Election 2014
1:49 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

McKinney Attack Ad Edits and Alters Foley's Interview With WNPR

Screenshot from Sen. John McKinney's TV spot, "Change."
John McKinney YouTube

State Minority Leader John McKinney's first television spot goes right after his primary opponent for governor, Tom Foley. McKinney uses (and re-uses) Foley's own words where he appears to say, "I'm not going to cut spending."

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Dance Moves
1:22 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Connecticut Tango Festival Brings a Slice of Argentina to the Nutmeg State

Argentinean Tango partners Pablo Nievas and Valeria Zunino perform at Friday's Tango Night.
Connecticut Tango Festival

The Connecticut Tango Festival wraps up this weekend. Since its beginnings in the working class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires in the 1890s, the evocative art form continues to fascinate people around the world. 

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Governor's Race
12:50 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Foley, McKinney Face Off in Republican Primary Debate

John McKinney, at left, and Tom Foley, at right, Republican candidates for Connecticut governor, as portrayed on their campaign websites.
mckinneyforgovernor.com/tomfoleyct.com

The two Republican candidates for Connecticut governor faced off in a primary debate on Thursday at The Hartford Courant

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Ukraine
9:30 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Ukraine Says Russia Shot Down One Of Its Warplanes

A Sukhoi Su-25 single-seat, twin-engine jet aircraft with Russian markings. A similar Ukrainian jet was reportedly shot down late Wednesday.
Syritsa Mikhail ITAR-TASS/Landov

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:25 am

This post updated at 10:15 a.m. ET.

A Ukrainian government spokesman says one of its warplanes was shot down in the country's east by a Russian air force jet, as the U.S. and Europe stepped up sanctions on Moscow over its support of separatist rebels.

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Middle East
6:51 am
Thu July 17, 2014

A 5-Hour Truce Between Hamas And Israel Ends, And Fighting Begins

A Palestinian municipality worker sweeps the street as a United Nations vehicle drives past a damaged money exchange post. Israel and Hamas took a break from fighting Thursday for humanitarian reasons.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 4:12 pm

This post was updated at 4:10 p.m. ET: Ground Offenses Begin

Israel has sent ground forces into Gaza on Thursday, which we are covering in this post.

Update at 1:15 p.m. ET: Hostilities Resume

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Massachusetts
6:47 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Anti-casino Activists Launch Referendum Campaign

Former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger is joined by leaders of the campaign to repeal the Massachusetts casino law at the campaign kickoff in Springfield.

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:11 pm

Anti-casino activists launched a statewide referendum campaign today in Springfield where they outlined plans for convincing voters to keep Las Vegas-style gambling from coming to Massachusetts.

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White House
5:46 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

U.S. Sanctions Major Russian Banks And Energy Companies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visits forces stationed near the small city of Izyum on Wednesday.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:18 am

President Obama outlined a new package of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals on Wednesday.

"These sanctions are significant but also targeted," Obama said. "Russia will see that its actions in Ukraine have consequences."

The administration targeted large banks, as well as energy and defense firms. The sanctions stopped short of covering entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama said they were designed to inflict pain on Russia without harming U.S. companies or the nation's allies.

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College Athletes
4:09 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

UConn's Athletic Director Sees Need for Student-Athlete Stipends

Warde Manuel in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

UConn's athletic director said he opposes the idea of unions for college athletes, but sees the need to provide students on athletic scholarships with additional money. 

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Buckle Up
3:44 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

The Campaign Commercials Are Here

tiffany terry / Paris Match ad Creative Commons

The general election is more than 100 days away -- 111 at the time of writing this. If you hate the attack ads and campaign commercials that usually flood the airwaves, then this will be a long 100-plus days, because they have already started.

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Courts
2:56 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

UK Man Sentenced for Taliban Support

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

A British citizen imprisoned in Connecticut for supporting terrorism was sentenced in federal court in New Haven today.

Babar Ahmad was given 12 and half years in prison, with credit for the ten years he’s already served.

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Contraceptive Coverage
2:39 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire complained about a Democratic effort to reaffirm a contraceptive mandate at a Tuesday news conference
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:34 pm

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure.

