Politics

Where We Live
8:41 am
Fri January 16, 2015

If We Torture, What Makes Us Different From Those We Condemn?

Credit Val Kerry / Creative Commons

Last month, the Senate Intelligence Committee Report released their report examining the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation after 9/11.

They found that the CIA was using harsher forms of torture that yielded less useful information than we were led to believe.

California Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee said, "Detainees were subjected to the most aggressive techniques immediately. They were stripped naked, diapered, physically struck, and put in various painful stress positions for long periods of time."  

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Infrastructure Investment
7:57 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Gold Star Bridge in New London Illustrates Transportation Challenges

The double spans of the Gold Star Bridge dwarf the Gov. Dannel Malloy and assembled politicians.
Harriet Jones WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy took his transportation road show to New London, talking about the need to strengthen the Gold Star Bridge and widen I-95. 

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New York City
3:24 am
Fri January 16, 2015

NYPD Disciplinary Problems Linked To A 'Failure Of Accountability'

New York Police Department Commissioner William Bratton attends a press conference after witnessing police being retrained under new guidelines at the Police Academy on Dec. 4.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:36 pm

The New York Police Department is known for pioneering the use of computer statistics to identify crime trends, but it can't seem to identify its own officers causing problems on its streets.

Darvell Elliott was arrested in August 2010 because he matched the description of a robbery suspect. He says he was already in handcuffs when the world went black.

When he came to, he was "in a hospital, Brookdale Hospital, face stuck to the sheet like Velcro," Elliott says.

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Code Switch
12:30 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Hawaii As 'Racial Paradise'? Bid For Obama Library Invokes A Complex Past

University of Hawaii students sit together to show the ethnic differences of Hawaii's population in 1948.
Eliot Elisofon The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 3:36 pm

Sometime in March, Barack Obama is expected to announce his choice of the institution that will hold his presidential archive. Vying for the honor (and the money that comes with it) are the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University in New York, and the University of Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language spelling of the state's name).

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Springfield
11:30 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Springfield Mayor Livid Over Placement Of Homeless Families In City Apartments

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno protests a state program that he says is concentrating homeless families in city apartments in a few neighborhoods.

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:10 pm

The mayor of Springfield is calling on the administration of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to end a practice by the past administration of placing homeless families in congregate housing.

An angry Mayor Domenic Sarno said de-facto group homes for homeless families have been created in apartment buildings concentrated in a handful of city neighborhoods since last fall with city inspectors finding in some cases 3-4 families living in a single apartment.

" This is absolute BS," said Sarno at a city hall news conference.

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State Administration
4:28 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Waterford Lawmaker Tapped to Be the Next Aging Commissioner

Waterford State Rep. Betsy Ritter has been nominated by Gov. Dannel Malloy to be the next commissioner of the Department on Aging.
Credit Office of Gov. Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Wednesday that he intends to nominate Waterford State Representative Betsy Ritter to be the state's next commissioner of the State Department on Aging.

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Hartford
1:34 pm
Wed January 14, 2015

Luke Bronin, Gov. Malloy's Ex-Lawyer, to Run for Hartford Mayor

Luke Bronin, former legal counsel to Gov. Dannel Malloy, filed his candidacy for mayor Wednesday.
Luke Bronin

Luke Bronin, former legal counsel to Governor Dannel Malloy, is officially entering the race for mayor of the city of Hartford

Bronin said he's planning to file his paperwork with the city on Wednesday.

In a letter to residents posted on his website, Bronin said the city has its strengths: cultural diversity and creativity, the support of the governor, and new state-supported development projects. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed January 14, 2015

The Wheelhouse: Connecticut Quakes and Government Transparency

The seismogram from a recent earthquake in eastern Connecticut.
Credit Weston Observatory

Connecticut is experiencing several different kinds of earthquakes recently. Eastern Connecticut is starting to feel more like California (only a lot colder) with nine reported tremors in the last week.

Meanwhile, some state commissioners feel like they're on shaky ground after Governor Dannel Malloy said if they don't like things he's doing, they can leave. On our weekly news roundtable, we discuss all the week's news, including the sentencing of those involved in the latest John Rowland conspiracy.

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Technology
5:20 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

A Closer Look At Obama's Plan To Protect Consumer Data

President Obama speaks Tuesday at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center in Arlington, Va.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 6:55 pm

This week, in the lead up to his State of the Union address, President Obama is talking about cybersecurity — how to ensure our safety in the digital world.

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Springfield
2:21 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Five-Year Ban On Casino Jobs Proposed For Springfield Elected Officials

MGM plans to start construction this year on an $800 million casino and hotel in downtown Springfield.

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 12:10 pm

The Springfield, Massachusetts city council is considering an ordinance that would put restrictions on public officials obtaining jobs at the new MGM casino being built in the city.

