Politics

Hartford Corruption
4:30 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Insurance Agent Earl O'Garro Indicted, Pleads Not Guilty

Earl O'Garro.
Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes under30ceo.com

Earl O'Garro, the troubled insurance agent who was the target of a federal grand jury that brought an unwelcome spotlight on Hartford City Hall last year, was charged Friday in federal court with one count of wire fraud. He pleaded not guilty.

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ISIS
3:35 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Joe Courtney: Recent Events in Middle East Give "Validation" to Support of Rebels

Rep. Joe Courtney discusses his support of Syrian rebels and other priorities for the coming session.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Rep. Joe Courtney from Connecticut's second congressional district was the only member of the delegation to vote in favor of arming and training Syrian rebels in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.

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Immigration
9:52 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Boehner: 'We Will Not Stand Idly By As President Undermines The Rule Of Law'

Speaker of the House John Boehner talks with reporters in his office in the U.S. Capitol on Friday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:05 pm

"We will not stand idly by as the president undermines the rule of law and places lives at risk."

That's what House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, had to say this morning about President Obama's unilateral action on immigration.

In a news conference at the Capitol, Boehner used harsh language to describe the executive actions intended to defer the deportation of, according to the White House, up to 5 million immigrants.

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Massachusetts
8:33 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Springfield Set To Hire Police, Firefighters Thanks To Casino Cash

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announces new police and fire department hires. Sarno said the new staff is financially sustainable because of the money MGM must pay the city as it prepares to build a casino.

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 6:15 pm

Counting on casino cash, the city of Springfield, Massachusetts is planning to hire more cops.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno Thursday announced new police and fire department academies starting early next year. When the police cadets graduate next spring it will bring the number of uniform patrol officers in Springfield to more than 400 for the first time in two decades, according police Commissioner John Barbieri.

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White House
9:13 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Obama Goes It Alone, Shielding Up To 5 Million Immigrants From Deportation

President Obama announces executive actions on U.S. immigration policy during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:01 pm

After six years of often bitter back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over the issue of immigration, President Obama announced he has decided to go it alone by temporarily shielding up to 5 million immigrants from being deported.

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White House
6:26 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Watch: President Obama Unveils Executive Action on Immigration

President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on November 1, 2014.
Pete Souza White House

President Barack Obama is pushing the limits of his authority to shield from deportation millions of immigrants illegally in the United States, but the fate of millions more will still be left unresolved. 

Obama is set to announce Thursday that he is sidestepping Congress with his own action on immigration. Watch live below tonight starting at 8:00 pm.

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Immigration
2:12 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Rosa DeLauro Supports Obama's Executive Action, Doesn't Fear More Gridlock

Rep. Rosa DeLauro blamed her own chamber for partisan gridlock in Washington.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Republican lawmakers are already denouncing President Barack Obama's planned executive action on immigration and the idea of another government shutdown has been floated. But Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro says the gridlock is a product of her chamber in Washington.

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Immigration
9:45 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Republicans Warn Obama Ahead Of Planned Immigration Action

President Obama is expected to announce steps today that would provide temporary relief to some of the 12 million immigrants in the country illegally. Republicans are warning him against acting unilaterally on the issue.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 5:40 pm

Republicans in Congress are warning President Obama against acting alone on immigration, hours ahead of a planned announcement by the president that could provide temporary relief to some of the nearly 12 million immigrants in the country illegally.

Republicans say any unilateral action on immigration by the president would mean there is no chance of passing a comprehensive immigration overhaul in Congress.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Rails, Roads, and Buses: A State Transportation Check-In

Commissioner James Redeker from the Department of Transportation stopped by in December, 2013.
Chion Wolf WNPR

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?

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Congressional Check-In
3:44 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Jim Himes on Wall Street Regulation and Transportation Deficiencies

Rep. Jim Himes will represent the 4th district for his 4th term.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Connecticut's Fourth District Congressman Jim Himes was in the running to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee but lost out to New Mexico congressman Ben Ray Lujan.

