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(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney isn't talking much about his Mormon faith in this campaign. But in a major speech on religion during his first presidential run, he tried to assure Americans that he would put the country's interests first -- not the interests of his church. He also echoed the LDS view that the United States is a beacon to the world that was founded with the help of divine inspiration.
News roundup: Mitt Romney's non-presidential year

The governor may get a big raise. Some AG candidates may not qualify to run. Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year.

Happy Wednesday. Mitt Romney didn't become president but BuzzFeed found 19 things he did do this year, which includes making a burrito on TV, riding go-karts in the desert and taking his family on a service trip to Peru. Check out the fun photos. [BuzzFeed]

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Topping the news: Some of the Republican candidates vying for the attorney general position might not meet the requirements set by the Utah constitution that says the state's top prosecutor must be a resident in Utah for at least five years. [Trib]

-> The Elected Official and Judicial Compensation Commission says Utah's elected officials including the governor and attorney general deserve a 37 percent pay raise. That would mean Gov. Gary Herbert's salary would jump from $109,000 to $150,000. [Trib] [DNews] [KUTV] [Fox13] [UtahPolicy]

-> President Barack Obama attended and gave an eulogy at Nelson Mandela's funeral, but critics are focusing more on his handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro, and the "selfie" of Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt. [WaPost] [Politico] [CNN] [BuzzFeed]

Tweets of the day: From @TeaPartyCat: "White House: 'Obama's selfie with the Danish PM was at request of NSA after they were ordered to stop tapping phones of allies.'"

-> From @indecision: "Still can't believe Obama shook Raul Castro's hand. Memorial services are no place to set aside differences!"

Happy birthday: To Carter Livingston and Bart Barker.

In other news: Utah County leaders gather to discuss ways to improve the areas air quality after the mayor of Provo found that the smog was discouraging companies from relocating there. [Herald]

-> Two political organizations want Herbert to pick a care-taker interim attorney general who will not run for the office in 2014. [DNews]

-> West Valley City's new police chief wants to audit all of the criminal cases conducted by his officers in the last year, part of his effort to contain malfeasances and scandal that has plagued the department. [Trib]

-> There's a poll in the field testing the electoral strength of Gov. Gary Herbert and Sen. Mike Lee. [UtahPolicy]

-> Pat Bagley gives his take on where profits from fast food companies are really going. [Trib]

-> Trib Talk explored the Utah concealed carry permit, now in the hands of more than 500,000 people, with Clark Aposhian and Dee Rowland. [Trib]

-> Salt Lake County Council said last week's rescue of Cottonwood Heights snow plow emergency was a one-time deal, and it's the municipalities responsibility to resolve its messes. [Trib]

-> Paul Rolly discussed how a Utah officer had a 24-year-old traffic violation come back to haunt him when he tried to renew his driver license. [Trib]

Nationally: Pope Francis is Time's Person of the Year. [Time]

-> House and Senate negotiators have agreed to an $85 billion budget through the fall of 2015, and averts another government shutdown. The deal also stops the sharp budget cuts known as sequester for the current fiscal year. Now they just have to get the House and Senate to pass it. [WaPost] [Politico] [CNN] [NYTimes]

-> The NSA is using Google's cookie tracking system used for advertisers to help identify targets for offensive hacking operations according to documents released by Edward Snowden. [WaPost]

-> Senate and House negotiators for the Farm Bill said they were unable to come to an agreement before the end of the year, but that they are close to a final deal and will try again in January. [Politico]

Where are they?

  • Gov. Gary Herbert attends various Western Governors Association functions in Las Vegas.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams eats breakfast with Herriman Mayor-Elect Carmen Freeman, speaks at the Salt Lake County Economic Development retreat and attends the Economic Development Corporation of Utah Committee meeting.
  • SLC Mayor Ralph Becker attends a National League of Cities meetings with federal agencies and congressional members in Washington, D.C.
  • WVC Mayor Mike Winder attends a state Museums Advisory Board meeting, and attends his farewell open house.
  • President Barack Obama arrives back in Washington from his trip to South Africa.

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 Jordan Bailey

Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/thejordanbailey



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