in the face of a government campaign to cast the uprising as an incubator of lawlessness after several nights of looting...

Mubarak Vows Cabinet Shift But Defends Deploying Army As Revolt Sweeps Egypt
David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Timew | Revolt Sweeps Egypt | January 29, 2011

With police stations and the governing party’s headquarters in flames, and much of this crucial Middle Eastern nation in open revolt, President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt deployed the nation’s military and imposed a near-total blackout on communications to save his authoritarian government of nearly 30 years...

ElBaradei Under House Arrest
Charles Levinson and Matt Bradley, The Wall Street Journal | ElBaradei Under House Arrest | January 28, 2011

Police used unrelenting force, including tear gas, rubber bullets and baton-wielding plainclothes thugs, as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Egypt's capital. Egyptian security officials said Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei is under house arrest, the Associated Press reported...

A Nobel Peace Prize Winner Finds Spiritual Values in Planting Trees
Gregory M. Lamb, The Christian Science Monitor | A Nobel Peace Prize Winner Finds Spiritual Values in Planting Trees | January 28, 2011

On a visit to Japan, Wangari Maathai learned the story of the hummingbird and the forest fire. While the other animals run in fear or hang their heads in despair, the hummingbird flies above the fire time and again, releasing a few drops of water from its tiny beak. "Why do you bother?" the other animals shout at the hummingbird. "I'm doing the best that I can," the hummingbird replies...

Seizing a Moment, Al Jazeera Taps Arab Anger
Robert F. Worth and David D. Kirkpatrick | Al Jazeera Taps Arab Anger | January 28, 2011

The protests rocking the Arab world this week have one thread uniting them: Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based satellite channel whose aggressive coverage has helped propel insurgent emotions from one capital to the next...