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Rapid Reads: 8 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.

South Carolina experiencing historic floods, Vatican fires gay priest & more big news

Hit the snooze button one too many times this morning? That's OK because we've got the CliffsNotes version of all the news you missed. Here are the top stories everyone will be talking about:

1. This is one record we could've gone without setting

Over the weekend, South Carolina experienced historic flooding that has left at least five people dead. Homes and businesses were flooded to their rooftops in what's being called the "1,000-year rain" because the chances of that much rain falling in any one place in a given year are 1 in 1,000. In some cities, 18 or more inches of rain fell in just 24 hours. Many are without power or access to clean water, and to make matters worse, more rain is expected today. — CNN

More: Driving safely during storm surges and floods

2. Just awful

A Doctors Without Borders hospital was blown up by an apparent U.S. air strike in the Afghan city of Kunduz this weekend. Ten patients and 12 staff members were killed, and President Obama is demanding a full account of what happened. The U.S. military say the strike was called in to help Special Forces under fire near the hospital, but Doctors Without Borders say there was no fighting going on anywhere near the hospital. They called the air strike a "war crime" and are demanding an independent investigation. — The New York Times

3. Tragedy strikes

A landslide in Guatemala has killed at least 131 people, and more than 300 are still missing. On Thursday night, the towering side of a hill broke loose after heavy rains and buried the town of El Cambray. People have been using shovels and their bare hands to try to dig people out. Despite the combined efforts of 1,800 rescue workers, no survivors have been found. — Reuters

4. Take me out to the ball game

Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer made history this weekend when he became the sixth pitcher in Major League Baseball history to throw two no-hitters in a single season. He threw 109 pitches and struck out 17 New York Mets. The last pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a season was Roy Halladay in 2010. Before that, it was Nolan Ryan in 1973. This just doesn't happen that often. The Nationals haven't had a great season, but Scherzer's performance is truly remarkable. — ESPN

More: This ultimate beer and baseball food chart is a dream come true

5. Textbook fail

Textbook publisher McGraw-Hill will change one of their textbooks after a mom complained that the text made light of slavery. A freshman-level world geography textbook contains a passage that refers to slaves as "migrant workers." Other passages talk about "immigration patterns" of slaves and seem to equate them with indentured European workers who came to America willingly. Following viral outrage, McGraw-Hill has promised updates that paint a more accurate picture of the horrors of slavery in America. — TIME

More: Kindle launches textbook rentals

6. So much for love thy neighbor

A Polish priest who served at the Vatican will be stripped of his duties after coming out as gay. Monsignor Krzysztof Olaf Charamsa came out at a news conference on Saturday and asked the Church to revise its stance on homosexuality. Vatican officials called his timing irresponsible, as the announcement came right before a major annual meeting of bishops from around the world and created "undue media attention." They also said Charasma will "certainly be unable to carry out his previous work in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith." In other words, he's fired. Not cool at all. — CNN

7. Holiday deals already

If you've been waiting for a good time to book your holiday travel, this week might be it. According to Orbitz, holiday travel fare is cheapest the week of Oct. 5, with the lowest prices happening on the 12th. It might seem a little early, but our local Target already has Christmas decor in stock, so the holidays will be here before we know it. If you have to spend them with extended family you can't stand, at least make sure you get a good deal on plane tickets. — USA Today

More: Our best tips for stress-free holiday travel

8. Is this really necessary?

Hasbro has announced four more Transformers movies, just in case the first four weren't enough for you. Numbers five, six, seven and eight will be directed by Michael Bay and released over the next 10 years. Bay formerly tweeted that he wasn't slated to be involved in the fifth Transformers movie, but it seems they've managed to rope him in. So far, the Transformers movies haven't really lived up to their potential. It will be interesting to see if the next four get better. — Entertainment Weekly

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