Politics

Border Patrol
8:25 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Border Agency Chief Opens Up About Deadly Force Cases

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske sits under an image of New York's Ground Zero in his office in Washington. For him, it serves as a daily reminder of the security threats that have shaped his agency.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 8:57 am

The new commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection says he is reviewing scores of incidents in which agents have used deadly force.

R. Gil Kerlikowske made that statement during an exclusive interview with NPR's Morning Edition. It was his first extended conversation about controversial incidents in which the Border Patrol has killed civilians without apparent accountability. (Click here for a full transcript of the interview.)

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Election 2014
1:49 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

McKinney Attack Ad Edits and Alters Foley's Interview With WNPR

Screenshot from Sen. John McKinney's TV spot, "Change."
John McKinney YouTube

State Minority Leader John McKinney's first television spot goes right after his primary opponent for governor, Tom Foley. McKinney uses (and re-uses) Foley's own words where he appears to say, "I'm not going to cut spending."

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Governor's Race
12:50 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Foley, McKinney Face Off in Republican Primary Debate

John McKinney, at left, and Tom Foley, at right, Republican candidates for Connecticut governor, as portrayed on their campaign websites.
mckinneyforgovernor.com/tomfoleyct.com

The two Republican candidates for Connecticut governor faced off in a primary debate on Thursday at The Hartford Courant

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Massachusetts
6:47 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Anti-casino Activists Launch Referendum Campaign

Former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger is joined by leaders of the campaign to repeal the Massachusetts casino law at the campaign kickoff in Springfield.

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:11 pm

Anti-casino activists launched a statewide referendum campaign today in Springfield where they outlined plans for convincing voters to keep Las Vegas-style gambling from coming to Massachusetts.

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California
6:52 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Federal Judge Declares Death Penalty Unconstitutional In California

California's death row at San Quentin State Prison is crowded, but the execution chamber has been idle since 2006
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:22 pm

A federal judge has ruled that California's use of the death penalty is dysfunctional and violates the constitutional prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney's ruling came in response to an appeal by Ernest Dewayne Jones, who was sentenced to death in Los Angeles in 1995 for the rape and killing of his girlfriend's mother three years earlier.

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White House
5:46 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

U.S. Sanctions Major Russian Banks And Energy Companies

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk visits forces stationed near the small city of Izyum on Wednesday.
Sergey Bobok AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:18 am

President Obama outlined a new package of sanctions against Russian firms and individuals on Wednesday.

"These sanctions are significant but also targeted," Obama said. "Russia will see that its actions in Ukraine have consequences."

The administration targeted large banks, as well as energy and defense firms. The sanctions stopped short of covering entire sectors of the Russian economy.

Obama said they were designed to inflict pain on Russia without harming U.S. companies or the nation's allies.

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Buckle Up
3:44 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

The Campaign Commercials Are Here

tiffany terry / Paris Match ad Creative Commons

The general election is more than 100 days away -- 111 at the time of writing this. If you hate the attack ads and campaign commercials that usually flood the airwaves, then this will be a long 100-plus days, because they have already started.

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Contraceptive Coverage
2:39 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire complained about a Democratic effort to reaffirm a contraceptive mandate at a Tuesday news conference
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:34 pm

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed July 16, 2014

The Wheelhouse Only Watches TV for the Political Ads

The Wheelhouse will break down the new political ads flooding the airwaves.
Credit James Vaughan / Creative Commons

Connecticut is fully engulfed in campaign ad season and candidates are already spending big money to get the message out to voters. What's the message? "Like me! The other guy, not so much." On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, Colin McEnroe guest hosts a conversation with a panel of reporters and political analysts to catch you up on the week’s news.

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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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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Transgender Rights: "The Civil Rights Issue of Our Time"?

Susan Bigelow.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Those who identify as transgender Americans continue to face social stigmas, discrimination, and legal issues not often faced by other members of the LGBT community.

This hour, we talk with some transgender rights experts and advocates about what Vice President Joe Biden has called "the civil rights issue of our time."

We also check in with WNPR reporter Lucy Nalpathanchil, who gives us the latest on the case of transgender teen Jane Doe.

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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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Governors' Summit
1:20 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Eastern Canadian Premiers And New England Governors Meet Amid Energy Protests

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:34 am

New Hampshire is hosting the latest summit between the governors of the New England states and the Premiers of Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador. The conference takes place Monday at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, and follows a similar meeting held in Quebec last September

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Afghanistan
11:35 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Kerry Pushes For Audit Of Disputed Afghan Presidential Poll

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah at the start of a meeting at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul on Friday. Kerry sought Friday to broker a deal between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates.
Jim Bourg AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 3:16 pm

This post updated at 3:15 p.m. ET.

Calling it a "critical moment" in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is pushing for a partial recount in the country's presidential elections amid alleged vote fraud.

"We are in a very, very critical moment for Afghanistan," Kerry told reporters. "Legitimacy hangs in the balance. The future potential of the transition hangs in the balance. So we've a lot of work to do."

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Fifth District
12:02 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Roraback's Biggest Rowland Complaint in 2012 Was Lack of Disclosure

Former Governor John Rowland faces charges stemming from his involvement in the 2012 congressional race.
Credit Shawn Sienkiewicz / The Hartford Courant

Federal prosecutors allege that former Governor John Rowland used his radio show on WTIC-AM to prop up Lisa Wilson-Foley's candidacy during the 2012 race in Connecticut's Fifth Congressional District. 

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Refugee Influx
1:47 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

What's Causing The Latest Immigration Crisis? A Brief Explainer

Demonstrators from opposing sides confront each other while being separated by police officers on July 4, outside a U.S. Border Patrol station in Murrieta, Calif.
Mark J. Terrill AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:28 pm

It's turning into the largest influx of asylum seekers on U.S. soil since the 1980 Mariel boatlift out of Cuba.

