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Obama said "we will end an outdated approach that for decades has failed to advance our interests and instead we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries."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