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Unaccompanied Minors
2:12 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

What Honduran Children Are Fleeing

A woman and her son look out of a doorway in a neighborhood with heavy gang violence on July 20, 2012 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Honduras now has the highest per capita murder rate in the world and its capital city, Tegucigalpa, is plagued by violence, poverty, homelessness and sexual assaults. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 3:20 pm

One participant in the debate over what to do with unaccompanied minors crossing into the U.S. from Central America is Sonia Nazario.

Nazario is author of the acclaimed 2006 book “Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with his Mother,” which she updated in 2013.

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Jazz Corridor
1:50 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Celebrated Saxophonist Javon Jackson Jams at Hartford's Free, Alfresco Jazz Fest

Javon Jackson.
Javon Jackson

Javon Jackson, a top-seeded modern jazz tenor saxophonist, has plenty to celebrate this weekend as he brings his A-game to The Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz, a free, outdoor bash that’s expected to draw more than 50,000 fans to Bushnell Park on its 23rd annual run from Friday, July 18, to Sunday, July 20.

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Gaza
1:15 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Israeli Official: Chance Of A Ground Invasion Of Gaza 'Very High'

A picture taken from the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing from the coastal Palestinian enclave following an Israeli airstrike Wednesday.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 5:48 pm

This post was updated at 3 p.m. ET.

Israel has agreed to a United Nations request for a temporary cease-fire in its shelling campaign of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.

The five-hour bombing halt on Thursday will allow humanitarian aid to be delivered in Gaza.

But any semblance of peace will be fleeting.

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End of the World?
11:58 am
Wed July 16, 2014

A Huge New Crater Is Found In Siberia, And The Theories Fly

Aerial footage posted online shows a large crater in northern Siberia, in an area called "the end of the world."
YouTube

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 12:46 pm

The area of Russia is said to be called, ominously enough, the end of the world. And that's where researchers are headed this week, to investigate a large crater whose appearance reportedly caught scientists by surprise. The crater is estimated at 262 feet wide and is in the northern Siberian area of Yamal.

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Equal Employment
9:14 am
Wed July 16, 2014

EEOC Announces Tougher Rules Protecting Pregnant Workers

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's new guidance states that employers who allow parental leave must provide it to men and women equally.
Yuri Arcurs iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:32 am

Discrimination against female workers who might get pregnant in the future, or have been pregnant in the past, is against the law, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said this week. For the first time in 30 years, the agency has updated its rules against pregnancy discrimination.

The agency clarified several policies, including one that spells out when businesses may have to provide pregnant workers light duty and another that bans employers from forcing a pregnant worker to take leave even in cases when she's able to continue on the job.

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Transgender Teen
8:54 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Transgender Community Watching Connecticut's Jane Doe Case

Supporters of Jane Doe rallied in Hartford last spring.
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

The transgender community has been watching Connecticut and its handling of a 16-year-old transgender girl, who's in the custody of the state Department of Children and Families.

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Immigration
4:17 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Schools a Haven for Many Unaccompanied Minors

Children at a rally in New Haven to support Central American migrant youth.
Credit Josh Nilaya / WNPR

For tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the U.S. border, primarily from Central America, U.S. schools are one of the few government institutions where they are guaranteed services.

While their cases are processed, most are released to family members or sponsors who are told the children must be enrolled in school. 

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Medicine
3:17 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Medical Marijuana to Become Available Later This Summer

Various strains of medical marijuana.
Credit AudioVision / Creative Commons

Later this summer, medical marijuana will become legally available to patients in Connecticut.  

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Congress
1:41 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

House Votes to Extend Moratorium on State, Local Taxes for Internet Access

The U.S. Capitol building.
Credit Ron Cogswell / Creative Commons

The House has voted to make permanent a moratorium that prevents state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet. 

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Customer Service
1:15 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Comcast 'Embarrassed' By The Service Call Making Internet Rounds

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:38 pm

When a customer service call is described as "Kafkaesque" and "hellish," you pretty much know how it's going to go down before even taking a listen. But in case you haven't heard the condescending, tedious call that's lit up the Internet, here it is:

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Pollutants in the Water
12:23 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Nitrogen Pollution in Long Island Sound Continues to Decline

Nearly a week after Hurricane Irene drenched New England with rainfall in late August 2011, the Connecticut River was spewing muddy sediment into Long Island Sound.
NASA Goddard Photo and Video

A new report says nitrogen pollution discharged into Long Island Sound continues an overall decline. That's good news for marine life because too much nitrogen can fuel the growth of algae, which dies, settles on the ocean floor, and decays, using up oxygen in the process.

