Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

Rapid Reads: 7 Big stories of the day

Have you recovered from Labor Day weekend or were you hitting the snooze button more than usual this morning? Either way we’ve got the morning news covered for you. Here are the top stories everyone will be talking about today:

1. You’d better work… unless you’ve got a cold

Over the weekend, President Obama gave a speech in honor of Labor Day and announced an executive order to extend paid sick leave to an additional 300,000 federal workers. The change will go into effect in early 2017 and will ensure federal contractors have up to seven guaranteed sick days. The announcement came with a plea to Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would require businesses with more than 14 employees to guarantee a week of paid leave. Obama also said if Republicans want to claim they’re working for the middle class, they “have to walk the walk.” We’ll see if they listen. — NBC News

2. More changes in the church

Pope Francis just radically reformed the process by which Catholics can annul their marriages. He eliminated the need for a second review of the annulment by a cleric, gave bishops the ability to fast-track and grant annulments in certain circumstances, and he made the process free with the exception of a nominal fee for administrative costs. The change doesn’t eliminate the Catholic view of marriage as permanent, but it’s yet another revolutionary attempt by the pope to be more welcoming to people who are separated from the church. We seriously love this guy. — CNN

3. No end in sight

The migrant and refugee crisis hasn’t gotten any better, but at least now more people are reaching out to help. Over the weekend, Britain, France and Germany all agreed to take in thousands of people. Pope Francis encouraged Catholics across Europe to give shelter to families, adding that the Vatican itself will take in two groups. Even with pledges of help, hundreds of thousands of people remain displaced in refugee camps cross Europe. Wealthier countries are eager to help, but poorer countries like Hungary want to turn people away. European leaders are expected to meet later this week to come up with a plan. — The New York Times

More: The Syrian refugee crisis: 5 Ways we can help

4. Here we go again

Congress returns from their summer recess today and have until Sept. 30 to come up with a federal budget — a deadline experts say they’re almost certainly going to miss. The “normal” congressional budget process involves passing 12 separate funding measures. Congress has failed to get them all passed on time since 1997. This year they have the added challenge of negotiating the nuclear weapons deal with Iran and deciding whether or not to defund Planned Parenthood based on those doctored “undercover” videos. If they don’t come up with a plan, we’ll face another government shutdown. So far, all signs point to that absolutely happening. Congress, what are they good for? Absolutely nothing (so far). — USA Today

5. RIP Cecil

The man who shot Cecil the Lion returns to work today. Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist, was forced to shut down his practice six weeks ago after he lured a famous African lion from an animal sanctuary and killed it. The hunt led to a viral backlash in which his name became a trending hashtag on social media, people threatened his family and called him “a killer,” and thousands began leaving negative Yelp reviews for his dental practice. Palmer says he had no idea the lion was a “known local favorite” and that he’s “heartbroken” over the way the controversy has disrupted the lives of his family and employees. — CNN

More: Cecil the Lion Killer tops utterly offensive Halloween costumes for 2015

6. Selfie security

MasterCard is testing a new program that would allow people to verify their online purchases using a selfie. The company’s head of innovative solutions for security challenges says it will be a great way to engage the younger generation. The program would rely on facial recognition technology. An app user would first have to blink, then a photo would be taken and sent to MasterCard for instant verification. It’s one of many possible solutions — along with voice recognition and fingerprint verification — the company is looking into with hopes of preventing credit fraud. Young people love their selfies, but you can’t help but laugh a little at the idea of taking one every time you buy something online. — USA Today

More: Selfies are the new bra-burning — not a sign of vanity

7. Colbert is back

If you’ve been in mourning since Stephen Colbert stepped down from The Colbert Report, you’re in luck. Tonight is the premiere of his new hosting gig for The Late Show. Colbert played a satirical TV pundit for more than a decade and now fans are anxious to see who he really is. Guests lined up for the first two weeks of his show are a mix of political and entertainment figures — tonight’s show will feature Jeb Bush and George Clooney — which demonstrates that Colbert won’t be shying away from his political past. You can catch the new Late Show on CBS at 11:35 p.m. EST. — Washington Post

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.