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.

Two Who Perished Too Early Get Their Due From Cal Poly Pomona
Kurt Streeter, The Los Angeles Times | Two Who Perished Too Early Get Their Due From Cal Poly Pomona | October 2, 2012

They were the best of friends, a trio of college seniors just weeks shy of graduating from Cal Poly Pomona and bursting into the world.

First there would be a celebratory trip to Las Vegas.

A flight on a small plane was arranged, and Frank Brandt couldn't wait to take it.

Then he got sick. Terribly sick. It hit hard enough that he told Dennis Midas and Michael Young to go on their own.

Hours later, on a dark tarmac at Ontario airport, Midas and Young boarded a single-engine Piper PA-28. It wasn't long after takeoff before the plane hit sleet, ice and gusting wind, not long before it plunged into the ground near Lake Arrowhead...

Send Bin Laden The Bill: Dakota Meyer On His Return From Afghanistan
Dakota Meyer, The Daily Beast | Send Bin Laden The Bill: Dakota Meyer On His Return From Afghanistan | October 2, 2012

For his bravery at the battle of Ganjigal in eastern Afghanistan, Dakota Meyer became the first living Marine in three decades to receive the Medal of Honor. In an excerpt from Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War, co-written with Bing West, he recalls his tough transition back home to Kentucky...


Daystar, TBN Ready For Messiah In Jerusalem
Edmund Sanders, The Los Angeles Times | Daystar, TBN Ready For Messiah In Jerusalem | October 1, 2012

If the Messiah descends from the Mount of Olives as foretold in the Bible, America's two biggest Christian broadcasters are well-positioned to cover it live thanks to recent acquisitions of adjacent Jerusalem studios on a hill overlooking the Old City.

Texas-based Daystar Television Network already beams a 24-hour-a-day live webcam from its terrace. Not to be outdone, Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network last month bought the building next door...

Arafat To Be Exhumed
Natasha Lennard, Salon | Arafat To Be Exhumed | October 1, 2012

Since his death in 2004, rumors have circulated about the cause of former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s passing. Now, eight years later, his body will be exhumed from its guarded compound in Ramallah and tested to put to rest or confirm suspicions that Arafat was poisoned by Mossad agents.

The medical report, written in 2004 by attending French doctors, noted “a stroke after suffering from a blood disorder” as cause of death. However, when Arafat’s personal belongings were later examined, an elevated amount of polonium-210 was detected — the same substance linked to former Russian spy, Alexander Litvinenko’s death in 2006...

Report: 90 Percent Of Americans To Face Higher Taxes If Congress Doesn't Act On Fiscal Cliff

Nearly 90 percent of Americans would face higher taxes next year if Congress permits the nation to hurtle over the “fiscal cliff,” the year-end precipice of tax hikes and spending cuts that threatens to throw the nation back into recession.

A study published Monday by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center finds that taxes would go up by a collective $536 billion next year, or about $3,500 per household, reducing after-tax income by about 6.2 percent...

The Legacy Of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Publisher And CEO Of The New York Times
Howard Kurtz, The Daily Beast | The Legacy Of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Publisher And CEO Of The New York Times | September 29, 2012

It is probably not much of an overstatement to say that Arthur Ochs Sulzberger saved The New York Times.

Sulzberger, who died Saturday at 86, was a behind-the-scenes eminence who quietly guided the nation’s premiere newspaper through a turbulent period. He was a throwback to an earlier era, when men—they were almost always men—treated a newspaper as a public trust (which is, of course, easier to do when your family controls the voting stock)...

Gospel Brunch Becomes A Sunday Staple In D.C.
Chris Richards, The Washington Post | Gospel Brunch Becomes A Staple In D.C. | September 29, 2012

If you want some God with your grits, plan to show up around 9 a.m.

That’s when the line starts forming for the first of two gospel brunches held each Sunday at the Hamilton, a nightclub that opened in December in the shell of a shuttered Borders bookstore on 14th and F streets NW.

Queues used to wrap around this corner in the name of Harry Potter. Now, the Sunday morning scrum includes churchgoers, church skippers, extended families and hung-over tourists, all eager to hear a choir deliver the good news while the assembled deliver waffles to their bellies...

Arctic Sea Ice Settles At Record Seasonal Minimum
National Snow & Ice Data Center | Arctic Sea Ice Extenet Settles At Record Seasonal Minimum | September 29, 2012

On September 16, Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its minimum extent for the year of 3.41 million square kilometers (1.32 million square miles). This is the lowest seasonal minimum extent in the satellite record since 1979 and reinforces the long-term downward trend in Arctic ice extent. The sea ice extent will now begin its seasonal increase through autumn and winter...Please note that this is a preliminary announcement...

Spies Like Us: We're All Big Brother Now
Cord Jefferson, Gizmodo | Spies Like Us: We're All Big Brother Now | September 27, 2012

Mitt Romney's presidential campaign took a tumble last week with the release of a hidden-camera video recorded at a fundraiser in Florida. In it, Romney dismisses nearly half the country in a set of statements some pundits are calling the worst things a modern presidential candidate has ever said.

The words—boneheaded, indiscreet, and un-presidential—might not have been such a huge a problem if not for a saboteur recording what the candidate said. As our gadgets shrink in size and expand in capability, the opportunity to shoot amateur video is becoming as ubiquitous as the devices themselves. Welcome to the future, where an average $200 smartphone can derail a billion-dollar presidential campaign...

From Video To Terrorist Attack: A Definitive Timeline Of Administration Statements On The Libya Attack

In any kind of confused overseas event, initial reports are often wrong. But the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including the ambassador, is a case study of how an administration can carefully keep the focus as long as possible on one storyline — and then turn on a dime when it is no longer tenable...