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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.

World AIDS Day 2015, U.S. Marine found guilty of killing transgender woman & more

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

1. A scary warning

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul has received credible threats of an imminent attack — within the next 48 hours — and all Americans in and around the city are being asked to exercise extreme caution. No official details about the target, methods or timing of the potential attack were released, but it's believed the threat came from the Haqqani network, which has been behind most large-scale attacks in Kabul in recent years. Hopefully the threat won't come to fruition. — CNN

More: Women's oppression in Afghanistan

2. Justice served

This morning, a Philippines court convicted a U.S. Marine of murdering a transgender Filipino woman named Jennifer Laude. Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton is said to have met the woman in a bar and then gotten angry when he took her back to his hotel and discovered that she was transgender. He's been sentenced to six to 12 years in jail for homicide, and will serve his sentence in a compound at the Philippines military headquarters. The case has received widespread attention and reignited calls for the U.S. to ends its military presence in the Philippines. — TIME

3. Bail is set

Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago police officer accused of murdering 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, has had his bail officially set to $1.5 million. Van Dyke has been in jail since he was charged last week, after a disturbing video was released that allegedly showed him shooting McDonald 16 times in 15 seconds. It took over a year of protests for charges to be filed. If convicted, Van Dyke faces up to 20 years in prison. — Refinery29

More: Laquan McDonald's police shooting death makes me fear for my kids' futures

4. A ghostly (and sad) mystery

Ghostly wooden boats full of dead bodies keep washing up on Japan's shore, and no one is sure what's going on. Over the past two months, at least eight of the boats have been found in the Sea of Japan or along the coast, each containing 10 to 20 badly decomposed bodies. Officials' best guess is that the boats are coming from North Korea, based on lettering along the hull that says Korean People's Army. It's possible people are trying to flee the North Korean regime and are dying of thirst or starvation out at sea. It's a chilling reminder of how badly North Koreans desire freedom. — Reuters

5. Now that's a donation

A Minnesota couple is in the news today after they dropped a $500,000 check into a Salvation Army collection tin. The couple wishes to remain anonymous but say they often struggled to make ends meet when they were younger and wanted to give back in a big way. They hope the donation will encourage others to give and help the Salvation Army meet its $11.6 million Christmas fundraising goal. It's a good reminder since today is #GivingTuesday, a day dedicated to giving back after the spending fest that is Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If only we all had $500,000 to give away. — CNN

More: 5 Food charities we love

6. Heal the world

Today is World AIDS Day, a global health day that started in 1988 to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. Since 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV/AIDS, and there are 36.9 million people living with the disease worldwide. Today is an opportunity to show support and stand in solidarity with those living with the disease. You can do this by wearing a red ribbon or by donating to a charity like the National Aids Trust that supports people living with HIV. — USA Today

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