Only in America
July 2, 2012

A New Jersey woman hit by a baseball at a Little League game is suing the 11-year-old player who threw it. Spectator Elizabeth Lloyd wants catcher Matthew Migliaccio to pay her $150,000, alleging that his errant warm-up throw was "reckless." "The whole thing has almost been surreal," said the boy’s father. "We keep thinking it’s just going to go away." The Week Staff

harper lee
10:51 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

If you're a To Kill a Mockingbird fan, this auction is for you.

Christie's auction house in New York will auction off six of Harper Lee's original typewritten letters on June 12. The letters, written between 1956 and 1961, could sell for as much as $250,000.

Lee's letters are addressed to her friend Harold Caufield, an architect in New York. The letters mention Lee's worry about her sick father, who was the model for To Kill a Mockingbird's Atticus Finch. In one of the letters, Lee also tells Caufield that she was "surprised, stunned, and dazed" by the novel's success. Meghan DeMaria

Payback time
10:44 a.m. ET

In March, a Department of Justice report revealed that agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) had "sex parties" with prostitutes and members of the drug cartels they were supposed to be investigating in Colombia.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee promised investigation and retribution, soon finding that the parties occurred by the dozen over the course of several years — all on the taxpayers' dime, of course.

On Tuesday night, the House authorized financial penalties for the profligate agency, cutting $43 million from DEA employee salaries. Of that total, $20 million in cuts will only be withheld until the DEA implements policy changes to address its employee misconduct issues. The other $23 million will be diverted to funding investigations and supporting the victims of sexual abuse, as well as purchasing police body cameras. Bonnie Kristian

transparency
10:14 a.m. ET
Olson/Getty Images

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has teamed up with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and a bipartisan group of House members to call for the release of 28 classified pages of the 2002 Senate inquiry into the cause of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Paul has introduced the "Transparency for the Families of 9/11 Victims and Survivors Act" to declassify the pages — though as a last resort he could read them into the Senate record under the protection of the Speech or Debate Clause.

As for the content of the pages, former senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.), who supports Paul's plan, says, "The 28 pages in the report of over 800 pages go to the question of who financed 9/11 and they point a strong finger at Saudi Arabia." Saudi Arabia has argued this is not true, endorsing the declassification to squash Graham's allegation.

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), one of the bill's backers in the House, believes releasing the pages would not damage national security, "and it would give families [of 9/11 victims] the answers they deserve." Bonnie Kristian

2016 Watch
10:12 a.m. ET

As part of our ongoing series on the 2016 candidates, produced in partnership with Rubin Report, The Week's Marc Ambinder and Dave Rubin concisely analyze the Kentucky senator's biggest strengths and weaknesses. Watch below:

Coming Soon
10:03 a.m. ET

Here's a very, very early tip for your 2016 Oscar pool: Go ahead and check off Meryl Streep's name in the Best Supporting Actress category now. The first trailer for Suffragette — which features Streep as famed political activist Emmeline Pankhurst — seems all but guaranteed to land the actress a record-setting 20th Oscar nomination:

Suffragette follows Maud (Carey Mulligan), a young British housewife who becomes active in the political movement aimed at securing women the right to vote. "Never underestimate the power we women have to define our own destinies. We have been left with no alternative. Defy this government!" says Streep, a vocal leader of the suffragette movement, in one of several impassioned speeches featured in the trailer.

Suffragette hits U.S. theaters on October 23. Scott Meslow

Yikes!
9:54 a.m. ET
Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images

Unsuspecting bathers at the Fudo no Yu hot spring outside of Tokyo have been taking in more than just panoramic views: The famous onsen has reportedly turned into an orgy hotspot.

The mixed-gender bathing and privacy at the hot spring — it can only fit about 10 people and doesn't employ a supervisor — apparently proved too alluring for swingers and the adult film industry.

Local residents and other bathers had been complaining about witnessing lewd acts for about a year, but the last straw appeared to have been a succession of weekend orgies involving as many as 15 middle-aged men and several younger women... The bath, part of the popular Shiobara onsen resort, is also thought to have been targeted by voyeurs armed with cameras, the site said, citing a report in the Mainichi Shimbun. [The Guardian]

“We had no choice but to close the bath," an unidentified local told the Asahi Shimbun. It has since been drained of its water — and, hopefully, thoroughly scrubbed. Nico Lauricella

Patriot Act
9:47 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

In a Fox and Friends interview Wednesday morning, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said America "would be much better off" if Congress had renewed the USA Patriot Act, rather than implementing the USA Freedom Act, which rolls back the key Patriot Act provision that allowed the NSA to collect Americans' phone data in bulk. Walker agreed, though, that the Freedom Act, which the Senate passed on Tuesday, is still better than having nothing in its place.

Walker called the Patriot Act "an important tool," and  added that it was useful for monitoring terror threats after 9/11. As for the NSA's bulk data collection from phone records, Walker said the government was "collecting the data and accessing it under a very legal constitutional process" that only took place when there was "clear evidence that someone is connected with an enemy combatant."

Walker is expected to announce later this month whether or not he intends to run for president in 2016. Meghan DeMaria

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