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Rapid Reads: 6 Big stories of the day

It’s almost the end of the week, but we’re not quite there yet. While you’re waiting, occupy yourself with a quick take on the morning news. Here are the top stories everyone will be talking about:

1. #GOPDebate

Last night was the third GOP debate, and it was kind of a snooze-fest. Donald Trump was more subdued than usual and actually gave the others time to talk. Fiorina said she’d reduce the tax code to three pages (yeah, right) and Rand Paul said his “weakness” is that he’ll rein in government spending, which is kind of like in a job interview where you say your weaknesses include caring too much and being too perfect. Also, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio finally had it out. There was no clear debate winner or loser, and it’s mostly anyone’s game, but Bush is definitely looking like he’ll be next to drop out of the race. That campaign is going downhill fast. — CNN

More: 7 Reasons I’m not a Republican anymore

2. Rock the vote

Today the House will vote on Paul Ryan to become the next speaker. The nine-term congressman was officially nominated yesterday after some intense bickering between him and the other members of his party. Republicans have been trying to find a replacement for John Boehner for a few weeks now and no one wanted the job. They finally convinced Ryan, and just in the nick of time — Boehner’s last day in Congress is tomorrow. — USA Today

3. Big changes

After more than 30 years, China is abandoning its one-child policy and allowing families to have two kids if they so wish. Formerly, they relaxed the policy so families could apply to have more than one child. In Beijing alone, 53,000 couples applied. Now, they’ve extended the right to everyone, as China is struggling with an aging population and young liberals aren’t so keen on the state interfering with reproductive matters. — USA Today

More: China’s one-child policy looks different through the eyes of an adoptive mom

4. Women in charge

The citizens of Nepal have elected the country’s first female president. The move comes after a constitution went into effect earlier this year that requires a woman to serve as either president or vice president and that parliament must be one-third women. Bidhya Devi Bhandari is the new president, and last week Onsari Gharti Magar became the parliament’s first female speaker. They’re on a feminist roll, but it is costing them. Protests over the new constitution are still widespread and India has cut off trade with the country as a consequence. It’s a hard out there for a lady president. — Quartz

5. Runaway blimp

Yesterday a military surveillance blimp broke away from its mooring on a Maryland army base and roamed the skies over Pennsylvania. The 243-foot-long blimp was immediately pursued by F-16 fighter jets, who monitored its route to maintain air traffic control. After a four-hour jaunt, the blimp descended to the ground on its own. It just needed to get away for a while, OK? It feels so tied down. — Gizmodo

More: Adventures in the sky: Hot air balloon, helicopter or sky dive

6. The party continent?

A public speaking expert from Victoria University in Melbourne says he thinks the Australian accent is just a slurred English accent caused by early settlers’ chronic drinking. “Our forefathers regularly got drunk together, and through their frequent interactions, unknowingly added an alcoholic slur to our regular speech patterns,” he hypothesizes. So, there you go. Perhaps Foster’s really is Australian for beer. And so are all the other words. — The Telegraph

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