SORRY, PARDNER

BIG TOBACCO FESSES UP AND PAYS UP--$368.5 BILLION, BUT CONGRESS MUST APPROVE THE DEAL

For five days, the negotiators, exhausted and increasingly needy of fresh shirts, darted between Washington's Park Hyatt and ANA hotels, from conference room to mezzanine, hallway to bedroom conference call. Every so often, rumpled lawyers would emerge with wildly divergent claims about the progress of the fractious tobacco talks: a settlement was imminent, negotiators had hit the worst impasse since the start of deliberations on April 3, talks were on the brink of collapse. Wait! There's a settlement! (Well, almost...) Finally, at 3:30 p.m. last Friday, a chorus of state attorneys general gathered around a microphone in the ANA's ballroom to...

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