government

Diplomacy
12:25 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Obama Unveils 'New Approach' On Cuba As Former Foes Chart New Course

President Obama announced Wednesday that the U.S. will work with Cuba to normalize diplomatic ties.
Doug Mills UPI /Landov

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Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."

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Manufacturing
6:27 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Massachusetts Announces Funds To Train Machinists

Mass. secretary for Housing and Economic Development is seen touring a state-funded training center for machinists at Springfield Technical Community College

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.         

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Haiti
11:55 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Haiti's Prime Minister To Step Down

Anti-government protesters carry the body of a demonstrator who was shot to death during clashes with the National Police in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Saturday. Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe says he will step down in response to protesters' demands.
Dieu Nalio Chery AP

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 3:11 pm

Haiti's Prime Minster Laurent Lamothe has bowed to pressure from anti-government protesters pushing for long-delayed elections and calling for his ouster, saying he will step down.

"I am leaving the post of prime minister this evening with a feeling of accomplishment," Lamothe announced in Port-au-Prince, the capital of the impoverished Caribbean nation.

The prime minister said he leaves office after accomplishing the "remarkable work" of the government.

"We put this country on a dynamic of deep and real change for the benefit of the population," he said.

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Congress
10:29 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

'Cromnibus' Spending Bill Passes, Just Hours Before Deadline

The U.S. Capitol is seen at dusk Thursday. The House approved a massive spending bill just hours before a midnight deadline to fund the federal government.
Shawn Thew EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 8:08 am

Post updated at 9:38 p.m. ET.

A massive federal spending bill finally won the House's approval Thursday night, less than three hours before a midnight deadline that threatened a federal shutdown. The measure's fate had been in doubt after it narrowly survived a rules vote earlier in the day. The final tally was 219-206.

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New York City
10:18 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

New York City Council Will Weigh Ban On Horse-Drawn Carriages

A horse-drawn carriage operator waits for riders near Central Park in New York on October 20, 2014. Mayor Bill de Blasio is backing legislation that would ban such carriages in 2016.
JEWEL SAMAD AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 7:15 pm

Following up on a controversial campaign promise, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's bill to ban horse-drawn carriages reached the City Council on Monday, in a move to phase out the carriages that often give tours around Central Park.

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Simsbury Politics
2:11 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Simsbury's First Selectman Calls Move By Republican Board of Selectmen "Illegal"

Mary Glassman in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Simsbury's First Selectman, Democrat Mary Glassman, said she was blind-sided by the Republican-controlled Board of Selectmen's decision last week to cut her salary by 35 percent effective in July. 

On Monday, Glassman announced her resignation, effective January 2. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Rails, Roads, and Buses: A State Transportation Check-In

Commissioner James Redeker from the Department of Transportation stopped by in December, 2013.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker to provide updates on the latest transportation news including CTfastrak, I-84, and our regional railways. Also, as we head into the winter months, how prepared are the state's roads?

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Data Breach
3:06 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

More Than 800,000 Postal Service Employees Victims Of Data Breach

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 5:16 pm

The United States Postal Service is the latest victim of a wide-scale online data breach.

A USPS spokesman told NPR today that more than 800,000 employees may have been affected. In a statement, USPS said "names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, addresses, beginning and end dates of employment, emergency contact information" may have been compromised.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Walking Into the Flames: Discussion With Connecticut Firefighters

Jessica Whittle Creative Commons

One of the most basic functions of local government is to protect its citizens. We talk with a panel of local firefighters who do just that.

When a fire breaks out, many Connecticut towns have volunteer forces that go to the rescue. What draws firefighters to this profession that includes a lot more than just fighting fires? Some Connecticut firefighters are even taking it a step further, and are going out west to help fight forest fires.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:50 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Is Social Studies to Blame for Voter Apathy?

Walter Woodward is a professor of History at the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut State Historian
Chion Wolf

Ever since 1778 when Thomas Jefferson, revising the laws of Virginia, wrote something called a Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge, there's been an ongoing debate about how to make sure people know what they need to know to participate fully as citizens of this democracy.

