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Daniel X. O'Neil / Creative Commons

We talk to New York Times op-ed columnist Gail Collins about the Department of Health and Human Services decision Friday to give employers and corporations a reason to deny contraception coverage to their female employees. All they need is to hold a "sincerely held" religious or moral objection to birth control. 

Hakan Dahlstrom / Creative Commons

A gunman opened fire on a crowd assembled for an outdoor concert festival Sunday night, killing more than 50 people and wounding hundreds, from a high floor within the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The Department of Homeland Security is considering a request by members of Congress to waive shipping restrictions to Puerto Rico, senior DHS officials said Wednesday.

The request is to waive restrictions under the Jones Act, which restricts shipping of goods between U.S. coasts to U.S.-flagged vessels (as opposed to foreign-flagged vessels).

Mamata.mulay / Creative Commons

Legislators may vote Friday on a new deal to tax Connecticut’s hospitals as a way of pulling in more federal funding. Leaders of both parties got together Tuesday in the first bipartisan negotiations since the unexpected passage of the Republicans' budget more than a week ago.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut lawmakers went home late Thursday night after failing to approve a two-year, $41 billion state budget. The bill would have created new taxes and fees but would not have included increases in the sales or income tax. 

The early feedback for Hillary Clinton's new book What Happened is rolling in. Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it's "sad," and Bernie Sanders is understanding about her criticisms towards him.

Waiting for the Word / Creative Commons

John Nichols, author of Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse: A Field Guide to The Most Dangerous People in America believes Donald Trump has put together the most dangerous cabinet in history. He says Trump has filled it with partisan ideologues or people with no government experience and/or unqualified to do the job of their department. 

Updated at 10:45 a.m. ET

The disaster relief bill given final approval by Congress on Friday can't come too soon for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Without a new injection of funds, officials said FEMA's cash box would be empty as early as this weekend, right around the time that Hurricane Irma is scheduled to slam into southern Florida, while southeast Texas and Louisiana are still drying out from Hurricane Harvey.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez pleaded guilty Thursday to charges he accepted a bribe from one contractor and tried to extort another, ending a decade-long saga that forced him from office in 2010, changed this city’s political landscape, and forever linked his “local boy does good” story with the word corruption. 

Gage Skidmore, Peoria Arizona / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump pardoned former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio Friday. Arpaio was not going to jail for his documented brutality against immigrants, failure to investigate complaints of sexual assault, or his  arrest of journalists critical of his policies. He was going to jail for repeated contempt of a judicial order to stop illegally detaining immigrants. Arpaio and our president seem to both hold contempt for the laws they were elected to uphold. 

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, a Democrat from Berlin, says an increase in the Connecticut sales tax from 6.35 percent to 6.85 percent is needed in order to balance the state’s two-year-budget. That budget is already seven weeks late.  

As Connecticut approaches the end of the second month without a state budget, Democratic legislative leaders say they’ll present their revised final state budget plan this week. The proposal is expected to include a controversial sales tax increase.  

neetalparekh via flickr.com / Creative Commons

Connecticut saw jobs growth slow significantly in July, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Labor. Preliminary monthly totals show the state lost 600 jobs in July, and its unemployment rate remained unchanged at five percent. 

Stephen Melkisethian / Creative Commons

In the wake of the horrific events last weekend in Charlottesville, state legislatures are taking a second look at their hate crimes laws. Connecticut is ahead of the curve. Earlier this summer, the state legislature overwhelmingly passed a new hate crimes bill, one of the strongest in the nation.

NASA's Earth Observatory / Creative Commons

Guam came into America's consciousness this past week as the war of words between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un threatened the island of Guam with nuclear annihilation. The rhetoric has since cooled but America is more aware of how little they really know about Guam or how much the legacy of war is part of their daily life. 

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