Housing for Families
3:47 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Hartford Cuts Funding to Homeless Shelter

The Marshall House Family Shelter in Hartford lost some city funding.
Salvation Army

The city of Hartford recently cut $100,000 from a homeless shelter as part of its effort to keep taxes down and avoid layoffs. Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said he's still hoping find money to undo the cut. 

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Electronic Devices
2:59 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Kids And Screen Time: What Does The Research Say?

LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 3:46 pm

Kids are spending more time than ever in front of screens, and it may be inhibiting their ability to recognize emotions, according to new research out of the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Ukraine
12:13 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Obama Blames Russia For Violence In Ukraine; Calls Moves 'Incursion'

President Obama said at a White House news conference Thursday that Russia is to blame for the violence in eastern Ukraine.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 5:38 pm

Updated at 4:47 p.m.

President Obama blamed Russia for the violence in Ukraine and said its "incursion" into the former Soviet state will only carry additional costs.

"Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see," Obama said at a White House news conference on Thursday.

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Americana
11:26 am
Thu August 28, 2014

"Woody Sez," the Life and Music of Woody Guthrie at Theaterworks in Hartford

David Lutken is the devisor of "Woody Sez" and portrays the lead character.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Legendary American folk singer/activist Woody Guthrie, is best known for his classic song, "This Land is Your Land." All of his music gives voice to a restless and profoundly American search for freedom: artistically, politically, and personally.

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Security Breach
10:34 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Russian Hackers Reportedly Hit JPMorgan, Other Banks

JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York. The bank is one of several reportedly targeted by Russian hackers.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 11:21 am

The FBI says it's working with the Secret Service to investigate reports that Russian hackers breached security at JPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions, stealing customers' account information in possible retaliation for U.S. government sanctions on Moscow.

"We are working with the United States Secret Service to determine the scope of recently reported cyberattacks against several American financial institutions," FBI spokesman Joshua Campbell said in a statement late Wednesday.

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Air National Guard
10:00 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Fighter Jet Based in Westfield, Massachusetts Crashes in Virginia; Details Unclear

Colonel James Keefe addresses the media at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts.
Credit Henry Epp / NEPR

An F-15C jet based at the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts crashed Wednesday morning in Virginia, according to a statement from Barnes. Many details remain unclear about the crash. 

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Polygamy
9:47 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Federal Judge Strikes Down Part Of Utah's Polygamy Ban

Kody Brown poses with his wives (from left) Janelle, Christine, Meri and Robyn in a promotional photo for TLC's reality TV show Sister Wives.
Bryant Livingston AP

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 10:03 am

A federal judge on Wednesday finalized a ruling that strikes down part of Utah's ban on polygamy.

The case is high profile partly because the suit was brought forth by the Brown family, the stars of the TLC show Sister Wives. It's also important because as it works its way through the appeals process, it has the potential to become a landmark.

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Planet Money
8:44 am
Thu August 28, 2014

A Mall With Two Minimum Wages

Wetzel's Pretzels employee Emperatriz Orozco hands out free samples at the Westfield Valley Fair Mall.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:20 am

The Westfield Valley Fair Mall straddles two cities. One side of the mall is in Santa Clara, but walk a few feet down the mall, and you're in San Jose. In 2012, San Jose voters agreed to raise the city's minimum wage from $8 to $10 an hour.

Philip Sandigo manages a shoe store on the $8-an-hour side. When San Jose raised the minimum wage, he lost about half his staff.

They went to the stores on the side of the mall that paid $2 an hour more.

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Election 2014
11:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Malloy, Foley Spar in First Debate of 2014

Tom Foley, left, and Gov. Dannel Malloy, right, engage in debate moderated by Ray Hackett, opinion page editor of The Norwich Bulletin.
CT-N

The first debate between Connecticut’s two major party candidates for governor produced few surprises, as Tom Foley and Dannel Malloy tackled recurring issues, including gun control and economic development. 

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Utilities
2:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Connecticut Utility Rate Increases Discussed at Hearing

Kenneth Bowes of Connecticut Light and Power during the PURA hearing.
Credit CT-N

A fight is brewing over a request by Connecticut's largest utility to raise rates by $232 million to upgrade equipment following destructive storms. The first of three related public hearings took place on Wednesday.