As is so often the case with Jefferson, his ideas and words seem visionary and eternal until you poke around in them a little bit and then it gets more complicated especially vis-a-vis who he thought was really fit to lead the American people.

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Election Day
8:08 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Election Day Includes Ballot Question for Connecticut Voters

A Connecticut polling place in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Next Tuesday, November 4, Connecticut is among several states that will ask voters about changing elections laws. The ballot question on amending the Connecticut constitution is the "first" step towards making voting more flexible here.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Election Check-In: Regional Reporter Roundtable

Toronto Public Library

We’re just over a week away from the November 4 elections, and, so far, we’ve spent a lot of time talking politics here in our state. But what about our neighbors to the north, east, and west? 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Two Years After Hurricane Sandy, What Have We Learned?

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Wavian Creative Commons

It’s been almost two years since Hurricane Sandy tore her way through the Northeast -- leaving behind a trail of destruction throughout much of our region. 

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Journalism
5:10 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Yale Holds Talk on Investigative Reporting in Time of Surveillance

Steve Coll speaks at Yale Law School.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

The case of Edward Snowden sparked worldwide discussions about the reach of government into the personal, and technological, lives of its citizens. One of those discussions continued at Yale Law School on Tuesday. 

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Development
12:45 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Hartford City Council Approves Baseball Stadium Deal

The Hartford city council approved a deal to bring a minor league baseball stadium to Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

A majority of the Hartford city council approved a deal to bring a baseball stadium and related development to downtown Hartford.

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Baseball Development
10:30 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

In Voting to Redevelop a Part of Hartford, Is Three a Majority of Six?

Downtown North in Hartford, an area where city officials are planning to develop a baseball stadium with housing and amenities.
City of Hartford

Who's ready for a quiz?

As the Hartford City Council geared up to vote on the plan to build a baseball stadium and other development, the city's redevelopment agency was meeting across the hall. A few weeks back, this same agency -- under pressure from Mayor Pedro Segarra -- voted to give the city land it needs to build its $350 million project.

There are six members on the board and one vacancy. Only five votes were made. Of them, three voted in favor. So here's the question: What's a majority of the Hartford Redevelopment Agency? Depending on the answer, the agency may have to vote again.

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North Korea
10:18 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Kim Jong Un Makes First Public Appearance In More Than A Month

A photo released Monday by the Rodong Sinmun, newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walking with a cane as he visits a residential area in Pyongyang.
Rodong Sinmun EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 10:31 am

After 40 days of seclusion, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made a public appearance, an outing that could help quell rumors about his health and status. Kim visited a new housing complex, according to state media that released photos of the event — but without attaching a specific date to it.

North Korea has confirmed only that Kim has been in "discomfort." The newly released photos show Kim using a cane, possibly confirming theories that he underwent ankle surgery. More than a month ago, he was seen limping as he walked.

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World
9:15 am
Tue October 14, 2014

British Lawmakers Vote To Recognize Palestinian State

A man wears a Palestinian and Union flag outside the Houses of Parliament in London on Monday to show his support for the symbolic vote.
Luke MacGregor Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 12:26 pm

Britain's Parliament has voted to support the recognition of a Palestinian state in a symbolic vote that follows a similar move by Sweden.

The BBC says the 274-to-12 vote in the House of Commons is being described by the chamber " 'as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution' — although less than half of MPs took part in the vote."

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Prisons
8:34 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Exonerated Connecticut Man Appointed to State Board of Pardons and Paroles

Kenneth Ireland was appointed to a full-time position on the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
Credit Connecticut Innocence Project

A Connecticut man who was freed after spending two decades in prison on wrongful murder and rape convictions has been appointed to the state parole board.

Gov. Dannel Malloy appointed Kenneth Ireland and four others to paid positions on the Board of Pardons and Paroles on Wednesday.

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Baseball
11:02 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

For Hartford's Proposed Stadium, Both Sides Say Future Is in the Balance

Residents, supporters, and opponents come to speak about the proposed baseball stadium development in Hartford.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Whether or not Hartford's city council decides to move ahead with a $350 million development project just north of its downtown is about a lot of things.  It's about entertainment and amenities and opportunity and jobs. It's also about the future, and everybody sees the future differently.

