government

National Security
4:45 am
Wed July 23, 2014

The Challenge Of Keeping Tabs On The NSA's Secretive Work

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (center), accompanied by FBI Director Robert Mueller (left) and CIA Director John Brennan, testifies on Capitol Hill on March 12, 2013. When questioned, Clapper said the NSA did not collect data on Americans. He later acknowledged his response was "clearly erroneous."
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 7:51 am

Here's a question with no easy answer: How do you hold the nation's spy agencies accountable — when they control the secrets?

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden apparently thought the answer was to blow the lid off some of the NSA's highly classified programs. He took documents and shared them with journalists.

But what about Congress? It's supposed to oversee the NSA — and other spy agencies. For the committees charged with that task, it hasn't been easy keeping tabs on the secretive world of federal surveillance.

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Congress
1:41 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

House Votes to Extend Moratorium on State, Local Taxes for Internet Access

The U.S. Capitol building.
Credit Ron Cogswell / Creative Commons

The House has voted to make permanent a moratorium that prevents state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet. 

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Internet Traffic
2:16 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Tech Giants Make Net Neutrality Case As Deadline Nears

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right) and Facebook lobbyist Joel Kaplan are part of the Internet Association, which filed comments in support of net neutrality Monday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 2:49 pm

It's not just comedian John Oliver coming out against cable companies to support net neutrality. The world's largest Internet companies — Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon and others — have officially chimed in, filing comments Monday to the Federal Communications Commission, which oversees Internet traffic.

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War on Poverty
6:39 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

To Break Cycle Of Child Poverty, Teaching Mom And Dad To Get Along

Brittiny Spears, 26, is not with the father of her daughter, Zykeiria, 4. "He just still wanted to go out and party and be a little boy," Spears says.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:52 am

After a half-century of the War on Poverty, an anti-poverty agency in Ohio has concluded that decades of assistance alone just hasn't changed lives. Instead, it says, the ongoing breakdown of the family is to blame.

"You're seeing the same people come year after year, and in some cases generation to generation. And so then you think, why is that happening?" says Jennifer Jennette, program manager of the Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron and Richland Counties in Ohio.

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Development Deals
2:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

City Explains Hartford's Secrecy Around Proposed Stadium

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

For the better part of a year and half, Hartford city officials negotiated a plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city behind closed doors, saying the deal needed that kind of confidentiality, lest it fall apart. 

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Playing Ball
9:53 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Hartford State Senator Opposes New Rock Cats Stadium

A rendering of a proposed Rock Cats stadium in Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra called the plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." 

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Egypt
2:01 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Amid Tight Security, Egypt Swears In A New President

A life size figure of Egypt's new President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi faces a mannequin.
Mohamed El-Shahed AFP/Getty Images

Egypt has sworn in former defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sissi as its new president. This comes after a campaign season when his victory was never in doubt.

Sissi walked into the Supreme Constitutional Court in dark sunglasses Sunday morning. He then took the oath of office to booming applause from the mostly male, mostly graying public figures in the audience.

Interim President Adly Mansour stood beaming at his side and gave him a kiss on both cheeks after the ceremony.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Walking Into the Flames: Discussion With Connecticut Firefighters

After thousands of years, the best tool to fight fire is still water.
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
11:16 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Connecticut Is the Land of Plenty, for Some

Lucy Nolan is the Executive Director of EndHungerCT
Chion Wolf

If you're like me, you'll have a lot of thoughts about food today but they won't be about how to get some. It will be about what you want for lunch and what you feel like having for dinner.

You might have an argument with yourself about whether you can afford to eat a snack or dessert, but to you the word "afford" has to do with your weight and your waistline.

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World
7:48 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Spain's King Juan Carlos Will Abdicate In Favor Of Son

Spain's King Juan Carlos signs a document in the Zarzuela Palace, planning his abdication, in this photo released by the Royal Palace. Juan Carlos will be replaced by his son, Crown Prince Felipe.
AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 12:54 pm

This post was updated at 10:45 a.m. ET

The news comes as something of a surprise: King Juan Carlos of Spain is abdicating and will be succeeded by his 46-year-old son, Crown Prince Felipe.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy made the announcement at a hastily called news conference Monday, saying that Juan Carlos is "convinced that this is the best moment for a change in the leadership of state with complete normalcy," according to El Pais.

