Politics

Political news from WNPR

Charlie Smart / WHUS

Former President Bill Clinton spoke to a crowd at the University of Connecticut on Thursday. He was a co-recipient of the the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights.

Secretary of State John Kerry stepped before a packed auditorium Thursday. He was at Indiana University for the opening of a school of international studies.

"I have managed to completely forget that when running for president in 2004, I was crushed in Indiana," he quipped.

Kerry was welcomed Thursday as he promoted the Obama administration's recent international agreements, like deals on Pacific trade and Iran's nuclear program.

Speaking from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, President Obama said on Thursday that slowing down the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is "the right thing to do."

"Afghan forces are still not as strong as they need to be," Obama said, so the United States will leave 9,800 troops in the country through most of 2016. By 2017, about 5,500 troops will remain in a few bases across the country.

Obama said that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan will remain focused on two non-combat objectives: to train Afghan forces and carry out counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida.

Pete Souza / White House

Senior administration officials say President Barack Obama will keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017.

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Recent weeks of violence between Israelis and Palestinians have left dead a total of nearly 40 people from both sides. A former Connecticut resident is among those critically injured.

Iran's Guardian Council on Wednesday approved the deal intended to control Iran's nuclear program. The approval is a final step before implementation, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

The 12-member group of senior clerics' OK followed passage by Iran's Parliament on Tuesday.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The president of Hartford's City Council is calling for the termination of the city's development director, after a deal to build a new professional soccer facility collapsed and the city apparently overpaid for work at Dillon Stadium.

Starting today, Vermonters can register to vote from the comfort of their own homes. Secretary of State Jim Condos says the new online voter registration system will improve access to democracy, and will also make elections less vulnerable to fraud.

Crinklecrankle.com / Creative Commons

Trinity College wants to use artificial turf on some of its athletic fields, but the City of Hartford has pushed back, and now the two are in state court. 

Aundrea Murray / WNPR

A poll from Quinnipiac University released on Wednesday found that Connecticut voters disapprove of the job Governor Dannel Malloy is doing, 58 to 32 percent. It's his lowest approval rating ever.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr Creative Commons

The 2016 presidential cycle has been mostly dominated by a crowded Republican field but now it's the Democrats' turn as the candidates square off in their first debate. Also this week, former President Bill Clinton is in Connecticut to accept an award at UConn. But a trip to the Nutmeg State isn’t complete without a fundraiser, so he’s swinging by Attorney General George Jepsen’s house to fundraise for his wife’s presidential campaign as well. But out of all these events, only the debate will be broadcast in virtual reality.

This post was updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

The first Democratic debate brought out some passionate and, at times, awkward moments from the five candidates on stage. A highlight of the night was when Bernie Sanders decided he'd had enough of Hillary Clinton's email scandal, exclaiming "the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails."

But Sanders later stumbled on foreign policy, and Clinton struggled to defend her changing positions.

Here's each candidate's best and worst moment from Tuesday night:

Democratic presidential hopefuls sparred over gun control policy and financial regulation during their first presidential debate.

Here's a closer look at what the candidates were debating in Las Vegas.

Gun Control

Hillary Clinton: "We have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long, and it's time the entire country stood up against the NRA."

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It was the summer of 2007. Eddie Perez was still Hartford’s mayor, he was in his office faced with a state investigator, and he told that investigator that he had paid a city contractor for work done on his house when he hadn’t.

Now, eight years later, that lie and the effect it may have had on his trial are at center stage.

ConnectMeetings flickr.com/photos/connectyourmeetings/20900617180 / Creative Commons

Former President Bill Clinton will speak at the University of Connecticut Thursday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and will receive a human rights award.

Iran's Parliament voted Tuesday to support the implementation of the nuclear deal struck by world powers in Vienna in July.

Gage Skidmore/Frank Plitt / Creative Commons

A poll from Quinnipiac University released on Tuesday found that Donald Trump leads in a Republican presidential primary race in Connecticut, at 34 percent. But he trails leading Democrats in general election matchups.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

   

A judge in 17th century Connecticut ruled on the thorniest of problems. Some of these included ruling on a piglet’s paternity, who was to blame for faulty shoes, and whether illicit sex had occurred on a boat sailing to Stamford. 

A bruised Hillary Clinton will have much to prove as she takes the debate stage Tuesday evening alongside four of her Democratic presidential challengers. The former secretary of state has been damaged by lingering questions about her private email server and doubts about her trustworthiness.

That has partly enabled Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders to ride a wave of progressive support to a lead over her in New Hampshire and an impressive $25 million fundraising haul last quarter.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez will have his corruption case heard by the state’s highest court Tuesday, as he continues to fight his 2010 convictions on bribery and extortion-related charges. 

Heather Brandon / WNPR

The plan to build a professional soccer stadium in Hartford is now officially dead, but the controversy around it isn't.

Kevin McCarthy Gone, In 60 Seconds

Oct 9, 2015

There was chaos on Capitol Hill on Thursday after front-runner Rep. Kevin McCarthy withdrew his name from the House speakership election. The closed-door House Republican meeting that was supposed to emerge with a speaker nominee spilled out into the hallway outside of the House Ways and Means Room in the Longworth Office Building. That's where reporters rushed lawmakers to find out exactly what had happened and where the conference might go from here.

Here's a peek into that hallway, in 60 seconds:

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford city Treasurer Adam Cloud has apologized for using his public email to steer private investment to a now off-the-air golf network, but the episode has brought a new focus on the question of ethics.

City of Hartford

  A deal to lease city land to a developer who said he would finance and build a multi-million dollar soccer stadium that would be home to a professional soccer team is all but dead, as news reports about the man behind the deal have caused even its main backer to retreat.

A day after the Russian navy fired cruise missiles at targets in Syria — and two days after Russia's warplanes veered into Turkey's airspace — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance "is able and ready to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threat."

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says there isn't much time. Congress and the White House face two big deadlines to fund the government. It will be an intricate maneuver to meet both deadlines even as congressional leadership changes. And in an interview with NPR, Lew described behind-the-scenes negotiations meant to avert a last-minute crisis.

"There are conversations going on at a staff level," Lew told NPR's Steve Inskeep, "and I think the key is for Democrats and Republicans [in Congress] to talk to each other."

alphaville / Flickr

Justin Lifflander wanted nothing more than to become a spy for the CIA. Growing up during the Cold War, he practiced spying on friends, family, and schoolmates in preparation for what he thought would be a career full of high-tech gadgetry and secret rendezvous. When Lifflander was finally assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1987, he thought his dream was coming true.

What followed was something Lifflander could never have predicted. He was a mechanic at the embassy, then an inspector of Soviet missile sights, and then a suspected American agent followed at every turn by the KGB. Lifflander found himself living in a world which very much resembled his childhood dream -- but he was never a spy.

Karen Brown / NEPR

In the fall of 2013, Mark Schand walked out of court in Springfield, Massachusetts a free man, after 27 years in prison for a murder he said he did not commit.

The president of the Springfield, Massachusetts City Council isn’t giving up on getting a popular vote on MGM’s controversial casino redesign.

City Council President Mike Fenton said he’ll appeal to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to order a binding voter referendum on the proposed new design for the Springfield casino.

Fenton said MGM’s plan to eliminate a 25-story hotel from the project substantially changes the host community agreement Springfield voters approved two years ago.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Last March, Onyeka Obiocha of Happiness Lab at the Grove coffee shop in New Haven stepped outside to find his car had been towed.

When he finally got it back and was driving home to Hartford, the car blew a head gasket. The repair bill was prohibitive, so Obiocha said goodbye to owning a car.

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