A few items that caught our attention today: 


• In the Loop columnist Al Kamen wrote that a monkey invaded the U.S. Embassy in Sri Lanka on Dec. 20. The “wandering primate” avoided capture on Day One of its visit, but finally left the complex the next day by “vaulting the embassy wall, urged on with bananas and encouraging shouts from burly Marines and a group of off-duty drivers on the scene.” 

• Federal authorities are investigating an apparent pipe-bomb attack on Treasury Department Inspector General Eric Thorson’s home mailbox, according to Bloomberg. Investigators are trying to determine if the bombing is related to the inspector general’s work. 

Bob Woodward opined that congressional and White House leaders should leave the budget negotiations to their top-level staffers, who apparently came closer to a debt deal than any of the leaders themselves last year.

Woodward wrote:

“In my files is a one-page, typed document dated Oct. 23, 2011, showing that they essentially reached agreement. The Republicans had a total deficit reduction of $1.2 trillion and the Democrats had $1.24 trillion — a difference of $40 billion, not much.

“Some staffers were ready to break out the champagne. They had a pipeline straight to the leadership in both parties. But the members of the supercommittee did not trust each other. Instead of adopting the staff agreement or a version of it, they decided to go big and craft a deficit-reduction package of up to $3 trillion. They were shooting for a ‘grand bargain.'”

• The Post’s Brady Dennis reported that the FDA is finally implementing sweeping changes in food-safety regulations that President Obama signed into law two years ago.

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