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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.

9-Year-old 'lured' into alley and murdered, Ben Carson releases 'old school rap' & more

It's the end of the week, but the news never stops. Here are the top stories everyone will be talking about today:

1. Unbelievably heartbreaking

Yesterday a 9-year-old boy in Chicago was shot and killed in what police believe was an intentional, gang-related murder. The boy's father has ties to a gang that's in conflict with another gang in the city, and police think the boy was lured into an alley and executed because of that association. Chicago police superintendent Garry McCarthy called it the "most abhorrent, cowardly, unfathomable crime that I've witnessed in 35 years of policing." They're offering rewards and will even pay to relocate people who have information but are afraid to come forward. — CNN

2. You can't sit with us

The lineup for the next GOP debate has been announced and it excludes Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. The candidates were cut due to low polling numbers, though Christie's exclusion is a big surprise. At one time, he was a serious contender, but a string of scandals paired with Trump blowing his "straight talk" style out of the water has left him struggling to find a place. The next debate will take place on Nov. 10, and hopefully the herd of candidates will start thinning soon after because there are too many cooks in this kitchen. — The New York Times

More: The third GOP debate reenacted by a liberal Democrat

3. Political gridlock

The House passed a $607 billion defense spending bill that includes language that would restrict the closing of the Guantanamo Bay military prison. The bill comes as the White House is weighing plans to shut down the facility. The bill will head to the Senate next, but President Obama has already said he'll veto it if it comes across his desk. The White House has also warned they're not opposed to using an executive order to shut down the prison. — The Hill

4. Saturday night boycott

Donald Trump is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend and lots of people are angry about it. Activists angry at Trump's racist remarks delivered a petition to NBC with more than 500,000 signatures asking them to cancel his appearance. Actor John Leguizamo also threatened to boycott the show if they go through with Trump's appearance. Trump has thrown around terms like "anchor baby" and called immigrants rapists and murderers. Making light of his message and what his campaign stands for is hurtful to hundreds of thousands of people, and it's not hard to see why they're outraged. — Huffington Post

More: Saturday Night Live turns 40: Take the ultimate fan quiz

5. The force is good

Daniel Fleetwood, the terminally ill man who's been campaigning for an early screening of the new Star Wars movie, got his wish yesterday. He got to see an unedited version from the comfort of his own home. The whole thing was the result of a massive online campaign to get directors to let Fleetwood see the movie before he passes away from spindle cell sarcoma, a rare form of connective tissue cancer. Neither Fleetwood nor his wife could say much about the movie, since they're bound by confidentiality agreements, but Fleetwood loved the movie and was thrilled he got to see it. We're so happy for him too! The movie comes out in theaters on Dec. 18. — People

6. Stop it, Ben Carson

Ben Carson is all over the place, and things have gotten even more interesting this week. Earlier in the week, BuzzFeed uncovered a 1998 commencement address by Carson in which he says the Egyptian pyramids were built by Joseph from the Bible to store grain. And yesterday Carson's camp released an "old school rap" ad for his campaign that features his speeches laid over a beat with people yelling "vote" in the background. I'm not sure what's happening here or why he continues to lead in the polls, but I have to say I'm enjoying the fiasco. — Refinery29

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