Maureen O'Reilly beams with pride as she shows a visitor around Grafton, N.H., a town so small it doesn't even have a traffic light.
"Have a look at this," O'Reilly says, pointing to a postcard view of hilly rural New England. "How beautiful is this? It's really pretty in the fall, really, really pretty."
But behind the beautiful view, locals are dividing into opposing camps. About 50 Libertarians have moved into Grafton from around the country, splitting the town over their push to shrink its government.
Vladimir Konstantinov (in purple tie) is the speaker of Crimea's parliament. He was welcomed with flowers Friday during his meeting with Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of Russia's upper house of parliament. She is at the far right of this photo.
Connecticut’s state budget faces a series of problems that have been building for some time. It’s why the Office of Fiscal Analysis shows looming budget deficits in the next two fiscal years.
But we’re not alone. A study of several states shows some of the same trends: Medicaid costs growing faster than states can raise money, which means less funding for education; the federal government cutting aid to states in an effort to cut their own deficits; reliance on volatile tax structures and massive underfunding of public pensions.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who has described Moscow's military intervention in the Crimea an "incredible act of aggression," will travel to Ukraine's capital on Tuesday to meet with the country's embattled government.
U.S. State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement late Sunday that Kerry "will meet with senior representatives of Ukraine's new government, leaders of the Rada [Ukraine's parliament], and members of the civil society."
Young people look at pro-Russian armed men blocking access to the Ukrainian frontier guard base in Balaklava, a small city not far from Sevastopol, on Saturday.
Credit Viktor Drachev / AFP/Getty Images
Armed men take up positions around the regional parliament building in the Crimean city of Simferopol on Saturday. Ukraine's defense minister said on Saturday Russia had "recently" brought 6,000 additional personnel into Ukraine.
Russia's parliament has unanimously approved a request by President Vladimir Putin to authorize the intervention of Moscow's forces in Ukraine until "the normalization of the political situation" there. In response, Ukraine put its own forces on alert and warned that a Russian invasion would spark war between the two countries.
Ten years after being elected President Pro Tempore of the Connecticut State Senate, Don Williams announced he will not seek re-election this fall. The Brooklyn Democrat has served in the state senate since 1993.
Williams is the longest-serving president of Connecticut's Senate chamber and took the job during the political shuffle following Governor John Rowland's resignation.
For months, reporters have been asking Governor Dannel Malloy if he is running for re-election this year. On Sunday, he shared his future plans: He is not running for president in 2016.
On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we'll talk about Malloy's trip to Washington, D.C. for the National Governors Association meetings where he got into a well-publicized spat with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
Closer to home, another investigation is taking place at the state capitol involving the use of a printer in Florida for campaign materials.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
Huge protests have engulfed Venezuela for several weeks now. The protests started with students and expanded to the middle class. Venezuelans angered by an economy in freefall, high inflation, and soaring rates of crime. At least 15 people have been killed and about 150 injured during the demonstrations.
Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:52 pm
We're updating this post as the day continues.
In what could be a major move toward ending the violence in the streets of his capital, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the anti-government opposition reached agreement Friday on a deal to hold new elections, form a unity government and restore a constitution drafted in 2004.
Less than a year after a Keno bill passed the legislature in the eleventh hour, and was signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy, legislative leaders are making a push for its repeal, citing an improving economy.
Democratic Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey announced his support for a repeal during remarks to the Connecticut Council of Small Towns.
Once again, Connecticut’s felonious former governor is making headlines. This time, John Rowland is hiring a criminal defense attorney as officials investigate his role in the 2012 congressional campaign of Lisa Wilson-Foley.
Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses this and all the week’s news from our downtown Hartford location.
Riot police officers stand in Kiev's Independence Square on Wednesday as smoke rises from protesters' burning barricades.
Credit Alexey Furman / EPA/Landov
Flames engulf the main anti-government protest camp as riot police try to force demonstrators out. "The situation seems to be escalating even further, which is probably what most people are worried about most of all because it doesn't seem it will ever end," reporter Stern says, "and there is a question of what will happen to Ukraine as a whole if this does spread ... beyond the capital."
