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Good Thursday morning from Salt Lake City. Today is the 222nd day of the year. There are 143 days remaining in 2017.

Democrats launch ads critical of Rep. Mia Love for not holding town hall meetings. North Korea says they plan to test missiles by launching them towards Guam. The FBI raids Paul Manafort's home as part of the Russia investigation.

The clock:

  • 5 days until the 2017 Utah primary election (8/15/2017)
  • 89 days until the 2017 election (11/7/2017)
  • 165 days until the opening day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (1/22/2018)
  • 210 days until the final day of the 2018 Utah Legislature (3/8/2018)
  • 453 days until the 2018 midterm elections (11/6/2018)
  • 1,181 days until the 2020 presidential election (11/3/2020)

Today's political TL; DR -

  • Salt Lake County Democrats meet on Saturday to pick a replacement for departed County Sheriff Jim Winder [Utah Policy].

  • POLL: A slight majority of Utahs opposed a plan to euthanize or slaughter wild horses to help control their populations [Utah Policy].

  • Jason Chaffetz will be a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics this fall [Utah Policy].

  • Rep. Rob Bishop says talk from North Korean officials about a missile strike on Guam is mostly bluster [KSL].

  • State officials have found more jail beds to house offenders ahead of the expected crackdown on crime surrounding the homeless population in downtown Salt Lake City [Tribune].

  • A Democratic group is launching an ad campaign hitting Rep. Mia Love for not holding town hall meetings [Tribune].

  • Pro-solar power advocates speak out against a plan by Rocky Mountain Power to raise rates for customers who have solar power panels [Deseret News, Tribune].

  • The non-Republican candidates in Utah's 3rd CD promise to run a more positive campaign following the deluge of negative ads in the GOP primary [Deseret News].

  • West Jordan residents will have the opportunity to vote on whether to change their form of government [Tribune].

  • Kaysville City Councilman Dave Adams is suing the city's public works department for allegedly doing thousands of dollars of damage to his driveway when they cleared away snow last winter [Deseret News].

  • Salt Lake City wants to make some major improvements to public transit, but the city council is struggling with how to fund those changes [Tribune].

  • Polygamist Joe Darger is massively outraising his opponents in the race for Herriman mayor [Tribune].

National headlines:

  • North Korea has announced plans to launch four ballistic missiles into the waters surrounding Guam. If they move forward it would be the most provocative missile test by that country so far [Associated Press].

  • The Pentagon has reportedly prepared a plan to use B-1 bombers in a preemptive strike against North Korea if President Donald Trump chooses to make that move [NBC News].

  • President Donald Trump's threat to rain "fire and fury" on North Korea was completely improvised, which caught many of his aides off guard [New York Times].

  • Japanese officials say their military could shoot down any missiles fired toward Guam by North Korea [Fox News].

  • Defense Secretary James Matis warned North Korea to stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons, saying it would lead to "the end of its regime and the destruction of its people" [The Hill].

  • Troubling. There are very few diplomatic channels available for the U.S. to try and de-escalate the rising tensions with North Korea [Reuters].

  • The FBI raided former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's home last month. The operation resulted in the seizure of documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election [Washington Post].

  • The feds are putting pressure on Paul Manafort's son-in-law to cooperate in the investigation into Russian involvement in last year's election [Politico].

  • President Donald Trump's legal team is absolutely no match for the legal prowess of special counsel Robert Meuller's team [Bloomberg].

  • President Donald Trump reportedly scolded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell after McConnell said the failure of the GOP health care bill was due to Trump's lack of political experience and his penchant for setting "excessive expectations" [Fox News].

  • This is really weird. Some U.S. diplomats in Cuba are suffering from severe hearing loss because of some covert sonic devices [Associated Press].

  • Two of the top staffers for United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley unexpectedly resigned [Bloomberg].

  • Former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz continues under fire for a scandal where she continued to employ an IT staffer who was under federal investigation for an alleged equipment and data scam [Politico].

  • Boring but important. Americans are saving less money as incomes begin to fall behind spending levels [USA Today].

On this day in history:

  • 1846 - Congress chartered the Smithsonian Institution, named after English scientist James Smithson, whose bequest of $500,000 made it possible.

  • 1949 - The National Military Establishment was renamed the Department of Defense.

  • 1962 - Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man made his debut in issue 15 of "Amazing Fantasy."

  • 1977 - "Son of Sam" serial killer David Berkowitz was arrested in Yonkers, N.Y., accused of six slayings and seven woundings in a yearlong spree of random shootings of mostly young couples parked in cars in New York City.

  • 1993 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn in as the second female Supreme Court justice.