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Powerball surges to record high & other big stories

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: 6 Big stories of the day

It's Monday, so take it easy on yourself. Grab a cup of coffee and wake up gently with these news headlines. 

1. Sad changes

Musician David Bowie has died. Mr. Bowie's 1971 album Hunky Dory gave "Changes" to the world, with the lyrics “Turn and face the strange / Ch-ch-changes / Oh look out now you rock and rollers / Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older.” Mr. Bowie made his mark in music, fashion and art, and never stopped creating: He released his latest album, a collaboration with a jazz quintet, on Friday. It was his 69th birthday. He is survived by his wife Iman and two children. — The New York Times

2. Winners and losers

The Golden Globes handed out golden awards last night and surprised a few people in the process: There were a bunch of what Variety called "unusual choices" and a few out-and-out snubs. The Martian won in the comedy category, which was something of a surprise to its director, Ridley Scott. Alejandro G. Iñárritu won best director for The Revenant, which also won best picture for a drama. Brie Larson won for her role in Room and Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant; Matt Damon won in the comedy category for The Martian and Jennifer Lawrence won for her role in Joy. CarolSpotlight and The Big Short all came up short. — Variety

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3. Penn pens

Sean Penn and Rolling Stone are weathering criticism for the actor's interview with the then-wanted drug lord El Chapo, which was published on Saturday. El Chapo, who escaped from a Mexican prison last year, was apprehended on Friday. Penn interviewed El Chapo while he was on the lam, and according to the magazine, took great care to avoid gleaning information as to the fugitive's whereabouts — information the magazine might have been compelled to turn over to authorities. Critics contend that allowing the subject to even somewhat dictate the content of the story, as El Chapo reportedly did, violates journalistic standards; Marco Rubio called the story "grotesque," and still others found Penn's writing style kind of... well, lame. — The New York Times

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4. Starvation in Syria

A 44-truck convoy will arrive in the city of Madaya today, bearing enough food to feed 40,000 residents for a month. The citizens of Madaya, a rebel-held city, have not had an aid shipment since October and have been suffering extreme hunger and even starvation. Syrian activists recently posted a photo of a starving child, writing that he hadn't eaten a full meal in a week. While the supplies will certainly help in the short term, the International Red Cross noted that international aid organizations need regular access to do any good at all. — CNN

5. Ask yourself

Again, no one has won the Powerball lottery, which is now up to $1.3 billion dollars. The lottery display signs themselves can't even handle it — they can't display numbers higher than $999 million. Plan out your numbers and head to your local vendor...after all, your odds of winning are at one in 292.2 million. So, do I feel lucky? — NBC News

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6. Horse race

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are running neck-and-neck in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. Clinton has a three-point lead in Iowa — 48 percent to Sanders' 45 percent — which is within the margin of error, and is a much slimmer margin than that suggested by previous polls. An average of surveys puts Clinton's lead at 10.6 percent. Sanders is ahead of Clinton in New Hampshire by four points, also within the margin of error. The most interesting thing this political season is that no matter what your political views, you are probably freaking the eff out. — Slate

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