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Juno the Whale
2:25 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Watch: Charismatic Beluga in Mystic Entertains Kids, Highlights Research

Juno, a 12-year-old beluga at Mystic Aquarium, is drawing attention to the aquarium's field research.
Mystic Aquarium

A new viral video depicting a juvenile beluga whale playing peek-a-boo with a child is drawing attention to Mystic Aquarium's arctic animals.

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Jazz Corridor
1:44 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli Shows Old Lyme Fans Why Everybody Loves Him

Bucky Pizzarelli.
Brian Wittman

Many years ago, a young pianist named Bill Evans recorded an LP called Everybody Digs Bill Evans, one of those rare album titles that is forever memorable and also somehow a concise summation and mini-portrait of the artist himself.

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Healthy Workplace
1:23 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Work-Related Illnesses Fall in Connecticut

Credit Fuse / Thinkstock

The number of workers sickened on the job in Connecticut has declined slightly, according to a new study by UConn. Occupational illnesses in the state, however, remain more prevalent than the national average. 

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Retail Apology
9:38 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Fashion Retailer Zara Pulls Kids Shirt Resembling Concentration Camp Uniform

A kids shirt that was for sale on Zara.com.
Zara.com

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 11:30 am

The clothing retail giant Zara is apologizing and has pulled a kids' shirt from its stores after hearing complaints that it resembled the uniform worn by prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.

In a tweet, Zara said the shirt was "inspired by the sheriff's stars from the Classic Western films."

Reporting from Spain's Canary Islands, Lauren Frayer tells our Newscast unit that this isn't the first time the Spanish retailer has gotten into trouble. She filed this report:

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Women's Health
8:57 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Researchers Take a Closer Look at Endometriosis, a Leading Cause of Infertility

Huntstock Thinkstock

Researchers in New York are taking a closer look at endometriosis. It's a disease that's not often talked about, but it affects one in ten women in the U.S., and 176 million women worldwide.

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Europe
8:38 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Report Details 16 Years Of 'Horrific Abuse' Of Children In U.K. Town

Alexis Jay, author of a report released Tuesday that documents the abuse of 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did nothing.
Dave Higgens PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:07 pm

An investigation out on Tuesday documents the abuse of more than 1,400 children in Rotherham, England, and says local authorities were aware of the problem for years and did not respond.

Alexis Jay, who authored the report, used to be chief inspector of social work in Scotland.

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Sweetness and Light
8:25 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Golf May Be Too Polite A Sport For Presidential Politics

Commentator Frank Deford advises the White House press office not to let the president be photographed in a golf cart again.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 8:53 am

There's been much criticism of the president lately, even within his own party, that he's too detached and withdrawn, not combative enough anymore. This can be explained completely with a sports analogy: We elected a basketball president, but then we ended up with a golf president.

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Health Insurance
9:13 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Head of Access Health CT to Leave for Federal Job

Kevin Counihan announces his departure, alongside Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

With open enrollment for the next round of the Affordable Care Act just three months away, the Department of Health and Human Services has a picked a new CEO for healthcare.gov, and he comes from Connecticut.  

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Family Food Business
1:55 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Bronx Baker Turns Dominican Cakes Into A Sweet American Dream

Yolanda Andujar and her daughter Astrid bake together every weekend. Andujar primarily makes the cakes while Astrid, a graphic designer by day, makes elaborate decorations using fondant and bright colors.
Néstor Pérez-Molière Courtesy of Feet in 2 Worlds

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 3:49 pm

For many immigrants arriving in the U.S., opening a family food business can be a pathway to economic stability. While many fail, one Dominican woman in the Bronx has managed to get her family off food stamps, send her kids to college and share her heritage with new friends and neighbors. And it all started with cake.

Not just any cake — but bizcocho Dominicano, flavored with rum and vanilla extract, and layered with tropical fruit spreads and meringue.

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Electronic Cigarettes
1:12 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Health Organizations Call For A Ban On E-Cigarettes Indoors

A woman smokes an electronic cigarette at a store in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 2:59 pm

Tobacco control advocates disagree on whether e-cigarettes are a useful tool to get smokers off tobacco, or just a sleeker form of one of the world's deadliest addictions.

A lot of that discord comes from the fact that there's just not enough science to know the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes, which deliver nicotine in a vapor rather than through tobacco smoke. And it could take years to find out if vaping causes cancer and other deadly diseases.

