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Rapid Reads: 7 Big stories of the day

It’s Wednesday, but we’ll spare you the “hump day” jokes. Instead, here’s a quick and clever take on the top stories everyone will be talking about:

1. Thanks for your service

Today is Veterans Day and the perfect time to say thank you to those who’ve served or are currently serving the country. As a show of gratitude, many businesses and restaurants are offering free things for veterans. Starbucks is offering free coffee, Great Clips is giving free haircuts, and IHOP is offering free red, white and blue pancakes. In more serious Veterans Day news, today President Obama will call on Congress to pass measures that will help veterans gain access to disability, health care and education benefits. After all, the best way to say thank you to vets is to take good care of them. — The New York Times

More: 28 Veterans Day restaurant deals to thank our veterans

2. Snoozefest

Last night the fourth GOP debate took place, and it was a lot of the same stuff we’ve been hearing. The candidates faced off on immigration (Trump still wants to build a wall), taxes, foreign policy, and there was a lot of back-and-forth between them. At one point, Trump told Carly Fiorina to stop talking so much and she didn’t slap his hairpiece off, which I think shows great restraint. The candidates are finally starting to focus on each other, rather than bashing Obama or other Democrats. That’s a good thing, since there can only be one nominee and primary season is fast approaching. — CBS News

3. Celebrate

President Obama has made history as the first sitting president to ever appear on the cover of an LGBTQ magazine. Obama graces the cover of this month’s OUT Magazine and has been named their “Ally of the year” for his “evolved” stance on LGBTQ issues, especially gay marriage. The celebration comes in the middle of a tough week for Obama. Congress just passed a defense bill that prohibits moving Guantanamo prisoners to the U.S. — a key part of Obama’s plan to close the prison. He’s also appealing the Supreme Court’s ruling against his executive actions on immigration. You win some, you lose some. — Refinery29

More: Barack Obama’s comments about Caitlyn Jenner will go down in history (VIDEO)

4. The beginning of the end

Yesterday the New York State attorney general ordered fantasy football sites DraftKings and FanDuel to stop accepting bids from NY residents. He began investigating the sites a few months ago after a DraftKings employee released betting data prior to game day and went on to win $350,000 from his fantasy picks on FanDuel. The attorney general called the sites a “multi-million dollar scheme intended to evade the law and fleece sports fans across the country.” It’s likely that other sites will follow New York’s lead and then maybe we won’t have to watch anymore of those obnoxious FanDuel commercials during Sunday games. — The New York Times

5. Treat yo’ self

Today is the opposite of Valentine’s Day in China: it’s Single’s Day, which is a day devoted entirely to spoiling the crap out of yourself. The day was created by online retailer Alibaba and has become something of a Black Friday for China, except everyone shops online for gifts to give themselves. The other difference is it’s way more profitable. Alibaba’s Singles Day sales reportedly brought in almost $3 billion in the first half hour and they’re expected to top $11 billion before the day is over. That’s an awful lot of self-love. — CNN Money

More: Singles reveal their deal breakers and it explains why dating is so hard

6. Heartbreaking

An 8-year-old boy has been charged with murder in the death of a 1-year-old baby. The baby was reportedly left in the custody of the 8-year-old while her mother and some friends went to a nightclub. Authorities say the boy allegedly “viciously attacked” the baby because she wouldn’t stop crying. She died of severe head trauma and major damage to her internal organs. The 8-year-old will be tried in juvenile court. The baby’s mother, Katerra Lewis, has also been charged with manslaughter. Everything about this story is just awful. — Newsweek

7. Espresso shots fired

Dunkin’ Donuts just released a holiday-themed cup, amid the controversy surrounding the Starbucks red cup and the “war on Christmas.” The cup features the word “joy” encircled by a red and green wreath. Many are questioning whether the cups are a response to the Starbucks fiasco, but a Dunkin’ spokesman says the company has always used festive cups throughout the holiday season. Deck your halls with that, Starbucks. — Fox

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