Credit Genya Savilov / AFP/Getty Images
Ukrainian riot police protect themselves from anti-government protesters during a violent confrontation near Independence Square on Tuesday. Police dismantled some of the barricades, but, the AP noted, "the 20,000 demonstrators fought back, armed with rocks, bats and firebombs and singing the Ukrainian national anthem."
Credit Konstantin Chernichkin / Reuters/Landov
Armed with a large slingshot, anti-government demonstrators fire objects toward Interior Ministry members and riot police in Kiev.
Credit Vasily Fedosenko / Reuters/Landov
Anti-government demonstrators take cover behind shields as they gather in Kiev's Independence Square. Late last year, President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow, leading to protests against his government.
Credit David Mdzinarishvili / Reuters/Landov
An anti-government protester throws a stone during clashes in Kiev. At least 26 people were killed Tuesday and an additional 241 were injured on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
Credit Efrem Lukatsky / AP
Anti-government protesters throw Molotov cocktails in Kiev's Independence Square during clashes with police. Streets and squares in Ukraine's capital are littered with rocks, bricks, spent stun grenades and tear gas canisters, rubber bullets and burning tires, the BBC's David Stern said on <em>Morning Edition</em>.
Credit Yevgeny Maloletka / ITAR-TASS/Landov
Anti-government demonstrators rest at a barricade near the site of clashes with Interior Ministry members and riot police in Kiev. Police there attacked an opposition camp at the center of the massive anti-government protests that began in November.
Credit Konstantin Grishin / Reuters/Landov
An anti-government protester stands behind burning barricades in Kiev's Independence Square on Tuesday. The international community on Wednesday urged restraint and threatened sanctions against those responsible for the violence.
Credit Yannis Behrakis / Reuters/Landov
Fires burn in Independence Square on Wednesday. Bloodshed in the country has claimed more than two dozen lives since Tuesday.
Credit Liu Hongxia / Xinhua/Landov
An anti-government protester holds a crucifix in Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday. Ukraine's president Wednesday said he was starting negotiations with opposition leaders.
Credit Marko Drobnjakovic / AP
Anti-government protesters guard the perimeter of Independence Square, known as Maidan in Kiev.
On 'Morning Edition': David Stern of the BBC speaks from Kiev
This post was updated at 10:15 p.m. ET
The U.S. and the European Union are closely watching Ukraine amid news that the government was starting negotiations with opposition leaders to end the violence, which has left more than two dozen people dead since Tuesday.
Smoke from exploding fireworks and fires billows into the night sky as Ukrainians gather at Independence Square during continuing protests in Kiev on Tuesday.
Credit Igor Kovalenko / EPA/Landov
Anti-government protesters clash with the police during their storming of Independence Square in Kiev. The Associated Press reported police dismantled barricades on the perimeter of the square and set some of the protesters' tents on fire.
Credit Genya Savilov / AFP/Getty Images
Policemen fight a fire during a clash with protesters. As of late Tuesday, at least 18 people had been killed and dozens injured.
Credit Andrew Kravchenko / EPA/Landov
An Interior Ministry member, who was injured during clashes with anti-government protesters, is transported on a stretcher in Kiev.
Credit Andrew Kravchenko / Reuters/Landov
A young anti-government protester takes part in the demonstration. Police used water cannons to disperse demonstrators near Independence Square. But, the AP noted, "the 20,000 demonstrators fought back, armed with rocks, bats and firebombs, and singing the Ukrainian national anthem."
Credit Andrew Kravchenko / AFP/Getty Images
Protesters using air rifles clash with police. "The situation seems to be escalating even further, which is probably what most people are worried about most of all because it doesn't seem it will ever end," reporter David Stern says, "and there is a question of what will happen to Ukraine as a whole if this does spread ... beyond the capital."
Credit Danylo Pryhodko / EPA/Landov
Flames engulf the main anti-government protest camp on Independence Square on Tuesday as riot police try to force demonstrators out.
Credit Genya Savilov / AFP/Getty Images
Riot police move into the protesters' main camp on Independence Square. Late last year, President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties with Moscow, leading to protests against his government.
