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Knife-wielding man shot outside Paris police station & 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

Rapid Reads: 7 Big stories of the day

It's Thursday and that means it's the unofficial start of the weekend! Start your party-planning, but first check out these top news headlines.

1. Lone wolf

French police have killed a man brandishing a knife outside a northern Paris police station. The man was wearing what appeared to be a vest of explosive devices and shouting "Allahu Akbar." The explosive vest turned out to be a fake. Today is the one-year anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo murders, which were the first in a series of attacks that have terrified France for the last year. — CNN

2. No justice

The state trooper who arrested Sandra Bland, the black woman taken into custody after failing to signal a lane change who later died in her jail cell, has been fired. The trooper was indicted on a perjury charge and has been on administrative leave since Bland's apparent suicide in July. Last month the grand jury declined to indict anyone else; the family has filed a wrongful death suit against the trooper, who was filmed telling Bland he would "light her up" and slamming her head on the pavement. — PBS

3. Stock shock

China continues to terrify the world financial markets. Stocks plunged on Thursday, and for the second time this week officials halted trading, this time for the rest of the day. Markets elsewhere reacted, and not with a happy dance: Europe's stock market opened down, and the futures market in the U.S. underwent a sharp sell-off yesterday and is expected to be down today. The big question is whether China's troubles are confined to China or are a sign of larger global shakiness that will affect growth worldwide. Until we find out, fasten your seat belt. — The New York Times

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4. Time-wasting

House Republicans have again come together to write legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a piece of political theater that certainly will be vetoed by President Obama. The vote, largely along party lines, was 240-181. The bill would also bar any funding for Planned Parenthood. There have been more than 60 votes on the part of House Republicans to repeal Obamacare; none have actually been signed into law. What's the definition of insanity again? — CNN

5. Zip slip

Leslie Mann presented Dakota Johnson, the star of 50 Shades of Gray, with a People's Choice Award for favorite dramatic movie actress last night, and apparently accidentally unzipped her dress while she was at it. Mann quickly re-zipped the top half of the two-piece gown, but Johnson took a moment to feel around back there and joked, "Well, it’s not like nobody here hasn’t already seen my boobs." Johnson should have paddled her. — USA Today

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6. Ruh-roh

Iran accused Saudi Arabia of attacking Iran's embassy in Yemen, a claim that could not be independently verified, though the AP reported that there was no immediate apparent damage to compound. Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been extremely tense since Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shiite cleric last Saturday; Saudi Arabia ordered all Iranian diplomatic staff out of the country earlier this week. The international community fears worsening sectarian rifts, potentially destabilizing the region. — The Washington Post

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7. The outsiders

What if you threw a protest and nobody came? That's the problem the protesters/militia/domestic terrorists (what to call them varies based on your POV) holed up in a wildlife refuge in Oregon are facing. Harney County Sheriff David Ward, speaking at a community meeting late on Wednesday night, told the armed men to go home, saying, "You don't get to come here from elsewhere and tell us how we're going to live our lives." Which, funnily enough, sounds exactly like what the occupiers are saying to the federal government. — NBC News

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