Under a proposed municipal ethics ordinance, the city’s elected officials—the mayor and 11 city councilors – would be barred for at least five years from obtaining a job at the MGM casino after leaving the city’s employment.  Non-elected officials who are considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.

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France
10:54 am
Tue January 13, 2015

'Charlie Hebdo' Editor On New Issue: 'We're Happy To Have ... Done It'

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 11:19 am

The staff of Charlie Hebdo said the past few days have been hard, but they are "happy" to have put out a magazine under the most intense of situations.

After the shooting, Renald Luzier, the cartoonist known as Luz, said they knew they had to start working.

"We didn't know how we were going to start," he said. "I didn't know if it was going to be possible for me to draw, quite honestly."

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White House
10:31 am
Tue January 13, 2015

Obama Task Force on Policing Includes Yale Law Professor

Tracey Meares, a professor at Yale Law School.
Marquette University Law School

Yale Law School professor Tracey Meares is a member of President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which meets for the first time publicly on Tuesday.

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Legislative Session
4:08 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Ted Kennedy, Jr. Hopes to Rely on Bipartisanship and Science as Environment Committee Chair

Ted Kennedy, Jr., pictured on election day, is head of the state senate's environment committee.
Mara Lavitt WNPR

A member of the Kennedy family will now be heading up the state's environment committee. In the upcoming legislative session, Ted Kennedy, Jr., a newly-elected Senator from Branford, said he'll be tackling everything from pesticide use to pollution in Long Island Sound.

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International Relations
2:45 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

White House: We Should Have Sent 'Higher-Profile' Official To Paris

World leaders, including, from the left, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mali's Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, France's Francois Hollande, Germany's Angela Merkel, EU President Donald Tusk and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas march in Paris on Sunday to honor the victims of three days of bloodshed. A White House spokesman acknowledged "we should have sent someone with a higher profile."
Philippe Wojazer AP

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 2:45 pm

Update at 1:40 p.m. ET. White House Backs Down:

"We should have sent someone with a higher profile," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during a briefing Monday.

The admission came a day after criticism surfaced over the fact that the United States was not represented by a high-ranking official at a unity rally in Paris. The British, German, Israeli and Palestinian leaders all had been present.

Earnest said, however, that President Obama would have liked to have been present, but the security situation would have been impossible.

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Bond Commission
2:05 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Gov. Malloy Ducks Bond Cap Question

Gov. Dannel Malloy in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy got a hint of the tough questions he may face over paying for his transportation priorities at Monday’s bond commission meeting. But the governor said he’s not yet ready to set limits on borrowing for this year.

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Springfield
12:06 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Springfield Looks to Balance Ethics and Casino Jobs

Springfield City Councilor Michael Fenton in City Hall. Fenton proposed an ethics ordinance that would limit public officials' ability to get jobs at a new MGM casino in the city.
Facebook

The Springfield, Massachusetts city council will discuss a proposal on Monday night that would restrict the city’s mayor or councilors from working for MGM for at least five years after leaving city employment. Non-elected officials considered “major policymakers” would face a two-year ban.

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Bond Commission
10:33 am
Mon January 12, 2015

State Bond Commission Approves Funding for Rail Stations

Ben Barnes.
Credit CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy announced that $5.75 million was approved Monday by the state Bond Commission to improve railroad stations on the Hartford Line and the New Haven Line. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon January 12, 2015

The Price of Oil and Gas Is Dropping Like a Rock

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision Thinkstock

The price of gas was nearly $4.00 per gallon two years ago. Economists worried the rate would continue to rise, causing financial hardship on those with an already lean budget. What if it went to $5.00 a gallon? Well, those days are long gone.

Gas in Connecticut is around $2.50 a gallon and it's much cheaper elsewhere in the country.

But the higher rate also made people drive less and conserve more, and pushed higher fuel efficiency standards through Congress, nearly doubling the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks by 2025.

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State Legislature
11:47 am
Sat January 10, 2015

Connecticut Black and Latino Caucus Names Leadership

Norwalk State Rep. Bruce Morris.
Connecticut House Democrats

Norwalk State Rep. Bruce Morris will be leading the General Assembly's Black and Latino Caucus in the new session. 

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Conspiracy Case
3:01 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Key Player in Former Gov. Rowland Conspiracy Case Sentenced to Probation

Brian Foley outside the New Haven federal courthouse in a file photo.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A Connecticut businessman who admitted conspiring to hide payments from his wife's congressional campaign to former Connecticut Governor John Rowland has been sentenced to three years' probation, including three months in a halfway house. 

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Courts
2:23 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

British Imam Convicted In U.S. Of Terrorism Charges Gets Life

Abu Hamza al-Masri, also known as Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, at a 2002 fundamentalist Islamic conference in London, where he condemned what he called oppression of Muslims in the West. Masri was sentenced Friday in U.S. court to life in prison on terrorism-related charges.
Alistair Fuller AP

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 3:04 pm

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, who was convicted eight months ago of federal terrorism-related charges in New York, has been sentenced to life in prison.

