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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.

Backlash against Syrian refugees, bizarre Word of the Year chosen & more

Full news stories? Ain't nobody got time for that. Instead, try the CliffsNotes version of the top stories everyone will be talking about:

1. Refugee backlash

Yesterday, officials from 27 states said they won't let any Syrian refugees in because of security concerns. Senator Rand Paul even introduced legislation to block visas for refugees from any country with a "terror risk." Only about 1,500 refugees have entered the U.S. so far, but Obama announced in September that we'll open our doors to 10,000 more next year. Ultimately, authority over admitting refugees lies with the federal government, but individual states can make the process more difficult. It's sad when we're so blinded by our own ignorance that we can't see these people are running away from terror, not causing it. — CNN

More: 15 Powerful cartoon tributes following the Paris attacks

2. Teamwork

French President Hollande is hoping to create a single coalition to fight ISIS that involves both the U.S. and Russia. The announcement came yesterday after Hollande extended his country's state of emergency for three months and proclaimed, "France is at war." The U.S. and Russia have been in conflict over the crisis in Syria: Russia supports Syrian president Assad, while we've been arming rebels to fight against both Assad and ISIS. Over the weekend, Obama and Putin met to discuss putting Assad on the back burner and focusing on the common goal of eliminating ISIS. Russia, who's still reeling from the aftermath of a plane crash caused by the terrorist group, should be ready to rumble. — The New York Times

3. Not again

Hundreds of protestors shut down a Michigan highway last night after yet another questionable police shooting. This time it was 24-year-old Jamar Clark who was allegedly shot during a scuffle with police over the weekend. They say he was a suspect in a domestic assault and interfered with paramedics at the scene. Witnesses allege Clark was handcuffed when he was shot. The officers have been placed on paid leave pending an investigation, and protestors are working to get the dash cam footage of the shooting released. Clark is said to be on life support with a single gunshot wound above his eye. — USA Today

More: #BlackLivesMatter cofounders on why the movement is more vital now than ever

4. Peace out

Approximately 1,500 Mormons have submitted their resignations to the Church of Latter-day Saints after the church released a new policy that labels same-sex couples "apostates," or traitors. The policy also bans children of gay couples from being baptized or becoming church members until they're 18 years old and renounce their parents' "sinful" lifestyle. The 1,500 resigning members are doing so in protest, with more expected to follow in a public resignation planned for this weekend. — Refinery29

5. Say what?

Oxford Dictionaries have selected a Word of the Year every year since 2004, but they took everyone by surprise yesterday when they announced this year's word is the "face with tears of joy" emoji. You know the one: It looks like the smiley is laughing so hard it's crying. Casper Grathwohl, the president of Oxford Dictionaries, says the emoji is "flexible, immediate, and infuses tone beautifully," which is all true but does that really mean it counts as a word? Considering some of the other candidates for the prize were "lumbersexual" and "on fleek," I guess it could have been way worse. And, hey — at least it's not the poop emoji. — Newsweek

More: 10 Ways emojis will change your texting for the better

6. Attack of the twisters

Storms that roared across the country last night spawned more than 38 tornadoes across Texas, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. One even destroyed an oil and gas facility in Pampa, Texas, raising concerns about a chemical leak. The good news: No injuries have been reported from the storms. Today, high winds and rain are expected to continue in parts of the South and Midwest, while other areas are expecting snow and blizzard conditions. Weather, we love you, but you need to get your act together. — USA Today

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