Credit Sergei Supiinsky / AFP/Getty Images
Anti-government protesters guard the perimeter of Independence Square, known as Maidan, on Tuesday in Kiev, Ukraine. Police in Ukraine's capital attacked an opposition camp that's been the center of the massive anti-government protests that began last November.
Credit Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images
A demonstrator throws rocks during violent clashes between opposition protesters and riot police in Kiev, Ukraine, on Tuesday.
Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 12:01 am
This post was updated at 8:52 p.m. ET
Riot police stormed the main anti-government camp in central Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, on Tuesday. They fought with demonstrators armed with clubs and wearing helmets fought back. More than a dozen people were killed, including five policemen, according to AP and the BBC.
Opposition leaders met late in the day with President Viktor Yanukovych, but left without an agreement.
On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we recap Governor Dannel Malloy’s State of the State address and the proposals he laid out surrounding the state budget, education and the minimum wage. We’re joined by a panel of reporters who have spent the last week digesting the governor’s agenda.
Also, a discussion about the Olympics with a Connecticut-native who won a gold medal in women's ice hockey during the 1998 Olympics. The rivalry between the U.S. and Canada is as intense as ever and we talk about it with this Olympian.
Last week, Governor Dannel Malloy delivered his fourth State of the State address. There are numerous Republican candidates for governor who hope it's his last. The address itself outlined Malloy's wide-ranging proposals for the budget, education, and assistance for veterans.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Monday in Nashville, Tenn. In the speech, he proposed spending the state's lottery money on free community college education for those in need.
Pretty soon, going to community college in Tennessee may become absolutely free. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled the proposal in his annual State of the State address this week.
Haslam is trying to lift Tennessee's ranking as one of the least-educated states. Less than a third of residents have even a two-year degree. But a community college free-for-all has been tried elsewhere, though not sustained, and there's always a nagging question.
"So I know you're wondering," Haslam said. "How do we pay for this?"
As the U.S. Postal Service continues to lose money each year, a new report suggests a way to add to its bottom line: offer banklike services, such as a check cashing card that would allow holders to make purchases and pay bills online or even take out small loans. The idea is to provide services that are now unavailable in many communities.
If this snowstorm means a snow day, catch up on all the week's political news you may have missed. WNPR's weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will talk about the smoke-filled rooms of one political party and the mud slinging of another. Also, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it won't hear the appeal involving former governor and current radio talk show host John Rowland. It was a decision that didn't even surprise Rowland.
What stories are you catching up on during this snowstorm?
A bipartisan group of lawmakers took the first step Thursday to patch a gaping hole in the 1965 Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court eviscerated a key part of the law that allowed for federal oversight of states with a history of ballot box discrimination.
Dissatisfaction with America's government headed the list of problems cited in a new Gallup poll. Here, dusk falls on the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 30 — the eve of the federal shutdown that further frustrated many citizens.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Among all large U.S. political groups, dissatisfaction with the country's government headed the list of issues. But they disagreed on where to rank other topics, from health care to income inequality.
A Gallup poll released Thursday tracks trends in what Americans see as the country's biggest problem. For several months now, the answer has been its own government.
Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 9:05 pm
The biggest problem the United States faces is not unemployment or the economy — it's the country's government, according to a plurality of Americans cited in a recent Gallup poll. Among Republicans, Democrats and independents, dissatisfaction with the U.S.'s political leadership topped all other issues.
The race for governor has been underway for months now. But the race for lieutenant governor is just heating up. Former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker announced he was throwing his hat in the ring for the number two job. But why?
Also, Connecticut's former Secretary of the State Miles Rapoport was just named the new president and CEO of Common Cause. He'll join us to talk about the work that lies ahead for him.
When I first started writing about politics in Connecticut, I can honestly say that there were many more Republicans who excited my admiration than there were Democrats. It was 1979, the wave of interesting new progressive Democrats was coming, including that Bill Curry guy you hear so much about, but the entrenched Democratic leadership was anything but progressive. It was calcified, blinkered, and in too many cases, dirty. They'd had too much power for too long.