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Fast Food
9:25 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Burger King To Buy Canada's Tim Hortons For $11 Billion

A pedestrian walks past a Burger King restaurant near downtown Los Angeles.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 9:05 am

In a deal that would create the third-largest fast-food chain, Burger King announced on Tuesday that it intended to buy Canada's Tim Hortons for about $11 billion.

The deal, reports Bloomberg, also moves the company's headquarters to Canada. Bloomberg explains:

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Delaney's Fire
8:05 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Blaze Destroys New Haven Pub

A crowd of onlookers watched as Delaney's burned to the ground on Monday evening.
David Sepulveda New Haven Independent

Firefighters are continuing to put out hot spots at a New Haven pub that went up in flames and has been declared a total loss. 

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Television
7:57 am
Tue August 26, 2014

The Emmys: Past Winners Trump New Shows; 'Breaking Bad' Takes A Bow

Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her third consecutive Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for HBO's Veep. It was a big night for people who had already won.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 4:14 pm

  • Listen to the Conversation

[Note: The audio above is a conversation about the Emmy Awards I had today with Stephen Thompson, my co-panelist on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.]

The Emmys are known for one thing more than any other, and that's repetition. Shows winning four times, actors winning three times — the most likely Emmy winner is always the guy who's already won.

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Middle East
6:49 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Reports: U.S. Authorizes Surveillance Flights Over Syria

Fighters from the Islamic State during a parade in Raqqa, Syria.
AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 3:41 pm

President Obama has authorized surveillance flights over Syria, The Associated Press and The New York Times are reporting this morning, citing unnamed U.S.

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Consumers
3:44 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Many Homeowners Still Qualify For Mortgage Relief

Mel Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, says many homeowners who could qualify to refinance their mortgages under HARP are suspicious.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 11:47 am

The financial crisis pushed millions of Americans from their homes. And housing advocates complain that the government did more to prop up big banks on Wall Street than it did to help average people on Main Street.

But many of those people on Main Street could still qualify for a government program to help them save money by refinancing their mortgages.

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Maryland
3:42 am
Tue August 26, 2014

On Ocean City's Boardwalk, Costumed Performers Prompt Legal Debate

A Cookie Monster is one of many costumed performers on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Md., this summer. Kids can pose for a photo with them, and then their parents are expected to leave a tip.
Chris Parypa for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 11:47 am

Late August is peak vacation season, and boardwalks up and down the coasts are crowded. Many beach towns attract musicians, jugglers and costumed characters who work the boardwalk for tips.

Ocean City, Md., is grappling with an influx of new boardwalk performers — some of whom are generating lots of controversy. The trend may be the unintended consequence of a couple of legal victories for the town's street performers.

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Asylum Seekers
4:27 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Blumenthal Says Child Migrants Deserve Fair Asylum Proceedings

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The flood of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border from Central America has slowed from a record high earlier this summer.

When members of Congress return from summer recess, though, they'll still have to vote on how much money should be spent to deal with the migrants already here. 

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Ukraine
4:11 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Ukraine's President Dissolves Parliament, Calls For New Elections

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko delivers a speech in Kiev on Monday dedicated to his decree to dissolve parliament.
Reuters/Landov

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced today on the presidential website that he was dissolving parliament and called for fresh elections on Oct. 26.

Poroshenko said the move was in accordance with the country's constitution, noting that Ukraine's coalition government collapsed July 24.

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UConn Research
4:01 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

What's the Best Way to Manage a Pesticide-Free Athletic Field?

Julie Campbell and Jason Henderson stand in front of 24 managed grass plots. They're comparing how grass responds to different organic and non-organic treatments.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Researchers at UConn are investigating the feasibility of managing grade school athletic fields without pesticides. It's science that could one day inform state law. 

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Video Music Awards
3:18 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

At The VMAs, Beyonce And Nicki Minaj Play With Personas

Beyonce performs on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 2:41 pm

  • Listen to the Conversation

Sunday night, women gave the most memorable performance at the MTV Video Music Awards, and Stephen Thompson and I got together to chat about the provocations of Nicki Minaj, the royal Beyonce and more.

You can check out the video of all the performances for yourself, from the triple threat of Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Nicki Minaj to the 16-minute Beyonce-stravaganza that closed the show.

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