By Jack Fitzpatrick (@jackfitzdc)
TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russian troops were pulled back from the border, but the White House isn't sure he's telling the truth. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said interest rates will have to stay low for a "considerable" amount of time despite the economy's overall improvement. Patton Boggs withdrew from its involvement in a lawsuit against Chevron and agreed to pay $15 million in a historic retreat. Former NSA Director Keith Alexander said the Russian government is likely manipulating Edward Snowden. And Republicans plan to have fewer primary debates—and hopefully less crazy ones—leading up to 2016.
PUTIN SAYS RUSSIAN TROOPS HAVE PULLED BACK; WHITE HOUSE NOT SO SURE: The Russian president said troops were no longer at the Ukrainian border, but NATO and the White House both said there is no evidence that is the case. (Neil MacFarquhar, NYT)
YELLEN: ECONOMY IS PRETTY GOOD, HOUSING IS NOT GREAT: The Fed chair told the congressional Joint Economic Committee that interest rates would have to stay low for awhile because the housing recovery is going slowly and because unemployment is still too high. (Martin Crutsinger, AP)
PATTON BOGGS SURRENDERS IN BATTLE WITH CHEVRON: The law firm had vowed to ensure a pollution judgment was enforced against Chevron, but it withdrew from the case in a possibly unprecedented move after Chevron threatened to pursue allegations of fraud against the firm. (Paul Barrett, Bloomberg Businessweek)
ALEXANDER: SNOWDEN BEING MANIPULATED BY RUSSIANS: The former NSA chief said "they're only going to let him do those things that benefit Russia, or stand to help improve Snowden's credibility. They're not going to do things that would hurt themselves. And they're not going to allow him to do it." (Reuters)
TOMORROW IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will testify at 9:30 a.m. at a Senate Budget Committee hearing. Executives from Comcast and Time Warner Cable will testify at a9:30 a.m. House Judiciary Committee hearing on the companies' proposed merger. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, and Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta will participate in a town hall hosted by the Partnership for Public Service at 9 a.m. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew will testify at 10 a.m. at a House Financial Services Committee hearing. President Obama will attend Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee events in California.
THE SENATE'S BEST AND WORST ATTENDANCE RECORDS: Congratulations to Sen. Susan Collins, who has never missed a vote. Sens. John McCain, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz don't have such perfect records. (Roller/Stamm, NJ)
REPUBLICANS NEED TO TONE DOWN THEIR PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: At least that's what the Republican National Committee concluded after its entertaining but ridiculous string of 2012 debates. Now, it's forming a standing committee that will probably cut the number of debates in half. (John Dickerson, Slate)
HUNTSMAN FOR PRESIDENT? UH, PROBABLY NOT: It didn't work in 2012 and it probably wouldn't work in 2016, despite Huntsman saying he'd be "open" to running again. (Chris Cillizza, WaPo)
WHO SHOULD YOU FOLLOW ON TWITTER TO KEEP UP WITH THE NIGERIAN KIDNAPPINGS? American media haven't covered the kidnappings of hundreds of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram very thoroughly. Here are the Nigerians who will keep you updated on Twitter. (Zack Beauchamp, Vox)
A FORMER DRUG KINGPIN LOBBIES FOR LIGERS: Mario Taubraue Sr. once led a cocaine empire. Now he's lobbying for his right to own exotic animals. (Tim Murphy, Mother Jones)
LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Hillary Clinton says her guilty pleasure is chocolate, and Bill Clinton says his is… well… (Reena Flores, NJ)