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Rapid Reads: 7 Big stories of the day

It’s the end of the week, but the news never stops. Here are the top stories everyone will be talking about:

1. Dancing around the truth

Yesterday the Pentagon admitted that we’re in combat in Iraq once again. They’ve been reluctant to use the word “combat” because President Obama insisted last summer that U.S. troops wouldn’t see combat in the coalition against ISIS. They’re supposedly just there to train Iraqi forces, but this week we saw the first death of a U.S. troop in that campaign. Now Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says yes, we’re involved in combat but that “doesn’t mean we’re taking a combat stance.” Either way, we’re all just ready for our troops to stop dying and come home. — CNN

More: Boy sent home from school for refusing to take off patriotic shirt

2. Wow

Shaker Aamer, the last U.K. Guantanamo Bay detainee, has been released without a trial and is on his way home. He’s been in the military jail since 2002 after being arrested in Afghanistan. U.S. authorities claimed he led a unit of Taliban fighters, but he was never formally charged with anything. Instead, he says he was kept in squalid conditions and tortured. He’ll return to his wife and four children he hasn’t seen in almost 14 years, but people still want answers. And many Americans still want Guantanamo closed completely. — BBC

3. The future of TV

The revamped Apple TV hits stores today, and it can be yours starting at just $149. The new Apple TV includes Siri helping you find something to watch, a touch-capable remote and tons of games and apps. Apple says it plans to do for the television experience what it did for music and phones, which is revolutionize it completely. — USA Today

More: How Apple (maybe) plans to take over your home… and why you’ll love it

4. Truly shocking

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), two out of every three people under age 50 are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1. HSV-1 is mostly transmitted through oral contact and leads to cold sores, but it can also be a cause of genital herpes if contracted during oral sex. Both type 1 and type 2 of the herpes virus are incurable, and the WHO says the staggering numbers are indicative of our need for greater education and awareness. — WHO International

5. Zombies to-go

Lyft is offering free zombie deliveries, in case you feel like your Halloween party just doesn’t have enough overly-aggressive undead monsters. The deliveries are limited to New York City and San Francisco, but drivers everywhere will be dressed up for the holiday. The whole thing is part of a partnership between the ride-sharing service and Skybound’s The Walking Dead game. Today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., anyone in those two cities can use the Lyft app to order a zombie to appear at their party, office, random street corner or pretty much anywhere. Hope it’s not a hungry zombie. — Entertainment Weekly

More: In case of a zombie apocalypse: Don’t do these things

6. Yikes

In case zombies aren’t scary enough for you, the World Meteorological Organization says the ozone hole over Antarctica has expanded to its largest size ever. It’s 22.8 million square kilometers wide. The hole fluctuates in size depending on the time of year, so experts say it will likely shrink back down and there’s no reason to panic. Still, it’s a reminder that our big ozone problem isn’t going away and we should do anything we can to preserve it. — The Guardian

7. Whoa

Remember back in May when there was a shootout at a biker bar in Waco, Texas, that left nine people dead and led to 177 arrests? Well, video footage of the shootout was just released and holy crap. The whole thing lasted no more than a few minutes, but involved hundreds of weapons and dozens of injuries. No one has been charged with the deaths. Instead, the nine arrested were charged with “engaging in organized criminal activity.” If you’d like to see the video, you can check it out below, but caution as it may be upsetting to some. — WFAA

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