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ethics

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Amidst the increasing concern over a nuclear armed North Korea, it's easy to forget the nearly 25 million citizens who live there. Their stories, while not matters of national security,  do reveal valuable insights into the secretive nation they call home.

Mike Maguire / Creative Commons

Democracy is so deeply rooted in American life that it’s hard to imagine another way of governing. But we may be living through through one of the most dangerous challenges to our democracy in a very long time.

The challenge won’t be obvious. We may not even know it’s happening because little will change...The economy will still grow, unemployment will stay low, we’ll still speak freely and hold elections.

existentist / flickr creative commons

We've been told to keep our mouths shut. We're not gonna do that.

But where it gets complicated is that The Colin McEnroe Show... has a point of view. Colin has a point of view, and the show has a point of view, in a way that the public radio universe around us maybe isn't used to.

And in a world where objectively bad things happen side-by-side with subjectively bad things seemingly every day, our job just got a whole bunch more complicated.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

With President Donald Trump is poised to sign a executive order calling for an investigation into allegations of massive voter fraud in the November election, Connecticut's Secretary of the State Denise Merrill reminded reporters Friday that voter fraud is rare, and there is no evidence that it happened in November on the scale suggested by the President. 

Prosecutors in South Korea have requested an arrest warrant for the de facto head of the nation's biggest conglomerate, Samsung, on charges of bribery and embezzlement in connection with a swirling scandal that led to the president's impeachment.

Donald Trump has named his son-in-law to a top White House job. Jared Kushner will serve as a senior adviser to the president, and the transition team says he will work with incoming Chief of staff Reince Priebus and chief strategist Stephen Bannon "to execute President-elect Trump's agenda."

The announcement also says Kushner will not receive a salary while serving in the Trump administration, which could help alleviate legal problems stemming from federal anti-nepotism law.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

For Connecticut's 1st District Congressman John Larson, the 115th Congress has gotten off to an inauspicious start.

Updated at 5:30 p.m.

The Office of Government Ethics is raising alarm over the pace of confirmation hearings for President-elect Donald Trump's nominees, saying Saturday that they have yet to receive required financial disclosures for some picks set to come before Congress next week.

After a storm of criticism, including from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans have reversed themselves and restored the current rules of the Office of Congressional Ethics.

GOP members met Tuesday afternoon and agreed by unanimous consent to withdraw a change to House rules approved late Monday evening, before the new Congress was sworn in, that would have weakened the ethics office, an independent watchdog first established in 2008 under House Democrats.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families said she doesn’t believe her office would benefit from the oversight of an outside ombudsman. 

Since Donald Trump won the presidential election last month, his conflicts of interest have come into sharper focus.

Ethics experts say that to clearly separate his role as president from his role as businessman, he must sell off his holdings. Trump has so far rejected that recommendation, saying via Twitter that he intends to have his two oldest sons run the Trump Organization.

But those sons have been deeply engaged in the transition work of the incoming Trump administration.

President Obama has ordered the intelligence community to conduct a "full review" of "malicious cyber activity" timed to U.S. elections, the White House said Friday.

The review will go all the way back to the 2008 campaign when China was found to have hacked both the Obama and McCain campaigns, White House spokesman Eric Schultz said at a Friday press briefing.

sam_greene@ymail.com / Creative Commons

Donald Trump will make an announcement on December 15 that he will leave his business "in total" to focus on the presidency. This will likely mean he is transferring management responsibilities to three of his five children: Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric. But a transfer may be nearly impossible, given the wide-ranging and deep entanglements Trump's children have in his business. 

Donald Trump announced in a series of tweets Wednesday that he will be taking himself "completely out" of his business operations to avoid potential conflicts of interest as president. The president-elect did not offer details of the plan or say that he would divest financially from his businesses, but he did promise a news conference in the coming weeks that would address the issue.

Eric Lafforgue / Flickr

Amidst the increasing concern over a nuclear armed North Korea, it's easy to forget the nearly 25 million citizens who live there. Their stories, while not matters of national security,  do reveal valuable insights into the secretive nation they call home.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about a road study that would create a traffic nightmare — and used the advance notice to ask about his office's relationship with the local mayor, former top aide Bridget Kelly testified in court Friday. Kelly also said that Christie had cursed and thrown a water bottle at her.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

One of Connecticut’s top Democrats has fired a shot across the bows of the state’s largest business organization.

The controversial whistleblower organization WikiLeaks on Friday released emails that they say are linked to Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Red, White, and Black Eyes Forever / Flickr Creative Commons

Three guests, Peter Sagal of WWDTM, Maria Konnikova of The New Yorker, and Robert Evans of Cracked, take you on a tour of vice. They talk everything from casual sex to marijuana to greed and ostentation to coffee to beer to pornography. Peter and Colin also discuss what the next declared vice will be. Possibly sitting.

ConnPIRG

A Connecticut advocacy group is calling for better federal regulation of predatory lending, to help states crack down on the worst practices. ConnPIRG just released its latest analysis of data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

On Wednesday morning, Brazil's Senate voted to impeach suspended President Dilma Rousseff.

Sixty-one senators voted in favor of removing Rousseff from the presidency; 20 voted against her impeachment.

Rousseff is accused of mishandling Brazil's budget and misrepresenting the state of the economy. Some of her accusers, as Rousseff noted in her testimony, are themselves accused or convicted of serious corruption charges.

She testified for 14 hours straight on Monday, NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro reports.

Brazil's suspended president, Dilma Rousseff, faced her country's Senate on Monday, making one last case for herself as her impeachment trial nears its end.

"I have honored my commitments to democracy and the rule of law," she told the senators, according to a BBC interpreter. "I am going to look in your eyes and I will say with the serenity of someone who has nothing to hide that I haven't committed any crimes."

Mark Nozell, Creative Commons

We’re gonna try really hard to not say one word. That word starts with a T, and rhymes with “thump.” 

Uma Ramiah / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget office says it's releasing funds to several state watchdog agencies after igniting a storm of controversy by withholding the cash. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy’s decision to cut funds to several state watchdog agencies may soon be under legal review. 

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