Only in America
July 29, 2011

A New Jersey appeals court this week ruled that a group of vegetarian Hindus, who were inadvertently served samosas containing meat at a Moghul Express, can sue the restaurant for the cost of flying to India to purify their souls in the Ganges River for 30 days. "If you follow the scriptures, it's definitely a huge cost," said Mehul Thakkar of the Yogi Divine Society. The Week Staff

This just in
12:22 p.m. ET

Ussama Rahim, the 26-year-old Boston resident who was shot dead after he charged a police officer with a military-style knife, had planned to behead a police officer, officials said Wednesday. Rahim was under 24-hour surveillance by terrorism investigators when he pulled out the knife and approached the officers, who ultimately shot him after he charged them and refused to stand down.

A law enforcement officer told The New York Times that Rahim had become radicalized thanks to Islamic militant social media sites, and that he posed an "imminent threat" on the day of his death.

Read more at The New York Times. Samantha Rollins

This just in
12:16 p.m. ET

An American tourist killed by a lion while on safari in South Africa has been identified as Katherine Chappell of Rye, New York, who worked as a digital effects editor on the popular HBO series Game of ThronesFrom NBC News:

She was killed on Monday when a "lioness approached from the passenger side and bit the lady through the window," according to Scott Simpson, the assistant operations manager at Lion Park, open-air facility north of Johannesburg.

Witnesses told park officials that the windows were down, Simpson added. He said there are numerous signs warning visitors to keep them up. [NBC News]

Chappell also worked on the movies Captain America: Winter Soldier and Divergence. Ryu Spaeth

2016 Watch
11:38 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Washington Post this week published a very useful overview of the rise of the Clinton Foundation, from its humble roots helping small business owners in Harlem to the sprawling philanthropic empire it has become today — one that has produced numerous conflicts of interest that have already created headaches for Hillary Clinton's presidential aspirations.

One of the more interesting aspects of the story is how the Clinton Foundation filled a void in Bill Clinton's restless post-presidential life, turning him — project by project, donation by donation — into the "world's middleman" for getting stuff done, whether it be lowering the cost of AIDS drugs or fighting childhood obesity:

For Clinton, the foundation had re-created many of the things he loved about the presidency — cheering crowds, an army of aides, and a resonant sense that he was doing good on a global scale.

Even better, in this job, there were no foreign crises to derail his plans. And no meddling Republicans. In fact, the foundation drew contributions from some who were once Clinton’s most bitter GOP enemies, including Newsmax chief executive Christopher Ruddy and conservative mega-donor Richard Mellon Scaife.

There was also no date when the ride had to end. [The Washington Post]

Of course, now that his wife is running for president, Clinton's excellent adventure may be coming to an end quite soon. Read the whole piece at the Post. Ryu Spaeth

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:

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