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Family's controversial 'Ho Ho Ho' Christmas card goes viral & more

Leigh Anderson is the author of The Games Bible: The Rules, The Gear, The Strategies. She has written for Vox, ScaryMommy, Popular Science, Women's Health, and Newsweek.com.

Rapid Reads: 7 Big stories of the day

It's Thursday, which used to be "must-see TV" night, remember? Now it's Netflix binge-watching and popcorn night, at least in my house. But first, the top seven stories you need to know about to be an informed citizen.

1. Ho Ho Ew

Just when you thought you'd seen the ickiest family holiday card possible, a Florida family ups the ante. The Yoshidas, a family of four that includes Mom, Dad and two grown daughters, snapped a festive pic of themselves sporting tees that say "ho" (on the women) and "chillin' with my ho's" (on Dad). Keep it classy, Florida! — BuzzFeed

2. Take that, Trump

Malala Yousafzai, the young Nobel Peace Prize activist who was shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating for girls' education, has shut down Donald's Trump's hateful bigotry in just a few words. She told the UK's Channel 4: "I can just highlight one thing. The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create."

"So it's important that whatever politicians say, whatever the media say, they should be really, really careful about it," she continued. "If your intention is to stop terrorism, do not try to blame the whole population of Muslims for it because it cannot stop terrorism. It will radicalize more terrorists." Amen. — Vox

More: Family's Christmas card photo shoot enrages the Internet

3. A pricey proposal

Vidal Valladares, a Texas man evidently addled by love, shut down traffic on a Houston highway in order to propose to his girlfriend. The girlfriend, Michelle Wycoff, accepted, but Valladares is facing a possible six-month sentence in jail and a $2,000 fine. It's the Facebook comments that are really bumming out the couple, though: “'It’s really hard to see those comments," Wycoff said in an emotional interview with the news station.  — Time

4. Open for business

Congress has reached a tentative budget deal that will keep the government funded through 2016. The agreement has "tax-limiting" measures that Republicans favor, but no "hard-line" provisions, like any addressing Planned Parenthood or Syrian refugee admission. Slate notes: "If John Boehner made the spending deal Paul Ryan just did, conservatives would have called for his head."— Slate

More: Google reveals 20 of the crazy questions America asked this year

5. God, no

Wheaton College, an Evangelical school in Illinois, has suspended a professor who said that Muslims and Christians "worship the same God." Larycia Hawkins also wrote, in a Facebook post, that she planned to wear the hijab for the season of Advent to show "human solidarity" with the Muslim community. Some students are protesting her suspension. She appears to be the only black female tenured professor at Wheaton. — The Washington Post

6. No justice

The trial of the first police officer charged in the April death of Freddie Gray, the young black man who died in police custody, has ended in a mistrial. The seven jurors deliberated for 16 hours but were unable to reach a decision on all four charges, including the charge of manslaughter; Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry G. Williams formally declared a mistrial yesterday afternoon. This may make the trials of the other five officers implicated in Gray's death more complicated. As of Wednesday night, Baltimore was calm. — The New York Times

More: Women kicked out of homeless shelter for being 'ungodly'

7. Custody battle

Kelly Rutherford, the former star of Gossip Girl and Melrose Place, has lost custody of her children after a long and public battle with her former husband. The ex, a German national, and the two children, ages 6 and 9, are currently in Monaco. The case was heard in a Monacan court. This marks the end of three years of court appearances; Rutherford has spent about $1.4 million on her custody battle and has declared bankruptcy. The Daily Mail reports that she has filed an appeal. — The Washington Post

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