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China
8:40 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Hong Kong Protest Sites Quieter After Weekend Of Arrests

A protester sits along the main street to the financial Central district outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 12:47 pm

The number of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong has dwindled today after a weekend that saw dozens of arrests and an angry backlash from business owners whose shops were shut down amid the demonstrations.

The South China Morning Post says: "Protest sites are quiet on Monday as some demonstrators leave for work, others remain and authorities keep their distance."

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Business of Defense
7:48 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Sen. Murphy: Pentagon Spends Billions Overseas, Costs Jobs

Big contractors like Pratt & Whitney should be required to source more of their parts in the US, according to Senator Chris Murphy
Pratt and Whitney

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said that in the past seven years, the Pentagon has spent more than $160 billion of taxpayer money on foreign-made goods. He’s accusing the defense department of abusing legislation that requires it to buy American.

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Media
12:32 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

One System, Two Media: How China, Hong Kong Are Covering The Protests

People read newspapers placed along a street blocked by protesters outside the government headquarters building in Hong Kong on Wednesday. While Hong Kong media are covering the protests closely, media in mainland China have been mostly quiet.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 1:40 pm

Hong Kong media are providing wall-to-wall coverage of the protests calling for the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, but in mainland China there has been little to no mention of the unrest.

The contrast is an illustration of the "one country, two systems" policy that has been in place since the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

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Financial Regulation
5:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in June.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:39 am

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street.

In an interview with Morning Edition, Warren says the recordings provide definite proof of that relationship.

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Political History
5:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Secret Talks And Back Channels Pervaded U.S. Relationship With Cuba

Cuban Premier Fidel Castro addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September 1960 in New York. A new book details secret negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba dating back to President Kennedy's administration.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:34 am

For five decades, the official U.S. policy on Cuba was one of silence. But the real U.S. relationship with Havana involved secret negotiations that started with President Kennedy in 1963, even after his embargo against the island nation, say the authors of the new book Back Channel to Cuba. In fact, nearly every U.S. administration for the past 50 years has engaged in some sort of dialogue with the Cuban government, they say.

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Pension Payments
8:18 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Despite Federal Conviction, Rowland's State Pension Will Continue

Former Gov. John Rowland leaves federal court in New Haven.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland's state pension of nearly $53,000 a year will not be affected by his second felony conviction. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:36 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Warning: The Scramble Will Automatically Download to Your iTunes

Credit David Goehring / Creative Commons

We're back today after a one-week hiatus. 

Ben Nadaff-Hafrey is also back, this time as our Scramble SuperGuest.

We start today with a conversation about the embrace of U2 by Apple, and end with a chat about embraces in general.

So, leading off earlier this month, Apple had one of its special events. When people stop what they're doing to watch a big company roll out a new product, in this case the iPhone 6, Don Draper would be drooling in envy, right?

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Waterbury
7:56 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Ex-Deputy DMV Commissioner Accused of Sexual Assault

Victor Diaz at the time of his arrest.
Credit Waterbury Police Department

A former deputy commissioner of the state Department of Motor Vehicles has been charged with sexual assault. Victor Diaz was arrested Tuesday on accusations of sexual assault involving a victim younger than 16.

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Religious Influence
12:20 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

More Americans Favor Mixing Religion And Politics, Survey Says

President Obama closes his eyes as a prayer is offered at the National Prayer Breakfast in February in Washington, D.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:14 pm

Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe religious influence on life in the U.S. is waning and nearly half think that churches and other houses of worship should play a greater role in the national discourse on social and political matters, according to a new Pew study.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon September 22, 2014

The Future of American Think Tanks

Credit www.GlynLowe.com / Creative Commons

Founded in 1916, the Brookings Institution became America’s first think tank -- an organization that devoted itself to the study of national public policy. Today, Brookings is just one of some 1,800 think tanks operating across the United States. 

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