government

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 / 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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New Hampshire
8:19 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Libertarians Move In To Make A Small N.H. Town Even Smaller

About 50 members of the Free State Project have moved to tiny Grafton, N.H. in recent years, shaking up local politics.
Jack Rodolico NPR

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 12:11 pm

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.

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Moscow
7:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Russian Lawmakers Welcome Separatist Steps By Crimea

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.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:22 am

One day after President Obama condemned steps taken by Crimea's parliament to leave Ukraine and join the Russian Federation, Russian lawmakers are welcoming such a move by Crimean separatists.

"Russia's parliament gave its defiant support Friday to Crimean lawmakers who want to see their region split from Ukraine and join Russia," CNN reports from Moscow.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

How is Connecticut's Fiscal Health?

Donald Boyd, Keith Phaneuf, Spencer Cain, and Benjamin Barnes at the MetroHartford Alliance panel discussion, "Fiscal Sustainability: Critical to Connecticut's Growth."
Credit MetroHartford Alliance

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.

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Ukraine
8:08 am
Sun March 2, 2014

Kerry Will Travel To Kiev Amid Escalating Crisis

Ukrainian military personnel stand guard in the Crimean port city of Feodosia on Sunday. Ukraine is mobilizing for war, calling up reserve troops.
Thomas Peter Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun March 2, 2014 8:12 pm

This post was updated at 8:00 p.m. ET.

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."

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Ukraine
8:42 am
Sat March 1, 2014

Russia's Parliament Approves Putin's Call For Troops In Ukraine

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.
Viktor Drachev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 1, 2014 6:32 pm

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

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.

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Venezuela
2:18 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Concern for the Safety of Venezuelan Opposition Leader With Ties to Yale

Carlos Vecchio while at Yale.
Credit Uma Ramiah

After recent anti-government protests in Venezuela, Amnesty International has issued an urgent call for action on behalf of an opposition leader with ties to Yale University. An arrest order has been issued for Carlos Vecchio.

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Legislature
1:32 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Senate President Don Williams Retiring This Year

Senate President Don Williams at WNPR on December 28, 2010.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

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.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed February 26, 2014

The Wheelhouse Goes From D.C. to Hartford: Politics, Investigations, and Feuds

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy outside the White House on Monday.
Credit C-SPAN

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.

Oh.

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.

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Latin America
4:19 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

At Least 15 Killed, Dozens Injured As Venezuelan Protests Swell

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 8:01 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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.

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Ukraine
6:56 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Ukraine's Yanukovych On Run From Mass Murder Charge

In Kiev's Independence Square, flowers have been left in memory of protesters killed there in recent days.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:10 am

Viktor Yanukovych, ousted Saturday from his post as president of Ukraine, is now wanted by authorities in his country on charges of mass murder, the acting interior minister says.

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Ukraine
10:50 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Ukrainian President Voted Out; Opposition Leader Freed

Anti-government protesters stand guard in front of Ukraine's parliament in Kiev on Saturday.
Marko Drobnjakovic AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 1:35 am

This post was updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Ukraine's parliament has voted to push President Viktor Yanukovych out of office hours after he fled the capital and denounced events in the country as "a coup d'etat" in a television interview.

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Neutrality vs. Partisanship
12:30 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Once-Obscure State Job Is Now Attracting Millions Of Campaign Dollars

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, pictured in 2012, previously served as the state GOP chairman.
John Hanna AP

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:26 pm

Iowa was one of the few states that saw voter turnout increase in 2012. Brad Anderson is proud of the role he played in encouraging turnout there as state director of President Obama's campaign.

Now he's running for secretary of state, which would put him in charge of overseeing elections.

"I have a plan to make Iowa No. 1 in voter turnout," Anderson says.

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Ukraine
7:04 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Breakthrough? Ukrainian President, Opposition Leaders Reach Deal

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (right) and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko shake hands Friday after signing an agreement that diplomats hope will end the bloodshed in Kiev.
Tim Brakemeier EPA/Landov

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.

Some details have yet to be spelled out. But the BBC sums up the news this way:

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That Didn't Last Long...
4:17 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Is the Era of Keno in Connecticut Over?

There's a good chance you'll never see a sign like this in Connecticut.
Credit Marc Moss / Creative Commons

Keno in Connecticut may be over before it begins.

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.

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