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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.

Worldwide travel alert issued for U.S. citizens, Ford recalls half a million vehicles & more

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

1. Safety first

The State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert for the first time in a year, warning travelers of terroristic threats from ISIS, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and other militant groups. These alerts aren't usually based on credible intelligence, but this time officials say terrorist groups are believed to be planning attacks "in multiple regions." The alert warns travelers to exercise caution throughout the holiday travel season, including avoiding large crowds and cooperating with beefed up security screenings. The alert expires Feb. 24. Please stay safe out there. — NBC News

More: Social media safety tips when traveling

2. So scary

Last night five people were shot near a Black Lives Matter protest for Jamar Clark in Minneapolis. Clark was recently shot by police under questionable circumstances and protestors are calling for an investigation. The five wounded demonstrators were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. A media contact for Black Lives Matter says the shooters were from a group of white supremacists who've shown up as a counter-protest for the past few nights. The attackers fled after firing multiple shots and police have yet to make any arrests. — Minneapolis Star Tribune

3. Car trouble

Ford has issued a recall for half a million vehicles over concerns about a faulty fuel pump. The recall affects Ford Fusions and Mercury Milans manufactured in 2010 and 2011. Apparently the fuel tank's canister purge valve is defective and can cause internal fuel tank pressure changes. No accidents, injuries or fires have been reported from the defect, but Ford is issuing a recall out of an abundance of caution. If you drive one of these vehicles, make sure to get it checked out before that big holiday road trip! — CNN Money

More: How clean is the inside of your car? (VIDEO)

4. Bye bye

Elisabeth Hasselbeck announced she's leaving Fox And Friends to spend more time with her family. The news comes just a week after controversial comments regarding Syrian refugees, in which she urged President Obama to embrace "good-natured bigotry" in turning people away. She also came under fire in September for calling Black Lives Matter a "hate group." We can't exactly say we're sad to see such hateful views leaving the airwaves. — People

5. They are the champions (so far)

The Golden State Warriors are about to make history. If they beat the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, they will have the best start to a season ever, with a 16-0 record. If they win tonight, people will be watching for them to go all the way and beat the 1996 Bulls' record of 72 wins in a season. The Lakers haven't been playing particularly well and they've lost to the Warriors at home several times, so the odds are in Golden State's favor. Either way, the Warriors are having a great season and it will be exciting to see where they go from here. — USA Today

More: 11 Cute dogs that love basketball season

6. A devastating loss

One of the world's four remaining northern white rhinos has died. The San Diego Zoo was forced to euthanize the rhino after her health deteriorated following a bacterial infection. The rhino underwent surgery to drain an abscess on Nov. 13, but her health continued to deteriorate and it was determined that she needed to be put down. Northern white rhinos have been on the brink of extinction for the past decade. The remaining three live in the Ol Pejeta conservancy in Kenya, and sadly, the species is not likely to make a recovery. — BBC

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