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Lil Wayne, right, performs during the Caesars Entertainment "Escape To Total Rewards" concert in Los Angeles, Thursday, March 1, 2012. Simultaneous concert events were held in New York, Chicago, New Orleans and Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
News roundup: Celebs want Obama to ease up on drug sentences

Hollywood on Obama's back over drug laws. Merrill Cook onUFO panel. How Margaret Thatcher changed England and made a big impact here.

Happy Tuesday. A group of more than 100 entertainers from Lil Wayne to Scarlett Johansson are pressuring President Barack Obama to change drug laws offering treatment instead of incarceration for non-violent offenders. [AP]

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Topping the news: With a tough economic climate, some of Utah's rural counties are interested in becoming the future home of a new state prison and the county jails are arguing that it makes sense for them to house more state inmates as well. [Trib]

-> Former Rep. Merrill Cook will take part in a six-day mock panel on UFOs in Washington later this month – promising to keep an open mind despite saying he doesn't believe in aliens flying to Earth. [Trib]

-> An Ogden man who ambitiously billed the federal government for $53 trillion in legal damages is on his way to prison. [DNews]

Thatcher: Britain's "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher died Monday. The first and only female prime minister of Great Britain, she held office for 11 and a half years, overseeing the latter years of the Cold War, the Falklands War and transformed her country's political and economic life. [NYTimes] [WaPost] [APviaTrib]

-> Thatcher was a close friend and political ally of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Here's a look at the top five moments in Britain-U.S. relations during her time in office.

[WaPost]

-> Politicians from both sides of the pond outpoured tributes to the notable Conservative, lauding how she changed her country's politics and broke down barriers for women. [Politico] [NYTimes]

-> After news of her passing, see what three notable Utahns said about former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. [Trib]

-> Thatcher came to Salt Lake City in 1996 to discuss politics and British-U.S. relations with high-profile Utahns. While in Utah, she toured local spots, received an honorary degree from BYU and even took in a Mormon Tabernacle Choir show. [DNews]

Happy birthday: to Salt Lake County Democratic Treasurer Alan Anderson.

Tweet of the day: From @TheFix: "President Obama scapegoating media for dividing the country. That is something both parties agree on. Bipartisanship!"

From @StevenTDennis: "Obama ratcheted up the rhetoric to full back-this-bill-or-you-don't-care-about-children-getting-shot mode. Sign things aren't going so well?"

In other news: Legislative sources say that an override of Gov. Gary Herbert's veto of a bill that would allow Utahns to carry a concealed weapon without a permit is now unlikely due to shifting tides of opinion. [Herald]

-> Salt Lake City fired up its bike share program on Monday, debuting 100 three-speed bikes available for rent at 10 stations around the city. [Trib] [DNews] [Fox13] [ABC4]

-> Salt Lake County assessor Lee Gardner says he's leaving his post to serve a mission with his wife in Barcelona, Spain. [Trib]

-> Nobody has filed an ethics complaint against a state lawmaker since the Legislature create an ethics commission two years ago. [UtahPolicy]

Nationally: President Barack Obama made an impassioned plea for Congress to at least vote on gun control measures in a speech in Hartford, Conn., part of a last-ditch effort to implement changes after the Sandy Hook school shooting in nearby Newtown four months ago. [Politico] [WaPost] [NYTimes]

-> NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun control group is taking a page from the NRA and producing its own congressional scorecard. [WaPost]

-> When you follow @BarackObama, you're not really getting a direct line to the President – instead, everything you see on Twitter (and on Facebook and Tumblr and in your email) is actually being formulated by Organizing for Action, ruffling the feathers of some federal campaign regulators. [AtlanticWire]

-> The results are in for the Washington Post's Sweet 2016 political bracket, with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winning out with more than 80 percent of 3,700 votes cast. [WaPost]

-> This could be good news for Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, who says that she may consider running for office in New York if she could make a "meaningful" impact.

[Politico] [WaPost]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz hits a lunch fundraiser and then meets with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
  • Utah Gov. Gary Herbert goes to a Junior Achievement annual breakfast, has a Utah Health Exchange update meeting, has a Utah Capital Investment Corporation planning meeting, interviews with Jack Healy from The New York Times, meets with Michael O’Malley, tours the state capitol with U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams, and hits the Sutherland Institute's 100 Club.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams has a Unified Fire Authority committee meeting, hits a paramedic graduation, meets with the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, has a Committee of the Whole meeting, tours the state capitol with U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin and Gov. Gary Herbert, goes to a County Council meeting and an Emigration Community Council meeting and last but not least, a One Million Trees recognition event at a Jazz game.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with department directors, attends a Donor Awareness Month press conference, has a policy consensus initiative conference call, has a performing arts center meeting and a City Council meeting.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder goes to an Economic Development Corporation of Utah board meeting and conducts a City Council meeting.
  • President Barack Obama meets with Vice President Joe Biden and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, and then takes in a Memphis soul concert at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama.

Got a tip? A birthday, wedding or anniversary to announce? Email us at cornflakes@sltrib.com. If you haven't already, sign up for our weekday email and get this sent directly to your inbox. [Trib]

-- Matt Canham and Emily Andrews

Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/emilytandrews



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