Political news from WNPR

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We’ve been talking a lot about national politics lately on the Wheelhouse. But there’s a LOT happening here in Connecticut. 

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As Election Day approaches, voter registration has soared throughout the country. And according to the Pew Research Center the electorate this year will be the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse ever. The number of eligible Hispanic voters alone has jumped 17 percent since 2012. 

The chair of the state Republican Party said a Democratic candidate has violated state election law by invoking the name and image of Donald Trump in a political ad.

The Hartford police officer who allegedly kicked a handcuffed suspect in the head said he did so in order to get the suspect to lay flat on the ground. The officer said he lacked the latex gloves he needed to force the suspect down with his hands, so he used his foot, instead, according to a newly-released police report

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

It’s almost election day and voting demographics have changed dramatically since our last presidential election. The number of eligible Hispanic voters has jumped 17 percent since 2012 according to the Pew Research Center.

This hour, we talk about the Latino vote here in Connecticut and nationwide.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ripped into Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton's behalf at a rally in New Hampshire on Monday. Warren was playing the role of a sassy friend with the snark to say the things Clinton either could or would not say.

Jill Kaufman / New England Public Radio

Thirty-seven states now provide some kind of opportunity for all registered voters to cast their ballots before Election Day. Massachusetts is the newest kid on the block with in-person "early voting" that started on Monday, October 24.

Refugees from around the world continue to find homes in Massachusetts.

The number of Syrian refugees, in particular, has more than doubled here over the last year, despite heated national rhetoric around immigration.

Increased Interest Greets New Refugees

In the basement of the First United Baptist Church in Lowell, newly arrived refugees from Syria and Afghanistan stand shoulder to shoulder with new arrivals from Somalia.

From the outset, Democrats needed a very big-wave election to get to the 30 seats they need to win back control of the House. Then, a video of Donald Trump surfaced showing the GOP nominee making lewd comments, and later multiple women accused him of groping them. That left some wondering if these scandals could trigger that wave.

But that simply hasn't happened.

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of several things, among them race. The law, however, doesn't define "race."

It also doesn't say anything about hair.

Which brings us to Chastity Jones.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie knew about a road study that would create a traffic nightmare — and used the advance notice to ask about his office's relationship with the local mayor, former top aide Bridget Kelly testified in court Friday. Kelly also said that Christie had cursed and thrown a water bottle at her.

ISIS fighters launched attacks on police Friday in the city of Kirkuk, as Iraqi security forces continued a massive military offensive to try to pry Mosul, one of Iraq's largest cities, from the militant group.

"The fighters struck [Kirkuk] before dawn, with suicide bombers hitting four police stations and gunmen killing police," NPR's Alice Fordham reports from Irbil, Iraq, though the number of casualties wasn't immediately clear. "A curfew is imposed in Kirkuk, but eyewitnesses say fighting continues."

South Africa has decided to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, after previously ignoring an ICC arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.

Reuters and The Associated Press both say they have seen a document, signed by South Africa's foreign minister, declaring the country's intent to withdraw. The AP reports that legislation to finalize the move has to pass South Africa's parliament, but notes that passage of such a bill is likely.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is continuing his effort to highlight the capital city's structural financial problems. And he's giving state lawmakers a few suggestions on how to fix them. 

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Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met in Las Vegas last night for their third and final debate before the November 8 election. 

"I will look at it at the time. I'm not looking at anything now...I'll keep you in suspense. Okay?" This was Donald Trump's response to Chris Wallace asking if he would honor the outcome of the election. His answer is unprecedented in the history of American politics. His answer dismisses the privilege Americans enjoy by the seemingly benign transfer of power that occurs with each presidential election. Stop for a moment and think about the violence in countries where people die to vote or where their vote doesn't matter because a leader won't step down. 

BrianSwan / Creative Commons

Connecticut is home to some of the wealthiest Americans in the country, and yet its cities are among the nation’s poorest. Some say the first step to ending this inequality is to spread the wealth from thriving suburban areas to struggling urban areas.

This hour, we talk regionalization – will Connecticut ever embrace it as the state struggles with constant deficits?

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had one job in his third and final debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton: break out.

He needed to break out from the narrative that is fast enveloping his campaign — the way evening overtakes the late afternoon.

He needed a breakout performance showing himself to be disciplined and knowledgeable enough to be president.

The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was overall more cordial and more policy-focused than their nasty second debate faceoff. But the stunning moment that will stand out is the GOP nominee's statement that he won't necessarily accept the results of the election on Nov. 8.

"I will tell you at the time," Trump said in a shocking statement that signals a break from the traditional transfer of power. "I will keep you in suspense."

Courtesy NPR

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton faced off in the third and final presidential debate of the campaign on Wednesday night. The debate took place at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Donald Trump is no longer laughing at Saturday Night Live, which is part of the media and the political establishment that he says have stacked the election against him. At a rally in Pennsylvania, he told his supporters to go to polling places on Election Day to make sure they're "on the up and up" -- which concerned civil rights groups and others citing illegal voter intimidation.  

The final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. It's the last chance either candidate will have to make a closing argument before tens of millions of voters.

It follows yet another unprecedented week in the campaign, in which Trump has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of the election, predicting that it will be stolen from him through media bias and massive voter fraud.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Things may be looking up for Hartford’s Dunkin’ Donuts Park, as the city and the insurance company for the developer have finally signed an agreement that should get construction at the stalled baseball stadium going again.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

One of Connecticut’s top Democrats has fired a shot across the bows of the state’s largest business organization.

The battle for the ISIS-held city of Mosul, now in its second day, is expected to drag on for weeks or months. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces approach the city, aid groups in the region are preparing for a humanitarian crisis.

Fighting has lulled in some areas, but is continuing in others, and airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition continue, NPR's Alice Fordham reports from Kalak, Iraq.

"The Iraqi army is fighting its way toward the city from the south: a spokesman said they are facing resistance but moving," Alice says.

Claims by one side — so far without evidence — that the coming presidential election will somehow be "rigged" are being echoed at campaign rallies and in one new poll of voters.

Donald Trump has questioned the integrity of the election, and there's been talk of the race for the Democratic nomination having been rigged at the expense of candidate Bernie Sanders.