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Rapid Reads: 6 Big stories of the day

It’s Wednesday, but we’ll spare you the “hump day” jokes. Instead, we offer a look at the quickie version of the morning news. Here are the top stories everyone will be talking about:

1. That escalated quickly

Yesterday Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, was grilled by House Republicans. They questioned her salary, attacked her leadership, accused her of lying, and interrupted her more times than seemed humanly possible. More than once she had to explain basic women’s healthcare procedures and reiterate that federal funding is never used to perform abortions. The whole debacle is a result of those doctored tapes that claim Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue. The videos have been thoroughly debunked, but Republicans won’t let it go. If Planned Parenthood loses funding, it will leave 390,000 women without access to contraception, cancer screenings, and preventative care. — The Guardian

More: Three moms on why they don’t regret terminating a pregnancy

2. So sad

Last night, the state of Georgia executed its first woman in 70 years. Thousands of people, including Pope Francis, made pleas for her clemency, but they were dismissed. Kelly Gissendaner, the inmate in question, was arrested 18 years ago for conspiring to murder her husband. Since then Gissendaner has inspired her fellow prison mates by earning a college degree and totally reforming her life. Everyone who knew her says she was a changed woman and did not deserve to die. Her execution is seen by many as yet another stunning failure of the criminal justice system and evidence of our need to abolish the death penalty. — Refinery29

3. Go home, Trump

Donald Trump announced his tax plan, and — big surprise — it’s terrible. A conservative group called the Tax Foundation analyzed the plan and says it would increase the national deficit by $11.98 trillion over 10 years. It would also create about 5.3 million jobs, but it would do so while obliterating the economy, so the trade-off probably isn’t worth it. Some Republicans will no doubt like his proposals for deep tax cuts, but to those with basic financial know-how, it’s obvious The Donald has no idea what he’s doing and will end up hurting the U.S. big time. — Slate

More: Donald Trump’s latest Q&A proves no one takes him (or his wig) seriously

4. A movie is coming

Game of Thrones fans, rejoice! The mega popular television show is in talks to become a movie. George R.R. Martin allegedly made the announcement at an Emmy after-party, but said he won’t be involved in the project because he’s “got too much to do.” By that, he means he’s got two more books to write, of course. HBO has yet to comment on the revelation, but rumors are swirling that a movie could be a prequel that would bring back a lot of beloved characters. We can’t wait to see what happens with this. — The Independent

5. Tweet, tweet

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden joined Twitter yesterday. In true Snowden form, he’s only following one account: the NSA. In case you need a refresher, Snowden is a privacy activist and former CIA employee who leaked classified information about NSA surveillance programs. He’s since fled the country and recently participated in the launch of the Snowden Treaty, an initiative that would provide protections to whistleblowers and have countries swear to surveillance restrictions. You can follow him on Twitter at @snowden. — Gizmodo

More: The tightest security settings online will not keep your images private

6. What’s that smell?

The rare Corpse Flower at the Chicago Botanic Gardens has bloomed. The flower is said to smell like a delicate blend of dirty laundry and rotting meat — delicious! The Corpse Flower, named Alice, is one of five housed by the gardens. Her seedlings were planted a whopping 12 years ago and this is her first bloom. A different Corpse Flower in Denver reportedly took 15 years to bloom, so these ladies like to take their time. If you’re not into putrid smells and don’t live in Chicago, but are still interested in seeing such a rare event unfold, the botanic gardens have a live feed of the flower on their YouTube channel. Enjoy in the comfort of your non-corpse-scented home or office. — Fusion

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