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News Corp’s British arm has settled 37 cases of phone hacking and agreed to pay damages to the victims, which include high-profile names like Jude law and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, the Associated Press reports. Many of the settlements were more than 10,000 pounds, according to the AP, but Judge Law received about $200,000.

Bill Miller, an Austin political consultant and lobbyist who supported Rick Perry, told TPM that while he was unsure what prompted Perry’s decision to drop out, internal pressure was a crucial factor.

“I do believe supporters and staff urged him to strongly consider the path he chose,” he said. “I don’t think it is Gingrich’s rise in the polls as much as his own lack thereof. He’s been hearing it since Iowa.”

Commenting on Perry’s endorsement, Newt Gingrich said he has asked Perry to head up a Tenth Amendment enforcement project. Here’s the rough transcript:

I have asked him to head up a Tenth Amendment enforcement project reaching out to every government, reaching out to state legislatures, working with conservative legislators in Washington so we can have a strong platform plank in Tampa in August on the Tenth Amendment, and we can have a very strong bill we can put in the 21 century contract with Americans in September, and we can then pass that legislation no later than the end of the first quarter of 2013.

Newt Gingrich did write the introduction to Perry’s book, Fed Up!

Perry has accepted the offer to run this Tenth Amendment program.

Thursday night, TPM will have live coverage of the CNN debate at 8pm ET. Here are the 10 things you need to know today.

  • In Iowa vote recount, Santorum ahead by 34 votes: Almost three weeks after the Iowa caucuses, a recount shows that Rick Santorum actually had 34 votes more than Mitt Romney; despite this development, the Iowa state GOP has decided to call it a "split decision" or "tie." The Des Moines Register explains why.
  • Gingrich's second wife unloads on Newt: Newt Gingrich's second wife, Marianne, says she has enough dirt on her ex-husband to end his campaign. Well, she's decided now is that time to provide that information, and gave an interview to ABC News that is set to air after at 11:35 ET, after Thursday's debate (after some controversy at ABC over when to air the interview).
  • Read More →

Newt Gingrich’s first acknowledgement of endorsement from Rick Perry came over Twitter: “Honored to have the support of Gov. Perry. I humbly ask his supporters to join our campaign so we can defeat Obama.”

Update: Here’s the official statement:

“I am humbled and honored to have the support of my friend Rick Perry. His selflessness is yet another demonstration of his deep sense of citizenship and commitment to the cause of limited government, historic American values and greater freedom for every American.

“Governor Perry will continue to be a leader for the cause of conservatism, especially for more American energy and for implementing the 10th Amendment across the country.

“South Carolinians have a chance this Saturday to nominate a bold Reagan conservative who will offer a dramatic contrast with President Obama this fall in the general election.

“I ask the supporters of Governor Perry to look at my record of balancing the budget, cutting spending, reforming welfare, and enacting pro-growth policies to create millions of new jobs and humbly ask for their vote.”

Perry said he “began this race with a sense of calling.” But callings don’t guarantee outcomes. Instead, Perry says, he feels rewarded by the journey and says he is “not done fighting for the cause of conservatism, as a matter of fact, I have just begun to fight.”

Rick Perry, explaining his decision to drop out and endorse Newt Gingrich, said “I’ve always believed the mission is greater than the man,” and in this case the “mission” was “to defeat President Obama and replace him with a conservative leader who can bring about real change.”

“I’m not done fighting for the cause of conservatism,” he continued. “As a matter of fact, I have just begun to fight.”

Mitt Romney’s campaign released the following statement on Rick Perry’s exit from the race:

Rick Perry ran a campaign based upon love of country and conservative principles. He has earned a place of prominence as a leader in our party and I salute him for his commitment to making President Obama a one-term president and finally getting our nation’s economy back on the right track. The nation owes Governor Perry a debt of gratitude for his years of service to his state and country. I wish Anita and him well.

More from Perry’s “suspension speech”:

“As a Texan i’ve never shied away from a fight,” he said. However, he noted he’d long admired former Texan governor Sam Houston, whom he described as “the great – if not the greatest – governor.” Watching his example, he said, meant “I know when it’s time to make a strategic retreat.”

Rick Perry said on Thursday that he saw no “viable path forward for me.” Calling it a “strategic retreat,” Perry announced he was suspending his campaign and endorsing Newt Gingrich.