Chase Christiansen, Governor's Office of Economic Development
Gov. Gary Herbert speaks to the audience at the Utah Global Forum Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. About 400 local business leaders attended the event held at the Grand America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, which was dedicated to helping Utah companies of all sizes break into global markets.

Here’s a look at the news for Dec. 7.

New census data for Utah

New U.S. Census Bureau data released on Wednesday showed that there’s a lot of diversity in the Beehive State when it comes to the Pacific Islander community, according to the Deseret News.

Utah’s Pacific Islander community remains mostly Polynesian, but there’s plenty of people from other island nations, too.

Those numbers include 2,300 Micronesians.

Meisihna Folau told the Deseret News that she remembered only seeing three other families from Micronesia when she moved to Utah in 1989.

"We're such a small group, and yet there's so much diversity within that group," Folau said.

Read more at the Deseret News.

Utah governor calls Bannon a ‘Mormon bigot’

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert responded to political strategist Steve Bannon’s disparaging remarks against Mitt Romney with a slam of his own on Wednesday, according to the Deseret News.

On Tuesday, Bannon said Romney hid behind his religion to avoid serving in the Vietnam War.

Herbert spoke on KSL Newsradio’s “The Dough Wright Show” and offered his response.

“This smacks of good old-fashioned Mormon bigotry. I think that’s what Steve Bannon has demonstrated with his comment, is just he’s a Mormon bigot,” Herbert said.

Read more at the Deseret News.

Utah expert’s thoughts on Trump’s Israel move

President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Wednesday that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that sparked a worldwide reaction and violence in the Middle East.

Amos Guiora, a University of Utah law professor, told the Deseret News that the move is a “missed opportunity” for the Trump administration.

"More than anything else, it reflects a Trump administration go-it-alone decision that I think is a missed opportunity in the larger context," Guiora said.

Other Utah leaders, including Sen. Mike Lee, celebrated the move.

"We continue to hope for peace and longtime stability between Israelis and Palestinians, but the U.S. can no longer wait to do the right thing in recognizing the nation’s rightful capital," Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said.

Read more at the Deseret News.

Residents continue to flee California

Powerful winds pushed the Ventura County fire in all new directions on Thursday, leading to even more residents fleeing their homes, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Officials close the 101 freeway that runs between Routes 126 and 150, leaving “no open routes between Santa Barbara and Ventura counties,” according to the LA Times.

So far, the Thomas Fire, which began on Monday night after Santa Ana winds rushed through Ventura County, has burned through 90,000 acres of land over 10 miles.

Comment on this story

"It's definitely moving," Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Garo Kuredjian said of the fire. "Forecasters were correct in terms of the wind forecast for tonight — it's much windier than it was yesterday."

Read more at the LA Times.

More reading:

  • The US is testing a microwave weapon to stop North Korea’s missiles [Vox]
  • In 13 years, Australia went from marriage apartheid to marriage equality [Quartz]
  • Swearing in unofficial president is 'treason', Kenya attorney general says [Reuters]
  • Homeless Population Rises, Driven By West Coast Affordable-Housing Crisis [NPR]
  • "The President Stole Your Land": Patagonia Sues Trump After National Monuments Slashed [BuzzFeed]