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Rapid Reads: 6 Big stories of the day

It’s the end of the week, but the news never stops. Luckily, you’ve got us to sum it all up for you. Here are the top stories everyone will be talking about:

1. Sigh

Yesterday General Motors (GM) agreed to pay $900 million to the Justice Department to settle criminal charges. Last year, GM recalled 13.6 million vehicles due to problems with safety belts, gear shifts, air bags, and of course, those faulty ignition switches that were linked to more than 120 deaths. A federal investigation found GM knew about the switches for more than a decade and did nothing about it, which is why they were facing criminal charges. Alas, they ended up with a slap on the wrist: $900 million is pennies compared to the $156 billion they made in revenue last year. — Washington Post

More: Think twice before buying these cars for your family

2. Because there’s no war on women, right?

Today the U.S. House votes on a bill that would cut all funding to Planned Parenthood and transfer the $235 million annual budget to community health centers and other facilities. The legislation is the result of those doctored Planned Parenthood videos that claimed to show clinic employees negotiating to sell fetal tissue from abortions. Planned Parenthood denies that they sell fetal tissue, and investigations have shown the footage is heavily edited. Nancy Pelosi and others think the Planned Parenthood outrage is really just an excuse for Republicans to shut down the government again when the budget lapses on Sept. 30. Typical games and bickering by Congress. Is it time to vote all of these people out yet? — USA Today

3. I’m not crying, you’re crying

Naguib Sawiris, an Egyptian billionaire, wants to buy an island for Syrian refugees. No, seriously. He’s identified two privately owned Greek islands he wants to purchase and expressed his interest to the current owners. He says he intends to make a port for boats to land and then hire people to build schools, homes, a university and a hotel. He was mocked at first, but he’s not joking and now several donors have expressed interest in the project. He plans to name the place Aylan Island, after the Syrian toddler whose lifeless body was photographed on a Turkish beach. “It’s the picture of Aylan that woke me up,” Sawiris told CNN. “I said, I cannot just sit like that and just do nothing, and pretend it’s not my problem.” — CNN Money

More: YA book community raises over £500,000 for Syrian refugees

4. Turns out bullying is not actually that funny

Nicole Arbour, the YouTuber behind the controversial “Dear Fat People” video that went viral last week, told hosts of The View yesterday that the video was “satire” and she won’t apologize to anyone who was offended by it. In the video, she ruthlessly mocked obese people and ordered them to stop eating, said they “smell like sausage” and have “Crisco” coming out of their pores, and referred to a child she saw at the airport as “Jabba the Sun” before explaining how she had to physically shift his body fat out of the way when he sat next to her on an airplane. Says Arbour, “It’s just satire, it’s just me being silly.” Nicole, we don’t think satire means what you think it means. — People

5. You win some, you lose some

The ex-Secretary of the Nobel Commission, Geir Lundestad, says he regrets giving President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize that one time. Obama received the prize in 2009 right after his election to the presidency, and it was controversial even then. Now, Lundestad tells the AP it was “mistake” in hindsight and the committee hoped it would motivate the president, but it hasn’t seemed to have that effect. He writes about the decision in detail in his new memoir, Secretary of Peace. Whether Obama deserved it or not, we’re sure plenty of people will have a field day with Lundestad’s comments. — BBC

More: What President Obama wants all working moms to know

6. Truly stellar

A group of friends has built a scale model of the solar system in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. They worked off of the idea that Earth is the size of a marble, and even at that small scale it required seven miles of flat land to complete the model to scale. That’s how massive the solar system is. The project took about 36 hours to complete and, since random marbles and light bulbs won’t last forever in the desert, they made a highlight video of the entire process. Check it out for an awesome Friday morning reminder of just how small we really are. — IFLScience

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