Only in America
February 14, 2012

A West Virginia college student is suing his fraternity, alleging that he fell off a deck when a drunken frat brother fired a bottle rocket out of his own anus. Louis Helmburg III alleges that Travis Hughes's bottle-rocket stunt so startled him that he jumped back and fell. "Firing bottle rockets out of one's anus," the lawsuit states, "constitutes an 'ultrahazardous' activity." The Week Staff

2016 Watch
3:05 a.m. ET
Scott Olson/Getty Images

It's possible that Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) will say he is not running for president on June 24, but more likely than not he is going to jump into the already crowded Republican primary. Either way, Jindal is planning a "major announcement" about his 2016 plans in New Orleans, NBC News reports. He is "likely to announce his plans to seek the GOP nomination," CNN adds, quoting a "person close to the Louisiana governor." Jindal formed a presidential exploratory committee in mid-May.

With Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) formally entering the race on Monday, there are currently nine declared GOP presidential candidates, plus several expected to throw their hats in. In a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday, Jindal polls at about 1 percent. Peter Weber

guns
2:31 a.m. ET
CC by: Derek Key

On Sunday, the Texas House gave final passage to a Senate bill requiring the state's public universities and community colleges to allow concealed handguns in buildings on campus, sending the controversial legislation to Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who says he will sign it. In a compromise, the bill allows private universities to opt out of the new requirements, and each public institution can create gun-free zones, though the scope of those zones is up for debate. Only licensed concealed-carry holders, all 21 and older, will be covered by the law.

Opponents of the "campus carry" legislation — most prominently University of Texas System President William McRaven, a retired admiral, Navy SEAL, and head of U.S. Special Operations forces — weren't placated by the compromise. And neither were some advocates — Students for Concealed Carry declared defeat and said they'll "try again in 2017."

The law, once signed, will take effect on Aug. 1, 2017, on community college campuses and a year earlier at Texas public universities and colleges, including the flagship University of Texas at Austin, where support isn't high for guns on campus. "The university was the scene of the nation's first campus mass shooting on Aug. 1, 1966, when a sniper, Charles Whitman, fired at people from the school's clock tower in a day of violence that left 16 people dead," notes The New York Times. "The campus-carry law will take effect there Aug. 1, 2016, exactly 50 years later."

Seven other states allow concealed carry on public university campuses, 19 ban concealed guns on campus, and 23 leave it up to universities or state boards of regents. Peter Weber

Watch this
1:24 a.m. ET

Clueless guys mangling their intimate conversations with wives and girlfriends is a staple of comedy, but Amy Schumer gave it a martial arts twist on Tuesday's Inside Amy Schumer. "You're here to evade and defuse the ancient art of female emotional combat," Schumer told a group of three men, dressed in lycra combat attire. One by one, the dudes faced off against their sparring partner, Caitlyn, a stand-in girlfriend. Only one succeeded, but along the way Schumer was able to poke fun at both genders. "Remember, women can't deny the authority of therapy and/or Oprah," she said at one point. It's funny, but it's probably unintentionally instructive, too. Guys. Peter Weber

In Memoriam
12:12 a.m. ET

On Tuesday, President Obama posthumously awarded the nation's highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor, to Army Sgt. William Shemin and Pvt. Henry Johnson, two soldiers who demonstrated heroic bravery during World War I and were apparently passed over for decoration because Shemin was Jewish and Johnson was black.

Johnson, who fought off a German sneak attack in 1918 while attached to a French unit, had been awarded France's highest military honor, but the Pentagon normally only awards top military honors within five years of the celebrated incident. A defense bill passed in December scratched those rules for Johnson and Shemin, who rescued wounded colleagues under fire for three days in 1918.

"We are a nation, a people who remember our heroes," Obama said at a ceremony in the White House. "We never forget their sacrifice, and we believe it's never too late to say thank you." Watch highlights of the ceremony below. Peter Weber

surveillance nation
June 2, 2015
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 36 hours after key provisions of the Patriot Act expired during a congressional stalemate, the Senate voted, 67 to 32, to curtail the bulk collection of Americans' phone records in what is being called a "remarkable reversal" of national security policy. Under the USA Freedom Act, which now heads to President Obama's desk, phone data would stay private, but the government could search records under court orders.

UPDATE: Obama signed the bill Tuesday night, saying the "legislation will strengthen civil liberty safeguards and provide greater public confidence in these programs." He also chided the Senate for "a needless delay and inexcusable lapse in important national security authorities." Samantha Rollins

Evidence-based medicine
June 2, 2015

If you get a test for something at the doctor and it comes back positive, chances are you're going to be very anxious. Does that mean you have the disease? Maybe. But as Aaron Carroll explains below, this can be a misleading way to think.

The prevalence of the disease — that is, the number of people in the general population who have it — can sharply effect one's chances with such a test. One study of mammograms, for example, found that over 95 percent of people with a positive test for breast cancer did not actually have it.

That's only the first part of a complex topic, but it's really worth understanding. Check it out. Ryan Cooper

This just in
June 2, 2015
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Walmart announced Tuesday that it is raising the starting wage for more than 100,000 of its U.S. workers, including department managers and workers in specialized divisions. The wage increases will go into effect next month.

Workers in Walmart's deli and wireless product divisions, for example, will now earn between $9.90 and $18.81 an hour, compared with a range from $9.20 to $18.53 an hour before the increase, The Associated Press reports. Meanwhile, department managers in electronics and automotive care will earn between $13 and $24.70 an hour, compared with $10.30 to $20.09 before the increase.

In February, Walmart announced that it would raise its minimum wage for all workers to $9 an hour in April and to $10 next February. Walmart is America's largest private-sector employer, with 1.3 million employees nationwide. The company said it is spending $1 billion to raise its workers' wages. Meghan DeMaria

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