U.S. to shutter embassies over security threat. Dolan highest paid mayor. Taxpayers to pickup tab for Swallow's bar fight.
Happy Friday. In a rare move, the United States plans to close numerous embassies -- including those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt -- starting Sunday as a precaution against an unnamed terroristic threat. The State Department declined to say why the facilities would be shuttered but an official noted there may be "additional days of closing" related to the concern. [FoxNews]
Topping the news: Utah taxpayers will pick up the tab for AG John Swallow's defense lawyers in his fight against allegations before the state bar that he violated attorney-client rules of conduct. [Trib]
-> Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan topped the list as the highest-paid city mayor in Utah for the 2012 fiscal year. SLC's Mayor Ralph Becker came in fourth. [Trib]
Happy birthday: On Sunday to President Barack Obama.
In other news: A report by the Interior Department's inspector general found that Park Police have lost track of hundreds of weapons. A joint hearing by Utah Reps. Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz today will focus on this issue -- which was originally revealed in a report back in 2009 -- to make sure the Park Service follows up on the problem. [Trib]
-> Municipal elections are nonpartisan -- or at least supposed to be. The SL Co. GOP website listed which of the mayoral or city council candidates were Republican until a phone call from the press asked why. [Trib]
-> State lawmakers are expected to change a law that would have taxed the NSA's Utah Data Center, according to one official. [Trib]
-> Hill Air Force Base will be hosting military aircraft from several states starting today to test air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons systems. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the heated discussion surrounding Sunday's opinion piece on Glenn Beck. [Trib]
-> Paul Rolly gives the lowdown on speed traps across the state that readers should look out for. [Trib]
-> Bob Bernick takes a quick look at the law firms vying to be the special counsel to the state Legislature in its probe of Swallow. [UtahPolicy]
-> In a column, Bernick says Utah isn't as crazy as some southern states. [UtahPolicy]
-> West Valley City has a final candidate for the open police chief spot. City officials anticipate making a public announcement in mid-August. [DNews]
-> Up against the January 2014 deadline to expand Medicaid or offer comparable coverage to qualify for federal funds, a working group to discuss potential alternatives to expansion met at the state Capitol yesterday. [Trib] [DNews]
Nationally: Russia has granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum for one year, infuriating U.S. officials. President Barack Obama is considering canceling his visit to Moscow that had been scheduled for early September. [NYTimes] [TheHill]
-> Obama is facing a division within his own party over the NSA surveillance programs. The president met with a bipartisan group of members of Congress, both supporters and critics, to discuss their concerns. [WaPost] [Politico]
-> In the final hours before the summer congressional recess, lawmakers were unable to forge ahead with a government spending plan. Deep divisions within the Republican caucus have stopped both an austere House bill and a more liberal Senate bill. [NYTimes] [WaPost]
-> Obama announced he's going to nominate John Koskinen to head the IRS. Koskinen took over bankrupt Freddie Mac after the financial crisis and worked through two government shutdowns as a budget official in the Clinton White House. Sen. Orrin Hatch is not pleased that the president didn't consult him before making the announcement. [NYTimes] [Politico] [WaPost] [TheHill]
Where are they?