Today in One Paragraph

Iran freed 10 U.S. Navy sailors, who had been detained on Tuesday after straying into Iranian waters due to a mechanical failure. In the U.S., the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that considers whether Congress had the authority to pass a law that helped terror victims collect damages from Iran. Rand Paul argued that the release of a new poll should promote him to the main stage ahead of Thursday’s Republican debate. And Hillary Clinton scored a big endorsement from former Attorney General Eric Holder.


Top News

Iran Releases Sailors. There is no indication that the 10 U.S. Navy sailors released by Iran after a short detention were harmed, according to Secretary of State John Kerry, who said the quick resolution was “a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong.” (Cassandra Vinograd, Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube, and Abigail Williams; NBC News)

Congressional Overreach? The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case weighing whether Congress exceeded its authority when it passed a law in 2012 aimed at assisting victims of Iran-sponsored terror attacks in collecting nearly $2 billion in Iranian assets. The justices’ probes centered heavily on separation of powers as they considered whether the ruling of a lower court—which awarded the victims damages, citing the 2012 law—should be overturned. (Ariane de Vogue, CNN)

Rand’s Demands. Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul said that a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll that has him in fifth place in Iowa should qualify him for the main stage at tomorrow’s Republican debate hosted by Fox Business. The network’s criteria relegated the Kentucky senator to the undercard debate, which Paul has declined to participate in. (Rebecca Savransky, The Hill)

Holder Endorses Hillary. Former Attorney General Eric Holder said he’s backing Hillary Clinton and will campaign for her in South Carolina. The endorsement, which comes as polls show Clinton losing ground to Bernie Sanders in Iowa, will likely help Clinton keep her edge among African American voters. (Bill Barrow, Associated Press)

Tomorrow in One Paragraph: Fox Business hosts its Republican presidential primary debate in Charleston, South Carolina. Hillary Clinton will hold a fundraiser in New York and appear on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. And Bernie Sanders will kick off his tour of historically black colleges and universities in South Carolina.


Follow stories throughout the day with our new Politics & Policy page. And keep on top of the campaign with our 2016 Distilled election dashboard.


Top Read:

“Republican strategists describe the party’s relationship with working-class voters as a long flirtation that has veered between an all-out embrace in the years of Ronald Reagan and a drift away in the George W. Bush era.” The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker and Robert Costa on the GOP’s efforts secure the support of white, working-class voters.


Top Lines

Playing Nice. Ted Cruz, who has positioned himself as “Washington’s chief anti-establishment agitator,” has quietly begun “wooing some of the party’s most entrenched donors and officials.” Donors are looking ahead with one question in mind—who can win a general election—and some see the Texas senator as the answer. (Jonathan Martin, The New York Times)

Obama Says Goodbye. When the president delivered his final State of the Union Tuesday night, he “described a different and more profound split than he had before, one that ran deeper than the discord in Washington.” (Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker)

Top Views

Visualizing LGBTQ Civil-Rights Protections. President Obama is quietly pushing for protections against workplace discrimination for LGBTQ individuals. See the current landscape of the movement in the U.S. here. (German Lopez, Vox)

The Dream Director. Meet Jessica Valoris, a “dream director” at Roosevelt High School, who’s helping students get through school in a role that combines mentorship, life coaching, and artistic training. (Daniel Lambroso, The Atlantic)


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