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News roundup: Glenn Beck says Russia could nuke Utah over NSA center

Glenn Beck: Russia could nuke Utah over NSA data center. Swallow says investigators have vendetta. Mormons help pass anti-discrimination act.

Happy Friday. Glenn Beck says he's "very concerned about Utah," and specifically Sen. Orrin Hatch, whom the conservative host blasted for bringing the National Security Agency's Utah Data Center to the state. "The NSA is a danger to the people of Utah," Beck said, arguing that Russia could use a "tactical nuke" to hit the center. Beck continued that Hatch and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are "spooky." [Mediaite]

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Topping the news: Attorney General John Swallow charges the House committee investigating him has become a political vendetta to justify spending $3 million of taxpayer money. [Trib] [DNews]

-> Swallow, meanwhile, loaned his campaign $50,000 and raised another $100,000 from longtime donors but some of that may end up paying his hefty legal bills. [Trib]

-> With the help of Mormon senators, the Senate approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act which bans discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Five of the seven LDS members in the Senate voted in favor of the bill, including Sen. Orrin Hatch. Sen. Mike Lee opposed it. [Trib] [ReviewJournal] Nationally: [NYTimes] [WaPost] [Politico] [CNN]

-> The LDS Church issued a statement in response to Reid's insistence that his faith's beliefs are changing over LGBT issues. [MormonNewsroom]

Tweet of the day: From @philipaklein: "Obama to Iran: If you like your nuclear program, you can keep your nuclear program."

Happy birthday: Today to Matt Sandgren, senior counsel to Sen. Orrin Hatch, and conservative activist Cherilyn Eagar. On Saturday to State Central Committee member Melissa Gonzalez, state Rep. Dean Sanpei and Charles Henderson. On Sunday to state Rep. Mike McKell.

In other news: West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder says that the election shows that his city is on the right track by electing officials who will keep the city moving forward. [Trib]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch said that GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli would have won the top spot in Virginia had two unnamed senators -- i.e. Sens. Mike Lee and Ted Cruz -- caused the government to shutdown. [Trib]

-> Pat Bagley shares is thoughts on Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and his claims of not plagiarizing. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly discusses the Salt Lake County Republican Party's attempt to employ party politics in a nonpartisan election backfired in Holladay. [Trib]

-> The group Protect Our Neighborhood Elections defends Utah's current caucus and convention system at the state Capitol saying it gives a chance for anyone to run for office, not just the rich and famous. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV]

-> Bob Bernick and Bryan Schott discuss AG Swallow's missing files and say that if he's to be believed, he doesn't know how to use a computer. [UtahPolicy]

Nationally: President Barack Obama apologized to those Americans who will lose their health insurance even after his constant promises that they wouldn't. Obama asked his staff to find all possible ways that the administration could preserve those insurance plans. [WaPost] [Politico] [CNN] [NYTimes] [BuzzFeed]

-> The FDA announced that it will start phasing out trans fats from the food industry to reduce the risk of heart disease. There is no scheduled deadline of the phase-out, and different foods will have different timelines. [WaPost] [CNN] [NYTimes]

-> The CIA is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year to gain limited access to the company's phone records database to assist in overseas counterterrorism investigations. [NYTimes]

-> USA Today outlines what 2014 political races you should look out for, including the race between Rep. Jim Matheson and Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love. [USAToday]

-> Members of Congress were reminded that they're not allowed to purchase Twitter's IPO until trading begins and is widely available to the public. The rule is part of the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act which passed in April 2012, and also limits Congress' senior staff from purchasing. [CNN]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Chris Stewart meets with Bureau of Reclamation officials and the American Association of University Women and sits down with constituents to discuss immigration and healthcare issues.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert takes a personal day.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams eats breakfast with Sandy community members, holds a county staff meeting and sits down with Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker meets with with Salt Lake City Council Chair Kyle LaMalfa and Vice Chair Jill Remington Love.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends to personal business.
  • President Barack Obama travels to New Orleans to discuss the economy and tour the Port of New Orleans, then flies to Miami to attend DNC and DSCC events.

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]

-- Thomas Burr and Jordan Bailey

Twitter.com/thomaswburr Twitter.com/thejordanbailey

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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