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News roundup: A divorce mediator's advice to Congress

Christie says he's no bully. The man behind Utah's same-sex marriage lawsuit. What Snowden knows about the military.

Happy Friday. A divorce mediator has written a pamphlet for members of Congress using the lessons she tries to teach unhappy couples with sections on how to listen instead of just talk and how to discipline yourself to avoid negative accusations from the other side.

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"Unlike a chronically unhappy couple, you can’t divorce," she writes. "You’re stuck. But your family (that would be us, the nation) needs you to stop arguing and take care of family business." [Politico]

Topping the news: Read the fascinating story of the man behind Utah's same-sex marriage lawsuit. His biggest challenge? Apathy in the gay community. [Trib]

-> The Human Rights Campaign asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to ensure the validity of same-sex marriages performed in Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert has decided against recognizing those marriages executed before a court-ordered stay. [Trib] (more on the same-sex marriage case below)

-> New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fired an aide who ordered lane closures on the George Washington Bridge to punish the mayor of Fort Lee. Christie denied any knowledge or involvement, but took responsibility in a two-hour press conference and also apologized saying the closures were "completely unacceptable." [BergenRecord] [NYTimes]

-> "I am who I am but I am not a bully. ... Politics ain’t beanbag, and everybody who engages in politics knows that. ... I probably wouldn't know a traffic study if I tripped over it." Those are some of the colorful quotes from Christie as he gave a mea culpa. Read the 11 best quotes here: [WaPost]

Correction: Yesterday's edition mistakenly reported the plea in the Jeremy Johnson case. He pleaded not guilty to a new indictment. We regret the error.

Tweets of the day: From @TheFix: "'I am not a focus-group tested, blow-dried candidate.' -- Christie. Mitt Romney grimaces."

From @jimantle: "I'm starting to think this Chris Christie fellow is

running for president."

From @lachlan: "Unequivocal apology AND questions afterward? I could get

used to this."

Happy birthday: On Friday to a friend of Cornflakes, Bobby Harrington and on Saturday to former state Rep. Jackie Biskupski and XMission founder Pete Ashdown.

In other news: Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes directed counties to give marriage licenses to same-sex couples married in Utah while it was legal, though the state won't provide them other benefits of marriage. [DNews] [ABC4]

-> The ACLU plans to sue the state over its refusal to recognize the validity of same-sex marriages performed in the state. [Fox13]

-> The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will not file an amicus brief in Utah's appeal of Judge Robert Shelby's ruling on same-sex marriage. The church has filed friend of the court briefs in past same-sex marriage cases. [KUER] [Fox13]

-> Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has proposed a bill that hey says would protect religious organizations that do not support same-sex marriage from possible, future federal government penalties. While opponents say it codifies discrimination. [KUTV]

-> Attorneys on both sides of the case are gearing for a legal battle that could go all the way to the Supreme Court. [ABC4]

-> Paul Rolly recounts the time two men actually got married to each other at the Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City. It's true. It happened. It's a weird story. [Trib]

-> Bob Bernick, back from London, weighs in on the same-sex marriage ruling. [UtahPolicy] And Bernick and Bryan Schott talk about the ruling and the latest in the John Swallow scandal on their weekly video chat. [UtahPolicy]

-> Sen. Orrin Hatch is a main sponsor on sweeping new legislation that will make it easier for the president to strike trade deals in Asia and Europe. [Politico]

-> Republicans Aimee Winder Newton and Robert Spendlove won special elections to fill vacancies in the Salt Lake County Council and the Utah State House of Representatives respectively. [Trib] [DNews] [KUER]

-> Utah is manually processing a backlog of 24,000 Medicaid applicants as bridges are built between healthcare.gov and the state's system. [Trib] [ABC4]

-> Phillips 66 paid the state $2 million to resolve allegations the company defrauded $25 million from a state fund by both taking state money and private insurance money for cleanups of leaky petroleum tanks. [Trib] [DNews]

-> State Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, is sponsoring a bill that calls for $5 million to create after-school programs for children affected by intergenerational poverty. [DNews]

-> The website UTvoters.com provides access to personal information about registered voters in Utah. The website is legal under Utah law because that information is public record and can be attained from the state for a fee. [Fox13] [ABC4]

-> Demolition begins at the former Deseret Chemical Depot, which destroyed chemical weapons for 15 years. It is expected to take nine months to complete. [Trib] [DNews]

-> The Army is closing an office at Camp Williams that helps soldiers transition back into civilian life. Other centers are also closing across the country as the Army prepares for fewer soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afganistan. [Trib]

-> A group of Utah lawmakers will hear a presentation from the Lt. Governor's office on its investigation of former AG John Swallow and discuss possible changes to Utah election laws. [APviaKUTV]

-> More than 1 million people visited the Hogle Zoo in 2013. [Trib]

-> The BCS played its last game on Monday night. Five politically active Utahns helped bring the controversial system down. [DNews]

-> Paul Rolly discusses the first same-sex marriage performed in Utah in 1993 (?!), a fundraising luncheon that puts lobbyists in an awkward position and other topics. [Trib]

Nationally: The Defense Department released a secret report to Congress about the damage to the military caused by Edward Snowden's leaks. Rep Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said Snowden took documents that "concern vital operations of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force" and that "Snowden’s actions are likely to have lethal consequences for our troops in the field." [Politco]

-> Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have yet to agree on how long to extend unemployment benefits or how to pay for any such extension. [Politico]

-> Some are questioning the Justice Department's choice of trial attorney Barbara Bosserman to lead the probe of the IRS's targeting of advocacy groups because she donated to President Obama's campaigns and the Democratic National Committee. [WaPost]

Where are they?

  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz inspects security at JFK International Airport in New York City and flies home to Utah.
  • Rep. Chris Stewart lunches with Reps. Tom Rice, R-S.C., and Jim Bridenstine, R-OK., and flies home.
  • Gov. Gary Herbert holds two education director discussions.
  • SL Co. Mayor Ben McAdams has a media interview with ABC4.
  • President Barack Obama has no public schedule today.

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 Topher Webb

Twitter.com/mattcanham and Twitter.com/topherjwebb



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