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Journalism
10:35 am
Tue July 15, 2014

NPR News Executive Leaves For Job At The Atlantic

Margaret Low Smith is leaving her post as NPR News' senior vice president to become president of AtlanticLIVE.
Stephen Voss NPR

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 12:14 pm

Margaret Low Smith, a longtime NPR executive who has served as senior vice president for news for three years, is leaving the company to become the president of The Atlantic's live events business.

"Her departure will be felt as profoundly as any in recent memory," NPR Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson wrote in a memo to staff Tuesday.

He added that Smith's final day at NPR will be at the end of July. She joined the company in 1982 as an overnight production assistant on Morning Edition.

Wilson added that:

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Gaza
9:56 am
Tue July 15, 2014

After Peace Deal's Failure, Israel To 'Expand And Intensify' Campaign

An Israeli soldier stands on a military vehicle near Gaza early Tuesday, when a cease-fire was meant to take effect. The deal hasn't been embraced by all of Hamas.
Ariel Schalit AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:26 am

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET.

A day that dawned with hopes for a fragile peace is closing with hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians appearing to intensify.

Early Tuesday, Israel had accepted the terms of a cease-fire proposed by Egypt, but Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, continued firing rockets.

A Hamas spokesman complained to NPR's Ari Shapiro that Egypt's current government is hostile to the group and its proposal didn't deal at all with Palestinian demands.

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Immigration
9:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Who Is Smuggling Immigrant Children Across The Border?

Child detainees in a holding cell at a Border Patrol facility in Brownsville, Texas. Some human smugglers who bring children across the Rio Grande make sure to treat their clients well.
Eric Gay AP

"They call me the Wolf," said the 25-year-old human smuggler sitting in front of me, sipping a Coke and stepping away for frequent cellphone calls.

"Everybody says we're the problem, but it's the reverse. The gringos don't want to get their hands dirty. So I bring them the Mexicans and Central Americans to do the dirty work for them," he says, smiling.

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Juvenile Justice
3:06 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Transgender Girl Moved to Male Facility in Middletown

A Connecticut juvenile detention facility.
Credit State of Connecticut

The attorneys for a transgender teen in the custody of Connecticut's Department of Children and Families want a judge to oversee her care. This comes after DCF moved her to an all-boys facility after she allegedly assaulted a youth and staff member over the weekend.

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Internet Traffic
2:16 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tech Giants Make Net Neutrality Case As Deadline Nears

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right) and Facebook lobbyist Joel Kaplan are part of the Internet Association, which filed comments in support of net neutrality Monday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:49 pm

It's not just comedian John Oliver coming out against cable companies to support net neutrality. The world's largest Internet companies — Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and others — have officially chimed in, filing comments Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees Internet traffic.

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Governors' Summit
1:20 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Eastern Canadian Premiers And New England Governors Meet Amid Energy Protests

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:34 am

New Hampshire is hosting the latest summit between the governors of the New England states and the Premiers of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. The conference takes place Monday at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, and follows a similar meeting held in Quebec last September

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Religion
12:58 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Church Of England Will Allow Women To Serve As Bishops

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, shown here in Kenya last October, supported the decision to ordain women as bishops.
Ben Curtis AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 1:44 pm

The Church of England voted Monday to ordain women as bishops.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the church's spiritual leader, said before the vote that the public would find it "almost incomprehensible" if the church's General Synod did not approve the change.

A similar proposal was narrowly defeated in 2012. A revised proposal had been put to a vote and approved in 43 of the church's 44 dioceses, according to the BBC.

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Voicemail Project
12:31 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tell Us Your Stuffed Animal Story

Marc Dodge's mother bought this 1980 Vermont Teddy Bear Fireman for his father after he retired as a fire chief. It stayed with his parents until they both died, and now resides on his bed.

The Colin McEnroe Show is working on a show all about stuffed animals: the history of being attached, or developing a sentiment towards an object that comforts; the business of building them, and the awesome stories people have about their precious squishy toys.

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