Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:56 pm
American Alan Gross, who spent five years in a Cuban prison before his release today as a humanitarian gesture, said "it's good to be home," and that he hoped the U.S. and Cuba move past their "mutually belligerent" policies.
"Two wrongs never made a right," Gross said in Washington shortly after he returned to the U.S. aboard a government plane.
Gross appeared frail but cheerful. Some of his front teeth were missing.
Gross thanked President Obama and his national security team for working toward his freedom.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:07 pm
Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET
Sony Pictures has canceled the Christmas Day release of The Interview,the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. The move came after the largest U.S. movie theater chains said they won't screen the film in the wake of threats against them by a group that also allegedly hacked Sony's internal documents.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:41 pm
Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET
President Obama announced today the most significant change in U.S. policy toward Cuba in more than 50 years, paving the way for the normalization of relations and the opening of a U.S. Embassy in Havana.
Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:48 am
With only a few weeks now remaining now in Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration, WBUR’s Bob Oakes sat down with the outgoing Massachusetts governor for the last time in his executive office on Beacon Hill.
The conversation began with a look back to Patrick’s first inaugural address in 2007. In that speech, Patrick spoke of lifting up the poor and stabilizing the middle class.
Listen above to Gov. Patrick’s full conversation on WBUR’s Morning Edition.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:10 pm
New property tax rates have been set in Springfield, Massachusetts. For the first time in many years, the rates for both homeowners and business property owners have been reduced, as property values continue to recover from the Great Recession
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:27 am
In what The Associated Press called a "final flurry of accomplishment" Tuesday night, lawmakers were able to push through a bill that extended a package of tax breaks, which had expired at the end of 2013, and confirmed 12 more judicial nominees. NPR's Ailsa Chang reported the confirmations also marked a big accomplishment for the Obama administration.
Rhode Island's governor-elect Gina Raimondo has picked Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor, a fellow Yale alum with experience leading economic-development efforts in New York and New Jersey, as her choice to be Rhode Island's first commerce secretary.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:12 pm
Bradley Stone, who police say went on a shooting rampage that killed six people in Montgomery County, Pa., has been found dead. Police had been looking for Stone, 35, for more than 24 hours; they found his body today.
Member station WHYY passes along this update from the Bucks County District Attorney's office:
"Authorities have confirmed that suspected mass killer Bradley Stone is dead, his body found in the woods near his Pennsburg home."
Should state regulators be more aggressive in punishing first time violators of environmental law? That's a question the Council on Environmental Quality hopes lawmakers wrestle with in the upcoming legislative session.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 2:21 pm
(This post was last updated at 2:07 p.m. ET.)
Taliban militants stormed a school in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, leaving scores of students dead.
Quoting Pakistani officials, multiple media outlets say the death toll is at least 140, including at least 80 students in grades 1 through 10.
A little before 8 p.m. local time, police announced that the operation had ended after the gunmen were killed. Security personnel, police official Abdullah Khan told the AFP, were now in the process of sweeping the rest of the building.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:14 am
Picture the Olympic flame at night, reflecting off Boston Harbor. Picture rowers slicing up the Charles River, the sun warming the russet roofs of Harvard behind them.
That imagery may be part of the presentation Tuesday, as representatives from Boston try to persuade the United States Olympic Committee, or USOC, to choose Boston over three other U.S. cities for consideration for the 2024 Summer Games.
Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 6:36 pm
The Patrick administration today announced more funding to help strengthen the advanced manufacturing industry in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts will distribute $1.5 million to be shared by five regional workforce development agencies across the state to help recruit and train 280 unemployed or underemployed people for careers in precision manufacturing. A vocational high school in western Massachusetts will get $400,000 to equip its machine shop with state of the art equipment.
It’s the holiday season, meaning it’s time for Americans to hit the stores for Christmas sales and New Year's bargains. This November and December, millions of shoppers will peruse the aisles of big-box stores and chain retailers, hoping to find the coolest gifts and lowest prices.
In the age of Snapchat and Instagram, smartphones and tablets, it’s almost impossible to imagine a time when horses carted around darkrooms, and photo portraits took several hours, rather than a few minutes or seconds.
But such a time existed. And one Connecticut photographer is set on bringing it back.
U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, and U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, whose district includes Newtown, marked the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy with a promise to continue to push for gun safety legislation.