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Massachusetts
10:27 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Gov. Baker Calls On Leaders To Find 'Courage To Set Partisanship Aside' In Inaugural Speech

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 7:47 am

Charlie Baker, the newly sworn-in 72nd governor of Massachusetts, is promising to challenge the status quo, while immediately tackling a state budget deficit.

And on his first day in office, the Republican managed to find some common ground with the Democrats who control the Legislature.

Tone Of Cooperation

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Free Speech
2:58 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Cartoons Are Still Shaking the World, Surprising Some

A participant in a Paris vigil on January 7 holds a sign in support of free speech ("And I blaspheme if I want to!!").
Gerry Lauzon Creative Commons

Even though riots broke out around the world after satirical images of the Prophet Muhammad were published in Denmark ten years ago, one expert says analysts were surprised that cartoons could still provoke a terrorist attack like the Paris massacre.

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Medical Decisions
2:51 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Connecticut Supreme Court: Teen Can't Refuse Chemotherapy

Jackie Fortin, at center, is Cassandra C's mother, pictured with attorneys James Sexton, Mike Taylor and Cassandra's attorney, Joshua Michtom
Lucy Nalpathanchil WNPR

In a swift ruling on Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court decided that a teen recently diagnosed with cancer can't refuse life-saving chemotherapy.

According to the ruling, state officials are not violating the teen's rights by forcing her to undergo chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma. The teen, known as Cassandra C, will be free to make her own medical decisions when she turns 18 in September.

For the past month, Cassandra has been held at a local hospital, undergoing chemotherapy treatment against her wishes. Doctors said chemotherapy would give her an 85 percent chance of survival and without the treatment, she could die.

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California
12:48 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Sen. Barbara Boxer Won't Seek 5th Term In Senate

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 12:36 pm

Four-term Sen. Barbara Boxer said she won't seek another term in the U.S. Senate in 2016, ending speculation about the California Democrat's political future.

"I will not be running for the Senate in 2016," she said in a taped interview with her grandson Zach Rodham.

Boxer, 74, said neither age nor partisanship in Congress were factors in her decision.

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Je Suis Charlie
10:22 am
Thu January 8, 2015

France Observes Moment Of Silence For 'Charlie Hebdo' Victims

General Secretary of the Elysee Palace Jean-Pierre Jouyet, head bowed foreground at left, and the Elysee Palace staff observe a minute of silence on Thursday for victims of the shooting at the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in Paris on Wednesday.
Philippe Wojazer AP

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 4:41 pm

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

The bells of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris tolled, public transport was halted and many in France stood in the rain today for a minute of silence observed on behalf of the eight journalists and two others killed in a deadly attack at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

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France
6:36 am
Thu January 8, 2015

The Latest On Paris Attack: Manhunt Continues; Brothers Were On No-Fly List

A man holds a candle and a sticker reading "I am Charlie" during a demonstration in Paris on Wednesday.
Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 7:27 pm

French authorities are still on the hunt for two brothers suspected in an attack against the headquarters of a satirical magazine in Paris that left 12 people dead.

The two chief suspects, named as Said and Chérif Kouachi, 34 and 32, remain at large. Investigators believe Said Kouachi traveled to Yemen in 2011 to receive weapons training with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston reports, citing U.S. officials who've been briefed on the case.

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France
10:36 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

2 Suspected Gunmen In 'Charlie Hebdo' Attack Remain At Large

A police bulletin sought the public's help in finding two suspects in the deadly attack on a satirical magazine's Paris offices Wednesday. Pictured are brothers Cherif (left) and Said Kouachi.
La prefecture de Police

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 12:07 pm

French police have taken an 18-year-old suspect identified as Mourad Hamyd into custody after he surrendered to authorities, according to multiple French news outlets. Hamyd had been sought in relation to a murderous attack on a satirical magazine's Paris office Wednesday, but it's not certain whether he was involved.

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State of the State
5:07 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Transportation Takes Center Stage in Second Term For Gov. Malloy

Gov. Malloy delivers a brief inauguration address at the state armory earlier on Wednesday. He later delivered a state of the state address.
Jessica Hill The Associated Press

Governor Dannel Malloy has confirmed that investment in transportation infrastructure will be the signature issue of his second term. 

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France
4:26 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

French Media, Public Rally Behind 'Charlie Hebdo'

Pens are thrown on the ground during a vigil in Paris following a deadly attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the weekly satirical magazine.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 8:58 pm

This much is certain: Charlie Hebdo will live another day.

The magazine, which was the target of a deadly attack Wednesday, will be kept going through financial and editorial backing from some of France's largest media groups.

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