Today's Takeaway | January 7, 2013

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Monday, January 07, 2013

Syria Death Toll Climbs to a Conservative 60,000 | More Journalists Are Being Killed in Action | An Ad Agency Rethinks Publishing | A Teachable Moment in Steubenville, Ohio | "Reportero" Tells the Story of Journalists Who Risk Their Lives in Mexico

Obama Picks C.I.A. Chief, Secretary of Defense

President Obama is set to announce two high-profile nominations today. The president is expected to nominate John O. Brennan, his counterterrorism advisor, to lead the C.I.A. The president will also nominate Chuck Hagel, the former Republican senator from Nebraska, as secretary of defense. David Sanger is following the nominations for our partner The New York Times.

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Syria Death Toll Climbs to At Least 60,000

According to the most recent report from U.N. data specialists, nearly 60,000 people have died in the fighting in Syria, and that number may be a gross undercount. Lara Setrakian is a journalist and the founder of Syria Deeply, a news website that covers the Syrian Civil War.

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Predicting the Top Risks for 2013

One week into 2013, and many pundits have already released their predictions for the top stories of the new year. Some are predictable, such as the likely political fight over the debt ceiling in March, but others are unexpected, just as few anticipated that 2011 would have seen such rapid change across the Middle East and North Africa. Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, is an expert at predicting the unexpected. Today, the Eurasia Group releases its report on the top risks to watch in 2013, with a number of surprising results.

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Google C.E.O. Travels to North Korea

Google's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt arrived in Pyongyang, North Korea today. He's in the country as part of a private delegation led by Bill Richardson, former governor of New Mexico. Karin Lee, the executive director of the National Committee on North Korea, explains what Schmidt and Richardson will be doing.

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An Ad Agency Rethinks Publishing

In the brave new landscape of Kindles, iPads and eBooks, a new initiative from a decades-old ad agency is trying to shake up the publishing world. Nick Barham and Jake Dockter are the brains behind Sharp Stuff, a storytelling initiative from the ad agency Wieden + Kennedy. Their first publication is called "American Dreamers," a collection of essays that look ahead. 

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Ohio Case Offers a Teachable Moment About Rape

The case of a teenage girl gang-raped at a party in Steubenville, Ohio shocked much of America, but national attention directed toward Steubenville won't solve America's sexual assault problem in a day. How can the culture around sexual violence in this country change? And how can we better educate the youth in order to change it? Vicki Banyard, professor of psychology at the University of New Hampshire, says the first step toward any real change has to be a commitment to talk about sexual behavior openly.

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'Reportero' Tells the Story of Journalists Who Risk Their Lives in Mexico

The Committee to Protect Journalists estimates that 48 journalists have been killed or kidnapped in Mexico between 2006 and 2011. In a new point-of-view-style documentary airing on PBS stations tonight, filmmaker Bernardo Ruiz follows the story of a Mexican newspaper and its brave editorial team which is moving forward with its mission despite direct attacks on its own staff and reporters.

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