By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)
TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: CVS will stop selling cigarettes by October, despite the fact that it will cut $2 billion from company revenues. The United Nations called on the Vatican to remove all clergy suspected of abusing children. Google will not have to pay a fine following its European antitrust case. American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is running for Congress in North Carolina. Russia and the U.S. are in an Olympics standoff over Chobani yogurt. And Bill Nye used kangaroos and limestone to prove his points in his debate over creationism last night.
CVS WILL STOP SELLING CIGARETTES, EVEN THOUGH IT'LL COST THEM BILLIONS: The stores will stop selling all tobacco products by Oct. 1, cutting annual revenue by about 1.6 percent, or $2 billion. CEO Larry J. Merlo said it was "the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health." (Volz/Novack, NJ)
UN CALLS ON VATICAN TO REMOVE CHILD ABUSERS: A United Nations watchdog group's report criticized Vatican policies that it said allowed priests to sexually abuse young children, and for its views on homosexuality, abortion, and contraception. It also called on the Vatican to "immediately remove" all clergy suspected of abusing children. (BBC)
GOOGLE REACHES A DEAL ON ANTITRUST CASE: The company settled its antitrust case with European authorities and will not have to pay a fine. It will have to give rivals more prominent results in searches. Some competitors, including Microsoft, said the agreement was not tough enough on Google. (Mark Scott, NYT)
CLAY AIKEN IS RUNNING FOR CONGRESS: The former American Idol runner-up's campaign announced he would run as a Democrat for Rep. Renee Ellmers's seat in North Carolina. In a campaign video, Aiken criticized the Republican's votes during the federal government shutdown in October. (Elahe Izadi, NJ)
LAWMAKERS DEBATE HEALTH CARE REPORT'S MEANING: Paul Ryan and other Republicans say the CBO report proves that Obamacare makes the "poverty trap" worse, while Democrats insist that conservatives are misreading the report. The report estimated the health-care law would reduce full-time employment by more than 2 million jobs. (Erik Wasson, The Hill)
FOR THE CBO FACTS: NJ's Catherine Hollander breaks down what exactly the CBO said about Obamacare, and what it didn't. (NJ)
TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State John Kerry will attend the annual prayer breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Justice Department official Barbara Kay Bosserman and several tea-party activists will testify at a House Oversight Committee hearing on the IRS at 9:30 a.m. The Senate is expected to consider the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act. The House and Senate are in session.
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RUSSIA IS BLOCKING AMERICAN OLYMPIANS FROM GETTING THEIR YOGURT: The Russian government says Chobani, the official yogurt of American athletes, needs special certification. Sen. Chuck Schumer is not happy. (Thomas Kaplan, NYT)
THE TOP FIVE POINTS FROM BILL NYE'S CREATIONISM DEBATE: Including why kangaroos and limestone explain everything. (Alyssa Newcomb, ABC News)
SOUTH KOREA HAS A KIMCHI DEFICIT: The country is famous for its spicy, pungent cabbage, but exports are falling and imports are rising. (Matt Phillips, Quartz)
JESSE VENTURA IS HIDING FROM DRONES, PLANNING FOR HIS PRESIDENCY: The former Minnesota governor told CNBC he was on the move in Mexico "so that the drones can't find me." (Alex Brown, NJ)
EZRA KLEIN'S "PROJECT X" AND THE FUTURE OF JOURNALISM: The upcoming explanatory reporting venture raises questions about narrative journalism, the downsides of context, and more. (Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic)
WHAT TO DO WITH AN UNUSED METRO STATION: A candidate for mayor of Paris has a few ideas, including underground gardens, nightclubs, and swimming pools for his city's 11 vacant stations. (Natasha Geiling, Smithsonian Magazine)
LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: "Evidence exists"? Stephen Colbert says if that's true, "shaking in my boots would occur." (Reena Flores, NJ)
THE MANY PALM TREES OF SOCHI: Oddly enough, the Winter Olympics are taking place in a particularly warm climate -- warm enough for palm trees. (Mark Byrnes, The Atlantic Cities)CALIFORNIA'S DROUGHT IN TWO GRAPHS: Almost 9 percent of the state is in an "exceptionally" dry state, and its reservoirs are historically low. (Weise/Tucker, Businessweek)