CHICAGO (Wireless Flash) – Somebody is paying good money to get in one teen country singer’s pants: $3,710. That’s how much a pair of khakis worn by 13-year-old Billy Gilman went for in an online auction for the City Of Hope hospital.

LOS ANGELES – Hugh Hefner is the proud owner of a new mansion. Hef spent $4.5 million for the new five-bedroom house near his current Playboy Mansion. Hef won’t be moving out of his current mansion, though, and there’s no word on how the new property will be used.

NEW YORK – Backstreet Boys fans have reason to be depressed. The group is postponing its U.S. tour until August 7 so that singer A.J. McLean can be treated for clinical depression. The group claims McLean’s mental problems have led to anxiety attacks and booze abuse.

STOCKHOLM – Sweden’s prime minister is suing a Swedish health care company for a series of advertisements that compare him to Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The company claims the two are alike because both countries hold a state monopoly on over-the-counter drugs.

INDIANAPOLIS – Talk about a big bully: An Indiana teen has received four years of probation for holding up a lemonade stand run by 10 year olds. The 18-year-old man threatened the tots with a knife in order to get their cash, a total of just $10.

NEW YORK – Does playing a lawyer on TV qualify you to teach law students? NYU’s law school seem to think so: It’s just hired actress Anna Deveare Smith of TV’s The Practice to teach future attorneys “listening skills.”

PARIS – Fearing another revolution, Paris city officials have decided to make the twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower a permanent attraction. The lights were to be removed on July 14, but will now be replaced with a permanent structure by 2003.

BOSTON – Raise your pitcher to Nolan Ryan – He’s the baseball pitcher most Americans would like to share a pitcher of beer with. A new survey by Sam Adams beer shows that after Nolan, Americans would choose to booze with Satchel Paige second and Sandy Koufax third.

JOHANNESBURG – A Roman Catholic bishop in South Africa has proposed lifting the ban on condoms to prevent the spread of the AIDS virus. The bishop admits he doesn’t expect any other bishops to accept his idea, but thinks it’s necessary in Africa.

NEW YORK – Meryl Streep’s latest stage role is a mother and child reunion. Streep’s real-life son, Henry Gummer, will appear with her in a production of The Seagull being staged in New York’s Central Park later this month.