Merkel miffed over spying. Obama delays Obamacare sign up deadline. Stewart wants to head off future national park shutdowns.
Happy Thursday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is more than a little peeved to learn the United States may have been listening in on her phone calls. The White House says it is not and will not listen to their call, but wouldn't say it had not in the past. [WaPost] [NYTimes]
Topping the news: The Obama administration announced it will delay the deadline for Americans to purchase health insurance by 6 weeks. Officials say the move is unrelated to the glitches plaguing the healthcare.gov website, but to clarify confusion on a deadline in the 2010 law. [WaPost] [Politico] [CNN]
-> Rep. Chris Stewart introduced legislation that would allow states to run national park in case of a shutdown, and get reimbursed for keeping the parks open. [Trib]
-> After national stories point out the criticism Sen. Mike Lee has received from some Utah GOP leaders, Lee says he doesn't regret his defund Obamacare strategy and will fight on. [KUTV]
Tweet of the day: From @KimJongNumberUn: "When I look at the problems Obama is having with his website I'm glad I banned the Internet."
In other news: College costs are rising slower than they have in years, but over the last five years the costs for Utah's students went up 30 percent. [Trib]
-> One mill owner thinks he can make something out of Utah's dying forests. [Trib]
-> Bryan Schott says the state GOP's move to tweak its caucus system is too little too late. [UtahPolicy]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the Goblin Valley screw up. [Trib]
-> UTA's 2014 budget shows no need to increase fares and it expands rail and bus services. Riders can also expect to be charged a fee for the length of their trip instead of a flat fee, and more buses powered by natural gas. [Trib]
-> UTA has given the go ahead for study to be conducted in Ogden for a streetcar or bus rapid transit line connecting downtown Ogden to Weber State and McKay-Dee Hospital. [Trib]
-> Gov. Gary Herbert appointed Brent H. Bartholomew to be the newest judge on the 4th District Juvenile Court bench. Bartholomew has been an attorney at the Office of Guardian ad Litem since 1997. [DNews]
-> Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and school officials began the Capital City Education Collaboration Agreement to help cultivate a college, career and civic-ready environment. [Trib]
-> Pat Bagley gives his take on the Goblin Valley rock topplers and the state's reaction. [Trib]
-> Members within the Obama administration gave false information to suspected staff members to help identify who was behind the Twitter account @NatSecWonk. [WaPost]
-> House and Senate agricultural committee members will meet next week to discuss the details of the upcoming Farm Bill. The House and Senate budget committees are also scheduled to meet to figure out how to fund the government past Jan. 15. [WaPost]
-> Many states with large military installations, research centers and national parks were hit hard during the shutdown. That means Utah. [Stateline]
Where are they?