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Thailand
7:53 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Coup In Thailand: Military Seizes Control Of Country

Thai soldiers patrol after army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that the armed forces were seizing power after months of political turmoil.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 11:37 am

Thailand's army is now running the country. Two days after declaring martial law — and saying it wasn't staging a coup — the military has changed its mind, Thailand's army chief says.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: Jonathan Pelto

Jonathan Pelto on WNPR's Where We Live.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Former state legislator Jonathan Pelto has been a vocal critic of Governor Dannel Malloy since day one. His frustration with the current administration may push him to run for governor as a liberal third-party candidate. Pelto joins us in-studio to talk about why he’s considering a challenge from the left.

What questions do you have for Pelto? Would you support his candidacy?

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Thailand
7:57 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Thai Army Declares Martial Law But Says It's No Coup

Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha (front) during a military parade in January. The army has declared martial law amid months of political unrest.
Apichart Weerawong AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 8:28 pm

Thailand's army has declared martial law less than two weeks after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was thrown out of office by the country's Constitutional Court.

The Associated Press reports:

"The army said in a statement that it had taken the action to 'keep peace and order,' and soldiers entered several private television stations that are sympathetic to protesters.

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Veterans Affairs
3:32 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Top VA Health Official Resigns Amid Scandal Over Treatment Delays

Veterans Affairs Undersecretary Robert Petzel testifies Thursday on Capitol Hill. Petzel tendered his resignation from the VA on Friday.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 5:49 pm

This post was updated at 5:45 p.m. ET.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki says he has accepted the resignation of the department's undersecretary for health, a day after both men testified before Congress about a growing controversy over delays in treatment.

"Today, I accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs," Shinseki said in a statement cited by Reuters.

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Net Neutrality
11:35 am
Thu May 15, 2014

FCC Gives Initial OK To New Internet Traffic Rules

Demonstrators protest outside the Federal Communications Commission Thursday. The agency voted to open new proposed rules for public comment, including a discussion of whether "paid prioritization" should be banned.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 5:40 pm

New rules for how Internet traffic is governed were officially unveiled and approved for public comment following a 3-2 vote Thursday by members of the Federal Communications Commission.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:26 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Will Connecticut Be the Next Gig City?

Credit moodboard / Thinkstock

Okay, here's a borrowed analogy. My grandmother talked about the light bill to refer to what you call the electricity bill. And, that's because she lived at a time when literally, that's all electricity did-power the lights. And now, all sorts of things run on that same power. 

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Utilities
8:43 am
Thu May 1, 2014

State Senate Measure Could Change the Face of Electric Bills

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary Thinkstock

The state senate has unanimously passed a bill to address many complaints against independent electricity suppliers.

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Live Tweets
8:43 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Fracking, Tax Rebates, and Keno: Malloy and Klee Live

Governor Dannel Malloy during a previous appearance on WNPR's Where We Live
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy and Robert Klee, commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection appeared on WNPR's Where We Live to talk about the environment, energy, politics, and more.

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E-Cigarettes
12:03 am
Thu April 24, 2014

FDA Moves To Regulate Increasingly Popular E-Cigarettes

A woman tries electronic cigarettes at a store in Miami.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:33 pm

The Food and Drug Administration Thursday proposed regulating e-cigarettes for the first time.

The agency unveiled a long-awaited rule that would give it power to oversee the increasingly popular devices, much in the way that it regulates traditional cigarettes.

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White House
6:53 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Is Resigning

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from her post after serving for five years.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu April 10, 2014 7:35 pm

Health Secrerary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning after a five-year term that will no doubt be remembered for the calamitous implementation of President Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act.

If you remember, when the federal government unveiled HealthCare.gov, where Americans could buy health insurance mandated by Obamacare, the site was essentially useless for weeks after it launched in October.

