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Driver mows down crowd on Las Vegas strip & more big news

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 Monday, so be gentle with yourself. Wake up slowly with these seven news headlines.

1. Don't play ball

Soccer's international governing body, FIFA, has suspended two of its officials from participating in the sport for eight years. Sepp Blatter, FIFA's president, and Michel Platini, the president of UEFA, the international administrative body for soccer in Europe, were found guilty of ethics violations, in particular a $2 million payment that Blatter approved for Platini in 2011. The committee found there was no appropriate basis for the payment and in addition was a conflict of interest. Pro sports, always teaching our kids sportsmanlike behavior. — The New York Times

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

2. Pants on fire

Donald Trump told NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that he wouldn't dial down his anti-Muslim rhetoric even if it did mean that ISIS was using his words as a recruiting tool. He was responding to Hillary Clinton, who said during Saturday's debate that Trump is "becoming ISIS’s best recruiter.” She claimed that terrorists are using video clips of Trump's words as a recruiting tool. This is not the case, according to Politifact and other fact-checkers: ISIS supporters have cited Trump but there's no evidence anyone is using Trump's words to recruit. But The Donald refused to back down, saying that even if his words were used as propaganda, well, that's just too bad: His tough talk, even if it enrages potential terrorists, is just the way strong leaders talk. Evidently, fanning the flames is an appropriate way to govern. — Slate

3. Black Hermione

Casting has been announced for the new musical Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and big news: Hermione is black. Yup, the three kids, who are now middle-aged, will be played by Paul Thornley, Jamie Parker and Noma Dumezweni as Ron, Harry and Hermione, respectively. Race and ethnicity are not addressed in the books, but after years of Emma Watson in the film roles, the average reader is probably picturing Hermione as white. Internet reaction was swift, both pro and con. Best response on Twitter comes from @QueerDiscOx: "I love how Hermione being black is somehow more implausible to some people than a universe where the entire postal system depends on owls." — Mashable

More: 12 Harry Potter facts that will blow your kid’s mind

4. Off with his head

Steve Harvey, the host of the Miss Universe pageant, crowned the wrong Miss Universe last night and had to wrench the crown off her sad head and hand it to another gal, the rightful winner. Harvey, for whatever reason, understood his card to say Miss Colombia was Miss Universe and then realized his mistake only after she had been crowned. The outgoing Miss Universe, also a Miss Colombia, was tasked with taking the crown off Miss Colombia's head and placing it on the head of the rightful winner, Miss Philippines. Miss Colombia is first runner-up, followed by Miss United States. Harvey tried to apologize on Twitter, but misspelled both Colombia and Philippines. And a good time was had by all! — NBC News.

5. That's exploitation

President Obama says that presidential candidate Trump is exploiting the fears of the white working class, in what may be one of the more "no duh" statements of the day. In an NPR interview set to air today, President Obama noted that blue-collar men, who've been especially clobbered in an economy of stagnating wages, have resentment, anxiety and fear about their prospects. Trump gives them someone to blame, namely immigrants, Muslims and the president himself. Obama said that as the first black president, he recognizes that some members of the Republican white working class might question where his loyalties lie, and in fact blame him for the loss of their jobs. Trump is only too happy to exploit those fears, whether they're justified or not. — The New York Times

6. Sad news

Jimmy Carter's grandson has died. Jeremy Carter, 28, wasn't feeling well on Saturday and lay down to take a nap. His heart stopped, and despite the family's efforts at CPR, he died on Sunday at the hospital. Former president Carter broke the news to his church in Plains, Georgia, on Sunday and then taught Sunday school. The pastor, Rev. Jeremy Shoulta of Maranatha Baptist Church, asked the parishioners to pray for the Carter family. Our thoughts are with them during this sad time. — CNN

7. Hit and hit and run

A driver allegedly swerved several times into a crowded Las Vegas sidewalk on Sunday night, killing one person and injuring 37 others. It does not appear to have been an act of terrorism, and she is being tested for drug and alcohol intoxication. A witness told CNN that bystanders rushed to offer aid to the injured pedestrians. The woman had a 3-year-old in the car with her, who was unharmed. —CNN

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

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