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Rapid Reads: 7 Big stories of the day

It’s almost the end of the week, but we’re not quite there yet. While you’re waiting, why not catch up on the latest news? Here are the top stories everyone is talking about:

1. Political drama

George H.W. Bush is releasing a biography and apparently he didn’t hold anything back. He takes his son’s administration to task for their handling of 9/11, including referring to Dick Cheney as an “iron ass” and calling Donald Rumsfeld an “arrogant fellow.” He also criticizes the “hard-charging” tactics used to force our way into war in the Middle East, saying they hurt the president — George W. Bush — and they hurt America’s reputation. His book, Destiny and Power, comes out next week. Looks like it will be a juicy read. — Gawker

More: President George H.W. Bush parachutes for 90th birthday

2. A shocking twist

Yesterday, officials said a Fox Lake, Illinois, police officer they thought died in the line of duty actually committed suicide. The officer, Joe Gliniewicz, was found dead after he radioed that he was chasing three suspects, which prompted a manhunt and sparked a huge debate about violence against police. Now, investigators say Gliniewicz had been laundering money from a youth mentoring program and was close to being caught so he staged his suicide to look like a murder. It sounds like something out of a crime novel, but unfortunately it’s real life. It’s got to be a difficult situation for those close to the officer. — CNN

3. Progress

The Mexican supreme court has ruled in favor of a group of people who were growing marijuana for recreational use. It was a landmark ruling that could lead the way to legalizing the drug, which would be a huge deal. Mexico is plagued by drug cartels and traffickers, and many are of the opinion that legalizing pot could reduce the violence. In U.S. marijuana news, Bernie Sanders filed a bill to legalize pot at the federal level. It looks like legalization is catching on all over the place. — Reuters

More: 3 Things moving to Mexico taught me about America

4. More tragic gun violence

Four people were killed overnight in a murder-suicide in Maine. The gunman was a 42-year-old male who shot himself and three people he lived with. The 4-year-old daughter of two of the victims was spared and is now safe with other relatives. Police have yet to comment on a possible motive for the shootings, but say their investigation is ongoing and autopsies will be performed on the victims starting today. It’s a devastating crime that has stunned what is otherwise a very quiet community. — Bangor Daily News

5. Mission to Mars

Thinking of quitting your job and blasting off on a rocket ship to outer space? Well, you’re in luck! For the first time since they suspended their shuttle program in 2011, NASA is about to start accepting applications for its next group of astronauts. They’ll accept applications beginning in December and announce new astronauts in 2017. It’s all part of their big plan to eventually send humans to Mars. Oh, and speaking of Mars: NASA is planning on making a big announcement about the red planet’s atmosphere this morning, so be on the lookout for that. — The Guardian

More: Mom Story: I work for NASA

6. Permission to skip your chores

The National Wildlife Federation is encouraging everyone to please be lazy and not rake their leaves this fall. In a statement on their website, the group says dry leaves are an important habitat for birds, mammals and invertebrates. Raking the leaves changes the habitat of your yard and makes it uncomfortable for little critters, so grab another pumpkin spice latte and kick back on the couch. If your homeowners’ association gets on your case, just tell them you’re breeding an army of adorable woodland creatures and can’t talk right now. — USA Today

7. It’s a miracle

An Alabama boy who’s been missing for 13 years was found yesterday in Ohio. In a crazy turn of events, he actually discovered he was missing by himself. He was living with his father under fake names, but didn’t realize it until he began applying to colleges and they couldn’t verify his social security number. With help from a school counselor, he found himself on the National Database For Missing And Exploited Children. When he was five, his mother says his father took him to preschool and they never returned. His father has now been arrested and his mom’s nightmare is finally over. — USA Today

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