News roundup: Behind the NSA's domestic spying
Published: June 21, 2013 07:34AM
Updated: June 21, 2013 07:34AM
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FILE - This Sept. 19, 2007 file photo shows the National Security Agency building at Fort Meade, Md. As many as one of every five worldwide terror threats picked up by U.S. government surveillance has been targeted on the United States, the Obama administration says. But officials are reluctant to say much more about the 50 plots they claim have been thwarted. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

The NSA's domestic spy protocol. Herbert backs Swallow investigation. House debates impeachment committee makeup.

Happy Friday. The Guardian newspaper is out with more information on the National Security Agency's ability to dig into domestic communications. The paper explores the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court's broad jurisdiction and says that the feds can spy on domestic communications without a warrant. [Guardian]

Topping the news: Gov. Gary Herbert voiced his support of the decision to begin investigating the conduct of AG John Swallow, stating that people need to know whether the allegations are just smoke or whether there's really fire underneath. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Utah House leaders are debating the political make up of the committee that will investigate Swallow. Some argue that it should have equal Democrats and Republicans, while others support the idea of the committee reflecting the chamber's 61-14 GOP majority. [Trib]

-> The cost of the investigation and possible impeachment of AG John Swallow is as yet unknown. [Herald]

Tweets of the day: From @daveweigel: "GOP leadership blaming tricky Dems for killing farm bill as every conservative group issues "YAY NO FARM BILL" press releases."

In other news: The Salt Lake County Council asks Sen. Orrin Hatch to back a bill aimed at eliminating discrimination toward job seekers because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. As a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions the Council believes Hatch has a good chance of steering the bill through the Senate. [Trib]

-> Federal health officials have given the thumbs up to a temporary extension of a Utah health program that provides limited preventative health insurance for people who don't qualify for Medicaid. The program will remain in place until Nov. 15 to give Utah extra time to figure out the different option available under Affordable Care Act. [Trib]

-> Residents and officials in Northern Utah are generally keen supporters of the area's water parks, despite the facilities being a drain on taxpayer money. [Trib]

-> Brent Anderson, West Valley City's fourth mayor who was responsible for the construction of the municipality's city hall, has died at the age of 80. [Trib]

-> Bryan Schott and Bob Bernick discuss the Swallow investigation and why lawmakers aren't so keen on the recall idea. [UtahPolicy]

-> Pat Bagley's guest cartoonist Mike Keefe gives his take on the government surveillance issue. [Trib]

-> Officials looking into Utah's air pollution issue reiterate that when it comes to finding a solution to the problem, the time is now. [DNews]

Nationally: Sens. John Hoeven and Bob Corker have put forward an amendment to the Gang of Eight's bipartisan immigration reform bill that would strengthen the border security provisions. They hope to garner as many as 15 additional Republican votes. [Politico] [NYTimes] [WaPost]

-> The House rejected the Farm Bill on Thursday because both sides of the aisle were dissatisfied with proposed cuts to the food stamps program. Democrats thought the cuts were too drastic while Republicans argued that farm spending programs are too generous. [NYTimes] [Politico]

-> NSA leaker Edward Snowden has released new documents that reveal the detailed rules governing the agency's intercepts. These rules reveal the sharp and sensitive distinction the agency makes between foreigners and "U.S. persons." [NYTimes] [WaPost]

-> A bipartisan group of senator sare close to an agreement on a plan to prevent the scheduled student loan interest increase. [Politico]

-> President Barack Obama has set his staff members up in a secret office on Capitol Hill with the single aim of making sure that the immigration bill passes. [NYTimes]

-> Obama announced his intention of nominating James B. Comey, a senior Justice Department official from the President George W. Bush era, to the office of F.B.I. director. [NYTimes]

Where are they?

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-- Thomas Burr and Isobel Markham
Twitter.com/thomaswburr and Twitter.com/i_markham