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Cities
3:01 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Group Details Burdens on Connecticut Cities

Connecticut cities in CCM's latest report.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

An advocacy group for Connecticut's cities and towns is calling attention to what it describes as the disproportionate burdens on poor communities. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 19, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Budget Blues, Young Republicans, and Remembering Judge Downey

The Wheelhouse takes a bird's-eye view of the week's news.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse brings together some of the best and brightest reporters to break down the week's news. As expected, the state budget faces a serious deficit and the Connecticut Mirror's Keith Phaneuf will explain what that means for taxpayers. Also, the Democrats will retain control of the legislature, but there are some intriguing young Republicans to watch - including a 20-year-old legislator! We will also remember Connecticut Judge John T. Downey, who died this week after an extraordinary life.

GUESTS:

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Pipeline
6:22 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, In A Close Vote

Pipes for Transcanada Corp.'s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline are stacked at a depot in Gascoyne, N.D. The House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline Friday; the Senate voted against it on Tuesday.
Andrew Cullen Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 6:52 pm

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project to expand an oil pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico has failed the approval of Congress, after the Senate voted against the project Tuesday. The House passed its version of the bill Friday.

An early tally showed 35 for and 30 against the bill; subsequent calls for senators' votes failed to net the 60 votes needed for passage. The decisive 41st "No" vote came with 55 votes in favor, and the final tally was 59-41.

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Global Engagement
2:08 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Ambassador Samantha Power Sees Hope in New Congress

Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations.
Samantha Power Facebook

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told a Connecticut audience on Monday that she’s hopeful of meaningful cooperation with Senate Republicans as the Obama administration shapes its foreign policy. 

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Congressional Check-In
11:49 am
Tue November 18, 2014

No Longer a Freshman, Elizabeth Esty Plans to Stay the Course

Rep. Elizabeth Esty returns to Congress for her second term.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Despite being a political target of national Republicans, Connecticut's Fifth District Democratic Representative Elizabeth Esty survived her first re-election campaign.

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Iran's Nukes
7:05 am
Mon November 17, 2014

With Deadline Looming, U.S. And Iran Meet In Vienna For Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shake hands as Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yussef bin Alawi and former EU top diplomat Catherine Ashton watch Nov. 9 in Muscat, Oman.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 12:54 pm

American and Iranian negotiators are gathering in Vienna this week for what's expected to be a final push toward a deal over Iran's nuclear program.

The stakes are huge for both countries, and the deal could reshape the Middle East and pave the way for a new relationship between two bitter rivals.

But if you look at the headlines this morning, it'll give you an idea of just how tenuous a deal may be:

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Politics
3:48 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Top Spenders On Capitol Hill Pay Billions, Receive Trillions

The amount of money spent on Capitol Hill is way more than small change — but the impact of that money is a little murky. Here, the U.S. Capitol is reflected in a fountain full of coins on Election Day this year.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 3:23 pm

How much power should corporations wield in Washington? It's an enduring question — and now the Sunlight Foundation has devised a new way to gauge that power.

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G20 Summit
8:17 am
Sun November 16, 2014

G20 Leaders Pledge Growth, Threaten More Sanctions On Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and other leaders at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
Kay Nietfeld DPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 2:17 pm

President Obama departed the venue of the annual G20 summit in Australia today, declaring it had been a "strong week for American leadership."

The gathering wrapped up by promising to fight climate change and work toward boosting economic growth even as leaders made it clear that new sanctions would be imposed on Russia if Moscow doesn't back down in Eastern Ukraine.

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Middle East
7:49 am
Sat November 15, 2014

At A Tense Jerusalem Holy Site, Palestinians Stand Watch

Palestinian men shout slogans next to Israeli police as they await permission to enter what Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Nobel Sanctuary, on Nov. 5, in Jerusalem, Israel. On Friday, Israel dropped age restrictions on men attending Friday prayers, a move aimed at lowering tensions around access to the contested shrine.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 4:09 pm

Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary. Jews call it the Temple Mount. On the contested hilltop that has been the focus of so much of the unrest in Jerusalem, Muslims who see themselves as "defenders" of the sanctuary raise their voices in a call to God whenever Jewish visitors enter.

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Politics
6:05 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Get Ready To Watch This Lame-Duck Congress Sprint

U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., speaks Wednesday as U.S. military veterans, service members and immigration reform advocates look on during a press conference urging President Obama to move forward with immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 10:21 am

Maybe this duck won't be so lame after all.

