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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.

Jerry Dammers: How I Made 'Free Nelson Mandela'
Jerry Dammers, The Guardian | Jerry Dammers: How I Made 'Free Nelson Mandela' | December 10, 2013

Jerry Dammers on how a kid from Coventry who had never heard of Nelson Mandela ended up writing a global hit that became the anti-apartheid anthem...

Myrtilla Miner: Teaching 'Colored Girls' To Teach
Denise Oliver Velez, Daily Kos | Myrtilla Miner: Teaching 'Colored Girls' To Teach | December 9, 2013

Far too many of the women who made a difference in our entwined histories—white and black—are forgotten or overlooked. One such woman was Myrtilla Miner....

Quips Follow Denver Post's Naming Of Marijuana Editor, But Its Intent Is Serious
Christine Haughney, The New York Times | Quips Follow Denver Post's Naming Of Marijuana Editor, But Its Intent Is Serious | December 9, 2013

Newspaper editors typically operate behind the scenes, overseeing reporters inside the newsroom and outside the spotlight.

But since Ricardo Baca was named the marijuana editor of The Denver Post last month, he has been celebrated across the globe. He has appeared on CNN and “The Colbert Report.” Long-lost high school acquaintances have surfaced, with one inviting him to his friend’s basement for a smoke. Emails have flooded in from freelancers and readers, offering up their expertise on the subject matter...

Christo Brand, Nelson Mandela's Jailer, Mourns His Death
Andrew Meldrum and Fazlur Phillips, The Huffington Post | Christo Brand, Nelson Mandela's Jailer, Mourns His Death | December 9, 2013

He was with Nelson Mandela during all those years the anti-apartheid icon was imprisoned on Robben Island. And, like millions around the world, he has been hit hard by Mandela's death.

Yet this South African was not one of Mandela's fellow prisoners. Christo Brand was his jailer.

The two men — the black political prisoner and the white Afrikaans warden — forged an unlikely but enduring friendship....

Nelson Mandela Saved My Life
Kennedy Odede, CNN | Nelson Mandela Saved My Life | December 6, 2013

I had many conversations with Nelson Mandela, although I had not met him.

In my family's tiny shack in Nairobi's Kibera slum, my one-way exchanges with the great man kept me going. Mandela survived 27 years of prison; maybe I would make it out, too.

Mandela became South Africa's first black president in 1994, when I was 10 years old. In Kibera, people celebrated and talk circulated the streets about this man, but I didn't see how his story connected to mine until much later. I was struggling too hard simply to survive...

Bono Honors The Man Who Could Not Cry
Bono, Time Magazine | Bono Honors The Man Who Could Not Cry | December 6, 2013

As an activist I have pretty much been doing what Nelson Mandela tells me since I was a teenager. He has been a forceful presence in my life going back to 1979, when U2 made its first anti-apartheid effort. And he’s been a big part of the Irish consciousness even longer than that. Irish people related all too easily to the subjugation of ethnic majorities. From our point of view, the question as to how bloody South Africa would have to get on its long road to freedom was not abstract...

Don't Sanitize Nelson Mandela: He's Honored Now, But Was Hated Then
Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast | Don't Sanitize Nelson Mandela: He's Honored Now, But Was Hated Then | December 6, 2013

Now that he’s dead, and can cause no more trouble, Nelson Mandela is being mourned across the ideological spectrum as a saint. But not long ago, in Washington’s highest circles, he was considered an enemy of the United States. Unless we remember why, we won’t truly honor his legacy.

In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan placed Mandela’s African National Congress on America’s official list of “terrorist” groups. In 1985, then-Congressman Dick Cheney voted against a resolution urging that he be released from jail...

When I Met Mandela
Magogodi Makhene, Salon | When I Met Mandela | December 5, 2013

I was a child. He was an old man. But he held the promise of an unborn nation...

The Don Draper Of Pot
Caleb Hannan, The Daily Beast | The Don Draper Of Pot | December 4, 2013

So what happened to turn marijuana legalization from stoner fantasy to political reality?...Meet the man who's making marijuana mainstream...

This Man Was Shocked When His Chimpanzee Sued Him
Jacqui Goddard, The Daily Beast | This Man Was Shocked When His Chimpanzee Sued Him | December 3, 2013

In a string of landmark cases to be filed this week, four chimpanzees will fight for the right to retire to sanctuaries. Could dolphins be next on the docket?...