10 Things to Know: This Week's Takeaways

2/7/2014 3:15 PM
By Associated Press

Looking back at the stories to remember from the past week:

1. OLYMPICS BEGIN IN SOCHI

The Winter Games opened on Friday, the beginning of a two-week star turn on the international stage for Vladimir Putin's Russia. The preparations have been dogged by terrorism fears and protests over a Russian law against gay "propaganda."

2. U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS PANEL BLASTS THE VATICAN OVER SEX SCANDAL

Putting new pressure on Pope Francis, the committee issued a scathing report Wednesday accusing the Vatican of maintaining a "code of silence" that enabled priests to molest tens of thousands of children over the decades. The Vatican said the panel ignored measures it has already taken.

3. THE SUPER BOWL IS A SUPER BLOWOUT

The Seattle Seahawks' 43-8 victory Sunday over the Denver Broncos wasn't much of a contest. But the game on Fox drew 111.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched television event in U.S. history.

4. OSCAR-WINNER PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN DIES AT 46

Regarded as one of the finest actors of his generation, the "Capote" star was found dead in his New York apartment Sunday of an apparent heroin overdose, a needle in his arm. The death cast a spotlight on the resurgence of heroin in the U.S.

5. CVS CAREMARK IS KICKING THE TOBACCO HABIT

President Barack Obama, doctors and anti-smoking groups commended the nation's No. 2 drugstore chain when it announced Wednesday that it will stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. CVS decided smokes were incompatible with its in-store clinics and other efforts to become more of a health care provider.

6. CONGRESS PASSES A FARM BILL

The nearly $100 billion-a-year measure, signed by President Obama on Friday after a two-year battle, expands federal crop insurance and ends direct government payments that go to farmers whether they produce anything or not. A big share of the money goes toward the nation's 47 million food stamp recipients.

7. SYRIAN REGIME DROPS 'BARREL BOMBS' IN ESCALATING FIGHT OVER STRATEGIC CITY

The fearsome, makeshift weapons — containers filled with explosives, fuel and scrap metal — have been blamed by activists for more than 250 deaths in Aleppo in just six days. Syrian forces have been dropping the bombs via helicopter in a campaign criticized by human rights groups and the United Nations.

8. MICROSOFT GOES WITH AN INSIDER AS ITS NEW CEO

Satya Nadella, whose selection was announced Tuesday, will lead the software giant as it struggles to catch up with its rivals in mobile computing. He will also try to do more to exploit so-called cloud computing. He is only the third chief executive in Microsoft's 38-year history.

9. IMMIGRATION OVERHAUL IS IN TROUBLE

Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday all but ruled out passage of immigration legislation before this fall's elections. He said Republicans just don't trust the president. At issue: the status of the estimated 11 million people living illegally in the U.S.

10. JAY LENO STEPS DOWN FROM 'TONIGHT SHOW'

The 63-year-old comic said goodbye with Thursday night's broadcast, calling his stint the "greatest 22 years of my life." He makes way for Jimmy Fallon.


Will the new Dairy Margin Protection Program eventually pay off for farmers?

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9/22/2014 | Last Updated: 4:01 PM