Middle East
9:19 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Hamas Executes Suspected Informants After Deadly Israeli Strike

Palestinian mourners carry the body of three senior commanders of the Hamas military wing in the southern Gaza Strip Thursday, after they were killed in an Israeli airstrike. Hamas has executed more than a dozen people it says were spying for Israel.
Khalil Hamra AP

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 8:50 am

One day after an Israeli airstrike killed three of its senior military leaders, Hamas says it has executed more than a dozen people in the Gaza Strip, after concluding that they had been spying for Israel.

From Jerusalem, NPR's Jackie Northam reports:

"Hamas confirmed that there were two separate rounds of executions in Gaza for people suspected of collaborating with Israel.

"In one instance, 11 men were rounded up recently and investigated by the Hamas government. They were found guilty and all 11 were sentenced to death.

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Inc. 500
7:47 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Connecticut Companies Make "Fastest-Growing" List

Credit Inc. Magazine

Three Connecticut companies are among the 500 fastest growing businesses in the nation. That’s according to the latest ranking by Inc. magazine. 

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New Concert Venue
4:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Infinity Hall Opens in Hartford

Inside Infinity Hall Hartford
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Downtown Hartford now has a new music venue, as Thursday was the grand opening of the Infinity Music Hall and Bistro. 

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Middle East
4:17 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

GlobalPost CEO Shares Details Of Fight To Save James Foley

GlobalPost co-founder and CEO Phil Balboni says what he'll remember about Foley (above) is the way he showed "such incredible courage" as his captors took his life.
Steven Senne AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 4:00 pm

During the nearly two years that journalist James Foley was held hostage in Syria, before he was killed by the Islamic State this week, Phil Balboni worked hard to get him released.

Balboni is the co-founder and CEO of the online international news company GlobalPost, which Foley was freelancing for at the time of his capture, in November 2012. Foley also was freelancing for GlobalPost when he was captured in Libya by dictator Moammar Gadhafi's forces, in 2011, and held for 44 days.

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Public Office
3:00 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

U.S. Diplomatic Cable Puts Chill On ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro accepted the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge." Soon after, the State Department warned that participation by high-profile diplomats was a violation of internal policy.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:30 pm

Don't expect Secretary of State John Kerry to accept the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" anytime soon: Lawyers at the State Department have banned high-profile U.S. diplomats from participating in the fundraising phenomenon that has swept social media in recent weeks.

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Memorial Concert
1:40 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Outdoor Concert Celebrates the Life and Career of Tenor Sergio Franchi

Sergio and Eva Franchi.
sergiofranchi.com

This weekend marks the 20th annual Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert on the grounds of the late tenor's estate in Stonington.

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Journalism
12:04 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Afghanistan Expels 'Times' Reporter Over Article About Potential Coup

New York Times correspondent Matthew Rosenberg stands at his desk at the paper's office in Kabul on Wednesday. Afghanistan gave Rosenberg 24 hours to leave the country.
Massoud Hossaini AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:37 am

One of the most heralded "success stories" of post-Taliban Afghanistan has been the growth of its independent media. Afghan and international news organizations in Afghanistan have largely enjoyed press freedoms rivaling those of many Western nations.

But today's expulsion of New York Times correspondent Matthew Rosenberg calls into question how much progress Afghanistan has made in terms of rule of law and press freedoms.

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Vermont
12:02 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Legendary Vermont Bakers May Stop Selling Beloved Sourdough Bread

Rabin bread on a rock at the farmers market in Plainfield prior to setting up the table.
Jon Kalish for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 8:30 pm

When Jules Rabin lost his job teaching anthropology in 1977, he and his wife, Helen, turned to baking to keep their family afloat. For 37 years they've baked sourdough bread that people in central Vermont can't seem to live without.

The year before Jules left Goddard College, he and Helen built a replica of a 19th century peasant oven, hauling 70 tons of fieldstone from nearby fields. The stones covered an igloo-shaped brick baking chamber 5 1/2 feet in diameter.

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Higher Education
9:59 am
Thu August 21, 2014

UNH/Lyme Academy Merger to Offer Students New Forms Of Expression

Students at work at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme.
Lyme Academy

University of New Haven President Steven Kaplan said the school’s recently announced merger with the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts will offer students from both institutions an opportunity to explore new forms of expression. 

