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.

Hoard of Cash Lets Qaddafi Extend Fight Against Rebels
James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, The New York Times | Hoard of Cash Lets Qaddafi Extend Fight Against Rebels | March 10, 2011

The Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi has “tens of billions” in cash secretly hidden away in Tripoli, allowing him to prolong his fight against rebel forces despite an international freeze on many of the Libyan government’s assets, according to American and other intelligence officials...

A Glow in the Desert
Penelope Green, The New York Times | A Glow in the Desert | March 9, 2011

YOou won’t find directions to the Field Lab, a homestead two and a half miles off Highway 118, deep in the West Texas desert and 30 miles or so from the Mexican border, on MapQuest. But John Wells, who built the place and lives there all by himself, will meet you under a highway billboard in his white Toyota pickup and lead you in, accompanied by a cloud of tenacious Fizzle Flat dust. (He might even offer you dinner: a plate of red beans, rice and broccoli, and a tangy slice of homemade cheese, olive and beer bread, cooked all afternoon in his solar oven.)...

Libyan Rebels Set Back In Key City By Qaddafi Forces' Assault
Kareen Fahim and David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times | Libyan Rebels Set Back In Key City By Qaddafi Forces' Assault | March 8, 2011

Forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi seemed to be gathering momentum as they renewed their onslaught on both the eastern and western fronts on Tuesday, threatening the western city of Zawiyah and conducting airstrikes here in the east after taunting rebels with flyovers and bombing runs near this coastal city’s oil refinery...

On International Women's Day, Honoring A Woman Who Told The World About Rape In Congo
Enough Project Team, Christian Science Monitor blog | On International Women's Day, Honoring A Woman Who Told The World About Rape In Congo | March 8, 2011

March 8 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. To commemorate the achievements and ongoing challenges women face in some of the world’s most devastating conflicts, Enough is publishing profiles each day this week of women doing exceptional work to end atrocities and support survivors in Congo, Sudan, and LRA-affected territory...

Who Wants a Pre-Owned Shuttle? Everyone.
Kenneth Chang, The New York Times | Who Wants a Pre-Owned Shuttle? Everyone. | March 8, 2011

Condition: 27 years old, 150 million miles traveled, somewhat dinged but well maintained.

Price: $0.

Dealer preparation and destination charges: $28.8 million.

So, does anyone want to buy a used space shuttle?

Yes, it turns out...

Gaddafi Forces Mount Fierce Counterattack: Witnesses Describe 'Massacre' In City Under Siege
Leila Fadel and Anthony Faiola, Washington Post Foreign Service | Gaddafi Forces Mount Fierce Counterattack | March 5, 2011

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi escalated their fiercest counterattack yet against the opposition Saturday, laying violent siege to a rebel enclave in the strategic western port city of Zawiyah...

The Disposable Woman
Anna Holmes, The New York Times Op Ed | The Disposable Woman | March 4, 2011

FORTY-THREE minutes into his “special live edition” with Charlie Sheen on Monday night, Piers Morgan finally got around to asking his guest a real question. Before that, Mr. Morgan and Mr. Sheen had mostly traded chuckles and anecdotes about multiday benders, inflated network salaries and meet-ups in Aspen, Colo. But then, after three commercial breaks, Mr. Morgan inquired, “Have you ever hit a woman?”...

Harvard To Let ROTC Back On Campus
Jay Lindsay, Associated Press | Harvard To Let ROTC Back On Campus | March 4, 2011

Harvard University is welcoming the Reserve Officer Training Corps program back to campus after a four-decade banishment caused by dissent over the Vietnam War and disagreement on military policy toward gays...

Libyan Rebels Are Said To Repulse Government Attack
Kareen Fahim and David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times | Libyan Rebels Are Said To Repulse Government Attack | March 2, 2011

In a fierce day-long battle, rebel forces in this strategic oil town successfully repelled an attack on Wednesday by government loyalists backed by artillery and war planes, witnesses in the town said. At least six were confirmed dead and 16 wounded in the fighting, the witnesses said, and the death toll was expected to rise...

Covert Operations: The Billionaire Brothers Who Are Waging A War Against Obama

On May 17th, a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company’s upcoming season, and had given many millions before that. Koch received an award while flanked by two of the gala’s co-chairs, Blaine Trump, in a peach-colored gown, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, in emerald green. Kennedy’s mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, had been a patron of the ballet and, coincidentally, the previous owner of a Fifth Avenue apartment that Koch had bought, in 1995, and then sold, eleven years later, for thirty-two million dollars, having found it too small...