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Rapid Reads: 6 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.

People makes radical call for gun control, California women get equal pay & more

It's almost Friday, but we're not quite there yet. While you're waiting, occupy yourself by catching up on some current events. Here are the top stories everyone will be talking about:

1. You go, People

Yesterday People magazine published a letter from their editor, Jess Cagle, urging Americans to contact their legislators about gun control. They also published the phone numbers, addresses and Twitter handles of all 535 U.S. legislators. The move was totally unexpected but a very welcome gesture. Last week, nine people were killed in a shooting at an Oregon community college. This week, an 8-year-old was allegedly shot and killed by her 11-year-old neighbor because she wouldn't let him see her puppies. It's time to do something about guns. — People

More: America's gun problem in 7 startling images

2. Let's all move to California

California is on a roll. Earlier this week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing physician-assisted suicide. Now, he's signed a historic equal pay law that mandates equal wages for women who perform "substantially similar work" to their male counterparts in the same company. The law also makes it OK to openly discuss and compare pay rates without fear of retaliation from management. Equality, you will be ours. — Los Angeles Times

3. Boehner 2.0

Republican representatives will gather in a closed-door meeting today to nominate a new Speaker of the House to replace John Boehner. Favored to win is Kevin McCarthy, the current House majority leader, but Representatives Daniel Webster and Jason Chaffetz are also in the running. Whoever wins the nomination will need 218 votes on the House floor to be elected. They'll also need a phone number for whoever does Boehner's spray tans because we're going to miss his brilliant orange glow. — USA Today

More: John Boehner's retirement shocker: His career by the numbers

4. Twitter fail

Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch posted a controversial tweet last night that's making headlines. He wrote, "Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black president who can properly address the racial divide? And much else." Say what? Murdoch's use of the word "real" set off a firestorm, with many wondering if he was questioning Obama's race and identity. Murdoch is the owner of Fox News and a hefty portfolio of other brands. Using his considerable influence to say ridiculous things and promote bad ideas is kind of his thing. — CNN

5. Speed racer

Castrol, a division of BP, claims they've made a major breakthrough in oil changes. They're expected to announce today a new motor oil system design that makes oil changes take 90 seconds. The new system has to be introduced in the design phase, so it won't be available to the public for a few more years. They also claim it offers some environmental benefits by lowering carbon emissions while the car is driving. Can we please just make all cars electric, already? — USA Today

More: Taking care of your car — a year at a glance

6. Rock gods

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced their 2016 nominees, which include big names like Janet Jackson, The Cars, Chaka Khan, Chicago, The Smiths and Nine Inch Nails. The inductees will be decided by votes from 800 artists, historians and music professionals. This time around, fans also get a vote. The top five nominees as voted by fans will go onto a "fan ballot" that counts as a single official vote. Winners will be announced in December. — Rolling Stone

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