Since October, more than 52,000 children — most from Central America and many of them unaccompanied by adults — have been taken into custody. That's nearly double last year's total and 10 times the number from 2009.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Cost of Clinton; Political Swiping; FOI Hit Again

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to students at UConn earlier this year.
Peter Morenus University of Connecticut

We learned that it cost $250,000 to bring Hillary Clinton to speak at UConn earlier this year. As the cost of higher education continues to soar, there are lots of questions being raised about this speaking fee. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses this story, and we check in on the race for governor as candidates start buying air time for those omnipresent campaign commercials. Also this week, the Connecticut Supreme Court took another swipe at Freedom of Information laws.

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Immigration
2:27 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Obama Seeks $3.7B To Handle Immigration Crisis

Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas, on June 18. The White House on Tuesday sought $3.7 billion to deal with the immigration crisis at the border.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 4:12 pm

Update at 3:33 p.m. ET

The White House said it's asking Congress for $3.7 billion to address the humanitarian crisis along the border with Mexico.

The statement said the funds would cover domestic enforcement, repatriation and reintegration of migrants, transportation costs, additional immigration judges, prosecutors and litigation attorneys to "ensure cases are processed fairly and as quickly as possible."

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Around the Nation
3:37 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Obama To Ask Congress For $2B To Ease Immigration Crisis

Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed at a U.S. Customs facility in Nogales, Texas.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:51 am

The Obama administration will ask Congress for more than $2 billion Tuesday to address the urgent humanitarian crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico.

In the past nine months, more than 50,000 children and teenagers have crossed that border illegally on their own, most from Central America. By law, the administration can't deport those young people until they have an immigration hearing — a process that can take years.

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What's Done is Done?
9:44 am
Thu July 3, 2014

When a Done Deal Isn't

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

"Done deal": two words used together that Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra probably wishes he hadn't used. Now he's in a position to explain just what he meant when he said the deal to build a minor league stadium in Hartford for the New Britain Rock Cats was, in fact, done.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

GI Bill Funds; Coast Guard Safety; the Future of the Department of Veterans Affairs

2011 New York Veterans Day Parade.
DVIDSHUB Creative Commons

Passed in 1944 -- 70 years ago -- The Serviceman’s Readjustment Act, better known as the GI Bill, was designed to provide American vets with a number of benefits, ranging from business loans, to mortgages, to money that would help with their education. 

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One, Two, Three
9:55 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Residents Came to Speak, and Sing, About Baseball

People packed a room at the Hartford Public Library to hear from, and to speak to, Mayor Pedro Segarra about his baseball stadium plan.
Jeff Cohen WNPR News

Mayor Pedro Segarra and the city have spoken a lot about their plans to bring a minor league baseball stadium to Hartford. Hundreds of people gathered at the Hartford Public Library to discuss Segarra's plan.

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Election 2014
4:54 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

For Pelto, Union Endorsements (and Conversations) Prove Elusive

Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Gov. Dannel Malloy accept the endorsement of the state's largest union, the SEIU. They represent more than 65,000 workers in the state. Malloy accepted the endorsement at the SEIU's New England Headquarters in Hartford.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Connecticut's largest union announced it will support Governor Dannel Malloy in this fall's upcoming election. The Service Employees International Union represents more than 65,000 workers in the state, but those potential voters didn’t get to hear from another candidate running against Malloy.

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Deadline Approaches
3:10 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Want to Build a Stadium and a Neighborhood? You'd Better Hurry

View of the proposed baseball stadium and surrounding development.
City of Hartford

Developers who want to build a minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding buildings in the capital city aren't going to have a relaxing July.

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Labor
1:05 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Unions Fear High Court's Ruling Opens Door To More Trouble

The Supreme Court decision held that health care workers could not be forced to pay fees to the union recognized by the state of Illinois, because the state is not their direct employer. Some fear this will lead to further erosion of unions.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 1:39 pm

It wasn't the worst possible outcome for public sector unions. But that could still happen.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed July 2, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Health Insurance; Charter Schools; Bridgewater Turns The Car Around

The Supreme Court of the United States.
Credit Mark Fischer / Creative Commons

It looks like the world'’s largest hedge fund won'’t build a new headquarters in Stamford…. What does that say about the state'’s economic development plans? A charter school organization faces investigations of its finances and operations. What does it say about the school reform movement? We’'ll look at those stories, plus the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, and whether the employer-based insurance model makes sense today.

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Politics
7:02 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Another Day, Another Reason For Voters To Loathe Congress

The House Ethics Committee dismayed government watchdogs by reducing disclosure requirements for privately paid trips taken by members of Congress.
Matthias Schrader AP

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 7:25 pm

Congressional approval ratings are at rock bottom. Why would members pull a stunt likely to make them even more unpopular than they already are?

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Paying for baseball
1:28 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Hartford Baseball Consultants, Lawyers Were Paid $240,000

Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra hired three consultants and one lawyer for a total of about $270,000 as he held closed-door negotiations to bring a minor league baseball team to Hartford. UPDATE: The city has corrected its numbers.  It now says the total was just under $240,000.

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New Month, New Fiscal Year
10:20 am
Tue July 1, 2014

New Laws Take Effect in Connecticut

Governor Dannel Malloy signed several bills into law on May 12, 2014.
Governor Dannel Malloy

Connecticut's revised state budget and a host of new laws take effect Tuesday after being passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Dannel Malloy.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue July 1, 2014

With Proposed Hartford Stadium Come Questions, Concerns, and Criticism

David Panagore.
Chion Wolf WNPR

When officials from the City of Hartford announced it would build a Minor League Baseball stadium, many people were caught by surprise, including Hartford residents.

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