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New Hampshire
8:55 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Hometown Grapples With Death Of Journalist Jim Foley, Killed By Islamic State Militants

Sheri McSheehy put up a display in downtown Rochester, mourning the death of international journalist and Rochester native, Jim Foley.

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 10:18 am

  There’s been no shortage of people mourning the killing of James Foley by Islamic State Militants. President Obama interrupted his Martha’s Vinyard vacation Wednesday to recall Foley -- who disappeared two years ago in Syria -- and to condemn his killers.

“People like this ultimately fail,” Obama said. “They fail because the future is won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley and the overwhelming majority of humanity who are appalled by those who killed him.”

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WAMC News
8:28 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Knowledge Corridor Rail Line Purchased By The State

Gov. Deval Patrick steps off a train in Greenfield to announce an agreement in principle to purchase a refurbished north-south rail line from Pan Am Southern

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:11 pm

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced a milestone agreement today in the effort to bring high- speed passenger rail service to western Massachusetts.

Governor Patrick arrived in Greenfield onboard a train from North Adams to announce a tentative agreement to have the state purchase the rail line between East Northfield on the Vermont border and Springfield.  The 49-mile stretch is nearing the completion of a major restoration that will return passenger rail service to communities along the Connecticut River.

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Back to School
7:16 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Notebooks And Pencils And Pens, Cha-Ching!

On the left, supplies on the back-to-school list for third-graders in Arlington, Texas; on the right, the items fifth-graders need in Palmer, Alaska.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:12 am

Millions of families are heading to Target or Wal-Mart this month to make sure their kids have what they need for the first day of school. And, as many parents know, those glue sticks and gym clothes can really add up.

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Baseball
2:28 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

New Britain Says Rock Cats Have Paid Back Taxes

The New Britain stadium for the Rock Cats.
Credit Doug Kerr / Creative Commons

Josh Solomon, the owner of the minor league New Britain Rock Cats, has paid the city $164,569.26 in back taxes for its baseball stadium, the city said in a press release.

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Vice Presidential Visit
2:20 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Biden, in East Hartford, Says Manufacturing Jobs Are Coming Back

Vice President Joe Biden during a visit to New Hampshire in 2012.
Marc Nozell Creative Commons

Vice President Joe Biden said manufacturing jobs are coming back to the U.S., but workers need the right training to fill those positions. 

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Jazz Corridor
1:43 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Adventurous Singer Kavita Shah's Fresh Take on World Music at Side Door Jazz Club

Kavita Shah

An artist of many parts, Kavita Shah, an ascending, young singer/songwriter of Indian descent, applies her keen, empathetic intelligence, ethereally beautiful voice and adventurous spirit by using global music and multi-cultural influences as sources of inspiration for expressing her personal and cultural identity on her adventurous debut album aptly titled Visions.

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Islamic State
1:17 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

President Obama Says Militants Who Beheaded American Are 'Cowardly'

President Obama said Wednesday that the extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in "cowardly acts of violence" and "has no place in the 21st century."
Kevin Lamarque Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 1:51 pm

The extremist group that carried out the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley engages in "cowardly acts of violence" and "has no place in the 21st century," President Obama said Wednesday, referring to the videotaped execution carried out by militants with the Islamic State.

Obama also said the group attacks women and minorities, "for no other reason than they practice a different religion."

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Child Health
9:52 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Federal Legislators Want Liquid Nicotine Bottles to Have Safety Caps

An assortment of liquid nicotine bottles.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / lindsay-fox

A dozen Senate Democrats are pushing federal legislation that would require child-proof bottles for the liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes.

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Missouri
9:12 am
Wed August 20, 2014

A 'Different Dynamic' In Ferguson, But With 47 Arrests

Protesters walk in front of a line of police early Wednesday as authorities try to disperse a demonstration in Ferguson, Mo. The St. Louis suburb saw less violence than on other recent nights of protests.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 12:56 pm

Tear gas and Molotov cocktails were absent from the streets of Ferguson, Mo., last night, as protesters and police avoided the clashes that have marred demonstrations over the death of an an unarmed black teenager at the hands of a white police officer last weekend in the St. Louis suburb.

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, announced that 47 arrests had been made and that three loaded handguns were confiscated.

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Infant Mortality
8:28 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Connecticut Lawmaker Wants Renewed Focus on Safe Havens Law for Infants

State Rep. Pam Sawyer addresses reporters about the Safe Havens law.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A state lawmaker is calling for renewed focus on a law that lets distressed parents of newborns leave them in the state's care. The new push comes after recent news that a baby was found dead in an East Hartford trash can. 