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Politics
6:15 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Say Goodbye To The Taxpayer-Funded Political Convention

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 3:15 am

Ever since the Watergate era, taxpayers have been able to check a box on their federal tax returns and designate a little bit of their tax payment to help finance the presidential campaigns and wean politicians away from big donors.

The public financing program has had its ups and downs. But now President Obama is prepared to sign legislation that, for the first time, takes taxpayer money out of the fund.

First of all, let's pause to reflect on some of the great moments of American political conventions brought to you by presidential matching funds.

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State Regulations
1:39 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Bill Aims to Strike Obsolete Regulations

Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com / Thinkstock

Governor Dannel Malloy has submitted a bill that would eliminate about a thousand pages of regulation that's currently on the state's books. 

The regulations dealt with in the bill are pretty obscure. Malloy's office has dubbed them obsolete, duplicative or excessively burdensome. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:31 am
Mon March 24, 2014

The Scramble: Intelligence Gathering, the History of Missing Airplanes, and the Book of Mormon

Credit Future Atlas / Flickr Creative Commons

Today on The Scramble, we'll talk about a system run by the Navy that keeps track of, among other things, parking tickets and field information cards filled out by police, even when no crime has occurred - is this data collection crossing a line?

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Tribal Land Claims
11:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Effects of Potential Connecticut Tribal Recognitions in Debate

Dancers at an event at the Pequot Museum last fall.
Credit Brandon Lavallee / Pequot Museum

Federal authorities are considering changes to tribal recognition procedures and it could have a unique impact on Connecticut. But it's unclear exactly what rights any newly recognized tribes would have.

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Newspapers
7:08 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Papers Fight Proposals to Alter Publication of Legal Notices

Mike Killian stands in the building that once housed the presses of the Meriden Record-Journal.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

As newspaper advertising revenue continues its slump across the country, publishers are trying to hold on to one line of stable cash: the printed legal notice. In Connecticut, municipal leaders are pushing for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on those notices. And newspapers are pushing back. 

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Deregulated Power
4:32 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

State Authorities Besieged With Complaints About Power Suppliers

Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary / Thinkstock

If you buy power from an independent supplier, rather than the state's two regulated utilities, the Connecticut Light and Power Company and United Illuminating, you could be paying a lot more for your power, rather than saving money.

Putting that extra cost together means a lot of money -- $13.7 million for customers in one month if they had chosen to use a supplier instead.

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Ukraine
8:25 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Crimean Parliament Passes 'Declaration Of Independence'

A masked man, believed to be a Russian soldier, holds a Crimean flag as members of a pro-Russian self-defense unit stand in formation Monday in the regional capital of Simferopol.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:51 am

"Crimea's regional legislature on Tuesday adopted a 'declaration of independence of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea,' " The Associated Press reports. "The document specified that Crimea will become an independent state if its residents vote on Sunday in favor of joining Russia."

That's just one of several developments Tuesday as the crisis in Ukraine continues. Among the other news:

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U.S. Attorney General
3:27 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Holder Speaks Out On Snowden, Drone Policy, Softening Sentences

Already one of the longest-serving attorneys general in history, Eric Holder says he has no immediate plans or timetable to leave. Here, he speaks at the annual Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington on Feb. 25.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 12:13 pm

Virtually any time a major event ripples across Washington, the Justice Department is positioned near the center of it.

From the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner that carried three Americans on board to the fate of voting rights for millions of people, the attorney general has an enormous portfolio. And the stress to match it.

But after an elevated heart rate sent him to the hospital last month, Eric Holder says he's on the mend.

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Deregulated Power
1:49 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Independent Electric Suppliers Hit Back at Critics

Credit Sarah Simpson/flickr creative commons

Connecticut's independent electric suppliers have come in for some stiff criticism this winter, after it was revealed that some were charging customers astronomical rates for power. But the suppliers themselves claim there's another side to the story.

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Surveillance
12:39 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Edward Snowden Tells SXSW He'd Leak Those Secrets Again

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 1:11 pm

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has leaked large amounts of classified information about the agency's electronic surveillance programs, spoke via video to a sympathetic audience at South By Southwest Interactive on Monday.

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