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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff / Creative Commons

Does the investigation of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen signal the beginning of the end for the Trump presidency? 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In light of mismanaged abuse allegations involving two former staffers, U.S. Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty announced Monday she will not seek re-election in November.

This hour, we discuss the significance of Esty's decision -- including what it means for Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District race this year.

Plus: With former VA Secretary David Shulkin out, what lies head for U.S. Veterans Affairs? Is the federal agency on track to become privatized? We find out.

And finally: We sit down with a local Army veteran who recently received a discharge upgrade. Could his story help other Connecticut veterans with less than honorable discharges? 

Connecticut Army Veteran Gets Discharge Upgrade

Apr 3, 2018
C-HIT.org

Connecticut veterans’ leader and decorated soldier Stephen Kennedy has won his eight-year battle to have his Army discharge status upgraded to honorable.

Russia has fired back at accusations by U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson that the Kremlin is providing material support to the Taliban.

In an interview with the BBC last week, Nicholson, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said in an interview taped there: "We've had weapons brought to this headquarters and given to us by Afghan leaders and [they] said this was given by the Russians to the Taliban."

"Clearly, they are acting to undermine our interests," he said.

Updated at 6:57 p.m. ET

The House passed a bill Tuesday evening to avert a government shutdown on Thursday, as Senate leaders still hope to clear the way for years of budget harmony this week with a long-term spending agreement.

But as Congress worked on keeping things running, President Trump made a fresh call to shut down the government over immigration.

U.S. Coast Guard

Massive chunks of ice have been causing problems along the Housatonic and Connecticut Rivers.

The Pentagon unveiled its National Defense Strategy, a document that focuses on the "eroding" U.S. military advantage with regard to Russia and China, and will likely influence future spending on weapons systems and other military hardware.

"The department needs to focus on Russia and China," said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Force Development Elbridge Colby, during a question and answer session with reporters at the Pentagon. "The erosion of our military advantage is the problem."

The Army is training thousands more soldiers in tunnel warfare, part of an effort to be ready to offer President Trump military options for North Korea, U.S. officials tell NPR.

North Korea is honeycombed with thousands of tunnels and bunkers, some of them discovered leading across the border and close to the South Korean capital, Seoul. Others in North Korea are hundreds of feet deep and could be used to hide troops and artillery, as well as chemical, biological and nuclear weapons.

DVIDSHUB (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Amid a cascade of workplace sexual harassment and assault allegations across the country, the military is facing scrutiny for its handling of complaints.

DVIDSHUB / Flickr

In recent weeks, one industry after another in the U.S. has begun to confront sexual harassment and assault.

But the military has known for years that it has a problem—by the U.S. Department of Defense’s own estimate, nearly 15,000 service members were sexually assaulted in 2016.

Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET

President Trump outlined his goals for military modernization and economic advancement Monday, as he unveiled his national security strategy in a speech in Washington.

The strategy document — which every president is required by law to produce — offers a blueprint for Trump's military and foreign policy. It could help to guide future decisions on defense spending, trade negotiations and international cooperation.

The United States and South Korea launched a massive joint military air exercise on Monday amid increased tensions with North Korea over its nuclear program and recent ballistic missile tests.

The five-day Vigilant Ace exercise includes some 12,000 military personnel and 230 aircraft – including six F-22 and 18 F-35s, both with stealth capabilities. South Korean media said B-1 bombers would also participate in the exercise, but the Air Force declined to confirm that.

Roger Jones / Creative Commons

Transgender activist Chelsea Manning spoke to students on the campus of Wesleyan University in Middletown Wednesday evening. She spent seven years in a military prison after participating in one of the largest data leaks in U.S. history.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

A military judge has ruled that Bowe Bergdahl, who has pleaded guilty to charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, should serve no prison time.

During a hearing Friday in Fort Bragg, N.C., Bergdahl was sentenced to dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of $1,000 in pay per month and a reduction in rank from sergeant to private, according to a statement from the Army.

Former Army Specialist Jonathan Morita testified Thursday that his rifle was shot out of his grip, and his right hand was seriously injured, when a search for missing soldier Bowe Bergdahl turned into a firefight with the Taliban in July 2009.

Morita, dressed head-to-toe in black civilian clothes, also said he's been short-tempered since his injury, which still limits the use of his hand despite surgeries and years of rehabilitation.

That anger, he said, "is directed toward one person."

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