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Rapid Reads: 8 Big stories of the day

Reading all the news on Friday — ain’t nobody got time for that. You can kick your weekend off right by catching up on today’s top news stories in bite-sized chunks:

1. Amusement park nightmare

Amusement park horror stories are always terrifying since they happen in a place where we’re supposed to be having good, clean fun. One man’s mistake after riding a roller coaster ultimately led to his death at the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, last night. After riding the park’s famous Raptor roller coaster, 45-year-old James A. Young II jumped the surrounding fence to retrieve some items he’d lost during the bumpy ride. Young was killed when he was struck by the Raptor after venturing into a restricted area. — CNN

2. Bey all the way

If the back-to-school blahs are getting you down already, now you officially have something to live for this fall. Beyoncé has been unveiled as Vogue‘s September cover girl, and the Internet can’t contain itself. Bey’s cover feature is entitled “The Art of Global Domination,” not so subtly silencing anyone who argues that Mrs. Carter is the closest thing we have to American royalty. Eager fans of Queen B who can’t wait to get their hands on Vogue‘s biggest issue of the year can order on Amazon today or wait to pick it up on newsstands on Aug. 25. — VOGUE

More: Beyoncé shows her love and support for gay marriage with epic video

3. Big move for Ohio

Legal marijuana may be coming to a progressive Midwestern state near you. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has confirmed that the pro-legalization group ResponsibleOhio has collected enough signatures (320,267, if you’re counting) to get the pot vote on the ballot for Nov. 3, for medical and recreational use. Now it’s in the hands of the Ohioans: If this passes (as many expect it to), Ohio will be the fifth state to legalize recreational marijuana in the U.S. — CNN

4. Come on, Kentucky

Marriage equality has been the law of the land for a good month or more, but some Kentucky officials still aren’t having it. Even in the face of a court order, a county clerk in Morehead, Kentucky, has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Rowan County clerk Kim Davis claims religion, saying her Christian faith will not allow her to sanction — or provide licenses — for same-sex marriage. When her discrimination was brought to court, Judge Bunning heartily disagreed, saying that Davis’ religious convictions don’t give her the right not to perform her legal duties. Davis’ lawyers are appealing. — The New York Times

More: #LoveWins: 15 Celebrity marriage equality messages that inspire action

5. Might want to hold your breath

Air pollution in China has always been a cause for concern, but now it’s reaching epidemic levels. A study published by the Berkeley Earth independent research group in the journal PLOS One from the Public Library of Science confirmed that air pollution in China is killing an average of 4,000 people per day. Researchers blame coal burning for creating the tiny particulate pollutant behind this major problem: PM2.5s are responsible for 17 percent of China’s mortality rate, known to cause asthma, lung cancer, heart attack and stroke. Berkeley Earth scientific director and study co-author Richard Muller compares this overwhelming pollution to smoking 1.5 cigarettes an hour. — Bloomberg

6. More jail death controversy

On the heels of the mysterious death of Sandra Bland, who died in police custody after a routine traffic stop, everyone’s asking questions about what happened to 37-year-old Ralkina Jones of Ohio. Jones was arrested by the Cleveland Heights Police Department in late July after she had a fight outside of a bar with her ex-husband. Jones was found dead in her jail cell just two days later. Authorities now say the medical log sheet and jail log don’t match up — Jones may have been dispensed too much medication. — NBC News

7. Nirvana fans rejoice

Anyone who grew up in the ’90s is going to have to sit down for this: We haven’t seen the last of Kurt Cobain. While researching his documentary Montage of Heck, director Brett Morgen stumbled upon a gold mine. Morgen uncovered 100 unreleased Kurt Cobain tapes that will be compiled into a posthumous solo album, aptly named Montage of Heck, and set to go on sale in November. Hopefully you still have that dirty flannel in the back of your closet. — TIME

More: 9 Moments in Kurt Cobain’s life that must be in Montage of Heck

8. One step for man

Now all of us science geeks have even more street cred: Big science news is trending in the Facebook feed. The journal Science reports that “Young Jupiter,” a.k.a. 51 Eridani b, is the first exoplanet to be discovered by the new Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) on the Gemini South telescope in Chile. This planet is 100 light years away and looks remarkably similar to how Jupiter once did — hence, the nickname. University of Arizona associate professor of planetary sciences Travis Barman says this scientific breakthrough is currently the “most important corner piece” in putting together the puzzle of planet formation. For anyone who doesn’t speak science, all you need to know is: Young Jupiter is kind of a big deal. — ABC News

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