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Rapid Reads: 7 Big stories of the day

Ashley Austrew is a freelance writer who loves tacos, Target and screen time. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, The Stir, Mommyish and more.

Richard Dawkins criticizes Ahmed, Volkswagen facing billions in fines and more

Hit the snooze button one too many times this morning? Don't even worry about it because we've got all the news you missed. Here are the top stories everyone will be talking about today:

1. Open the gates

John Kerry announced Sunday that the U.S. will accept 85,000 Syrian refugees in 2016 and another 100,000 in 2017. Kerry made the announcement after meeting with German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is trying to ease the massive influx of migrants and refugees to Germany. The numbers are still far below those of other countries, and Syrians are urging the United States to do more. Kerry says this is the first step and is "in keeping with America's tradition of being a land of second chances and a beacon of hope." — CNN

More: Syrian refugee crisis: 5 Ways we can help

2. Pope Francis: international negotiator

Pope Francis spent the weekend in Cuba trying to convince them that yes, they really should try to be friends with the United States. The Pope played a key role in getting President Obama to lift the trade embargo with Cuba last year, but that hasn't necessarily made things less tense. Removing the trade embargo has hurt Cuba's economy, and they still distrust the U.S. and our political system. Pope Francis urged Cubans to let go of their ideologies and encouraged them to pursue new opportunities open to them as a result of better relations with the U.S. As the first Latin American pope, Francis is extremely influential in the region, but he's been careful not to get too political. He wants to encourage goodwill, not become a politician. — The New York Times

3. Dawkins overboard

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins found himself in trouble over the weekend when he questioned whether Ahmed Mohamed actually invented the clock that got him arrested. Mohamed was arrested and questioned by five police officers after a teacher thought a clock he made was actually a bomb. The arrest sparked national outrage and an outpouring of support, but Dawkins apparently thinks the real issue is whether or not Mohamed made the clock from scratch. In a series of tweets, he asserted that Mohamed simply took an existing alarm clock out of its casing and questioned his motives for doing so, implying that Mohamed deserved to be arrested. The Twitter backlash was swift and Dawkins eventually apologized, but unfortunately for him the internet never forgets. — The Guardian

More: 10 Ways Planned Parenthood is about more than just abortions

4. Riding dirty

Volkswagen is in trouble after regulators discovered that the software in their diesel cars was rigged to lie about emissions. The EPA said on Friday that software in the cars was designed to switch on emissions controls when undergoing an emissions test but to switch those controls off for normal driving. If this is true, Volkswagen could face a penalty of $37,500 for each of the 482,000 vehicles manufactured since 2008 that stand in violation of emissions laws — that would be about $18 billion. Volkswagen shares fell 20 percent this morning and the company has halted the sales of certain U.S. models. Investigations are ongoing, but so far things are not looking good. — CNBC

5. She will be missed

Best-selling novelist Jackie Collins died of breast cancer on Saturday. The author was diagnosed with stage four cancer over six years ago, but disclosed the diagnosis to no one except her children. Collins sold over 500 million copies of her books during her four-decade career and her latest book, The Santangelos, was just released in June. Collins is survived by her brother, her three daughters and six grandchildren. She was 77 years old. — People

6. Down go the sponsorships

Cohosts of The View have quite a mess on their hands after their comments about nurses caused the show to lose multiple big sponsorship deals. Last week, Joy Behar and Michelle Collins angered viewers when they mocked a Miss America contestant for using the talent portion of the competition to do a monologue about her job as a nurse. Nurses struck back with a #nursesunite hashtag that received national attention. On Friday, Eggland's Best and Johnson & Johnson pulled their ads from the show. Now, Party City, McCormick and Snuggle have also joined the ranks. Behar and ABC issued apologies, but so far it doesn't look like anyone is ready to forgive and forget. — Jezebel

More: The View hosts give unconvincing apology for nursing comments (VIDEO)

7. You're fired, Halloween

Donald Trump is getting the Halloween treatment in an unexpected way. Yandy.com, a site known for their off-color costumes, has released a "sexy Donald Trump" costume for the 2015 Halloween season. The costume — called The Donna T. Rumpshaker — comes complete with a blazer, sleeveless collared shirt, a tie and super short shorts. If you want to rock Donald's signature comb-over, the wig is sold separately. The costume retails for $69.95 and I honestly can't think of anything I want to spend my money on less. — Time

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