Lunchbox: Bring on the long weekend

Life: A jury in Paducah spared the life of a former soldier convicted of raping and murdering an Iraqi girl and killing her family. Federal prosecutors sought the death penalty in the case of Steven Green, 24, but he will instead spend the remainder of his life in prison. This case marked the first time a former soldier was tried in a civilian court for crimes committed while at war.

FDA-approved smokes?: It appears Congress is on the brink of passing legislation that would charge the Food and Drug Administration with regulating how tobacco products are made and marketed. Some critics say this would present a major conflict for the FDA, which should focus solely on finding cures and ensuring products are safe, not overseeing an inherently unhealthy industry.

Summer session: State legislators will likely meet this summer to address the projected budget shortfall, according to Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, who recently sent an e-mail to his Jefferson County colleagues about the need to reconvene. The topic expected to make the top of the agenda is whether to allow video lottery terminals at racetracks.

The joke’s on you: Snarky online pranksters (aka smart-ass pricks) are on the rise, wreaking havoc on the Interwebs. One such site, collegehumor.com, is to thank the resurgence of the howling wolf T-shirt (ironically of course) and for┬árigging an online poll run by the state of Nebraska to select a new license-plate design.

Some Savage Love: And because it’s Friday, here’s an entertaining read for those of you who aren’t total prudes, courtesy of The Stranger’s sex columnist, Dan Savage.