Judging by what we've seen so far, the "zombie Congress" that returned to town this week (the reelected and the not-so-lucky) will do more business in the weeks following the election than it did in many months preceding.

Consider these trains — all long-sidetracked, all suddenly leaving the station on Capitol Hill:

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State Senate Dilemma
2:39 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Kevin Rennie, Rob Simmons at Odds Over State Sen. Andrew Maynard's Benefits

Columnist Kevin Rennie in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Republican columnist Kevin Rennie took issue with one of his own in his latest Hartford Courant column, scolding former Congressman Rob Simmons for suggesting that the injured Andrew Maynard be awarded a pension and health benefits should he be incapable of serving the term to which he’s just been elected.

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Pentagon
11:49 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Hagel Announces Billions In Upgrades To Nuclear Program

A Minuteman III missile engine is loaded into a truck for transport to another building for X-raying before being torn down and rebuilt. The Air Force's missile command-and-control structure has been the subject of several recent scandals.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 1:25 pm

Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today that the Pentagon is aiming to invest about 10 percent more over the next five years to upgrade the nation's nuclear deterrent, following reviews that uncovered "systemic problems" in the system.

Hagel said the U.S. was "probably looking at a 10 percent increase" in spending, according to Reuters, which said internal and external reviews have made some 100 recommendations on improving the nuclear forces.

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State Budget
11:24 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Gov. Malloy Budget Chief Sticks to No Tax Hike Pledge

Ben Barnes, Gov. Malloy's secretary of the Office of Policy and Management.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's budget chief says he plans to adhere to his boss's campaign promise not to raise taxes in Connecticut's new two-year state budget.

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Immigration
4:16 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Obama Plans To Use Executive Action To Reshape Immigration

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Military Forces
12:50 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

U.S. Would Consider 'Modest' Force For Complex Iraq Operations

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 2:58 pm

Updated at 12:55 pm. EST

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military commander, told lawmakers today that the U.S. would consider sending some U.S. troops to fight alongside Iraqi forces in more complex missions against militants of the Islamic State.

He told the House Armed Services Committee that though Iraqi forces were tackling the militants, operations such as retaking the city of Mosul or restoring the border with Syria could need help.

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Curveball
10:33 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Hartford Files to Take Land By Eminent Domain for Baseball Stadium Project

A rendering of a planned baseball stadium near downtown Hartford.
City of Hartford

The City of Hartford said it's unable to reach an agreement to buy three acres of land it needs as part of its baseball stadium development project. So, instead of buying it, it's just going to take it

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 12, 2014

The Wheelhouse Has Election Withdrawal

Governor Dannel Malloy celebrates, and Republican challenger Tom Foley on Election Night last Tuesday.
Chion Wolf/Mara Lavitt WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse has finally had a chance to breath after last week’s election that leaves the next four years looking a lot like the last four years in Connecticut. Our panel of reporters and analysts will close the books on the 2014 election and preview what’s to come in Governor Malloy's second term in office.

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Climate Change
7:30 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China And U.S., Titans Of Carbon Pollution, Move To Cut Gases

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama, seen here during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, announced pledges to reduce greenhouse gases.
HUANG JINGWEN Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:30 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.

The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.

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Civil Rights
6:48 am
Wed November 12, 2014

John Doar Remembered As A Civil Rights Pioneer

John Doar in Oxford, Miss., in 1966.
AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 10:59 am

The news of attorney John Doar's death at 92 on Tuesday sent a wave of solemnity through the country, prompting multiple obituaries detailing his extensive work fighting discrimination and working for racial equality during the 1960s and '70s.

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Foreign Policy
10:46 am
Tue November 11, 2014

In China, Dreaded Process Of Getting Visa To The U.S. May Get Easier

Chinese citizens wait to submit their visa applications at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 2012. Wait times for interviews once could stretch to a month or more.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 6:41 pm

On Wednesday, the U.S. will begin offering Chinese tourists and business people multiple-entry visas valid for up to 10 years. The change, announced by President Obama in Beijing, is designed to help the American economy and build goodwill in China. China's Foreign Ministry says it will reciprocate.

The first impression most Chinese have of the U.S. government comes when they apply for a visa. For years, they've dreaded the process.

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