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Islamic State
8:01 am
Wed August 20, 2014

U.S. Authenticates Video Of Militants Beheading American Journalist

James Foley in Aleppo, Syria, in September 2012.
Manu Brabo/freejamesfoley.org AP

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 4:40 pm

This post was updated at 2:25 p.m. ET.

A video that was released online Tuesday in which the extremist group the Islamic State claimed to behead American journalist James Foley is authentic, according to U.S. intelligence analysts. Foley was abducted in Syria in 2012.

The video was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday afternoon and later removed; since then, it has resurfaced elsewhere online. The images show Foley kneeling next to a masked militant and reciting comments against the U.S. before being killed.

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Texas
6:23 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Gov. Perry Gets Booked At Texas Courthouse After Indictment

Texas Gov. Rick Perry arrives at the Blackwell Thurman Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday in Austin, Texas.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:03 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry went to a courthouse to be booked after being indicted by an Austin grand jury on Friday for alleged abuse of power.

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Urban Policing
1:06 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

New Haven Police Officer Responds to Ferguson Shooting

Shafiq Abdussabur is a police officer and author of A Black Man’s Guide to Law Enforcement in America.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown last week has led to a series of angry protests in Ferguson, Missouri. As some protests turned violent and police have implemented military tactics there, the issue of race and violence has once again come into the nation’s focus. 

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Crowdfunding Science
11:21 am
Tue August 19, 2014

To Stem Budget Cuts, UConn and Yale Scientists Turn to Crowdfunding

Andrea Suria, left, and Sarah McAnulty, are crowdfunding a project to continue their graduate work on the Hawaiian bobtail squid at the University of Connecticut.
Sarah McAnulty squidscientistas

For young scientists, finding money to support basic research can be difficult. Federal research budgets are shrinking, and grant applications can be a time sink, removing researchers from their lab or their graduate work.

Some young scientists are now forgoing traditional funding mechanisms, and turning to the power of the crowd.

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Homelessness
11:08 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Roundtable Discussion Focuses on Youth Homelessness in Connecticut

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal heard from two dozen child and homeless advocates about the issue of youth homelessness.
Ray Hardman WNPR

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal hosted a roundtable discussion Monday on the issue of youth homelessness in Connecticut.

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Rhode Island
10:24 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Public, Private Unions Form Coalition to Back Taveras for Governor

Paul Reed (center) with Taveras last year.

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 4:29 pm

A new coalition of public and private unions, banding together under the name Working Families for Angel, on Monday announced their support for Angel Taveras' gubernatorial campaign.

Working Families for Angel says it plans to communicate with more than 16,000 union households through door-knocking, electronic communications and other means.

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Election 2014
10:16 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Joe Visconti Looks for Traction in Connecticut Governor's Race

Joe Visconti.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Republican Joe Visconti, a petitioning candidate for Connecticut governor, said he's an insider with the ability to get traction this season, and that he has enough signatures to get onto the November ballot.

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Transportation
8:43 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Officials Praise New Buses for CTfastrak

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman announces the arrival of the new CTfastrak bus.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

CTfastrak, the bus-only corridor between Hartford and New Britain, won't start running until early 2015. On Monday, state transportation officials already started showing the buses off. 

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Election 2014
8:01 am
Tue August 19, 2014

One in Five Republicans Voted in Connecticut Primary

Only 21 percent of registered Republicans voted in last week's primary.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill said that just one in five registered Republicans voted in the party's recent primary that nominated Tom Foley for governor.

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Dark Connecticut History
7:00 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Elephant Slaughter, African Slavery And America's Pianos

Louis E. Pratt, master ivory cutter for Pratt, Read & Co., shows off eight ivory tusks, April 1, 1955.
Courtesy of Deep River Historical Society

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 7:35 am

The illegal trade in ivory from African elephants has tripled in the past 15 years, to the extent that biologists fear for the creatures' future existence.

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Saturday Night Live
1:53 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Iconic TV Announcer Don Pardo Dies At 96

Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 3:59 pm

Fans of Saturday Night Live and the original versions of The Price is Right and Jeopardy! recognize Don Pardo's voice immediately.

They may not be able to identify his face, but his voice was famous.

Pardo died Monday in Tucson, Ariz. He was 96 years old.

An NBC spokesman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he died in his sleep.

Pardo began working for NBC in 1944 and stayed with the network for 60 years.

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