Politics

Political news from WNPR

President Obama and Vice President Biden "have tried to be fair and even-handed" in the primary process, Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday following a meeting with the president at the White House.

Calling the meeting "constructive and productive," Sanders cautiously praised the Obama administration's economic work, saying there is still work to be done. The two also talked talked about foreign and domestic policy and "a little bit of politics," according to Sanders, who spoke to reporters after the meeting.

murphy.senate.gov, blumenthal.senate.gov

Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are calling on Congress to end a decades-old ban on federal research into gun violence.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Despite an effort the eliminate the state budget deficit late last year, the numbers remain in the red just a week before this year's regular session begins. Gov. Dan Malloy has tapped his troubleshooter to temporarily take the helm of the beleaguered Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles, and a high school doesn't want any "idiots" on its stage. 

This post was updated Wednesday at 8:45 a.m. ET

The stage is set for Thursday's Fox News Channel final debate ahead of the Iowa caucuses — but front-runner Donald Trump won't be there.

After teasing earlier Tuesday evening that he "probably won't bother" with the debate, Trump's campaign confirmed he won't participate, citing unfair treatment from the network:

Rep. Esty's office

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty says progress is being made in Afghanistan. She recently returned from a visit there and to Kuwait as part of a bipartisan delegation. 

The Springfield City Council is conducting a final review of the plans for the $950 million MGM casino.

The council is tentatively scheduled to vote Tuesday after holding a fourth public hearing on the casino project site plan. However, Council President Mike Fenton said he’ll set additional time for deliberations if necessary.

"It is possible to extend  ( the hearings) should we need further public input or councilors have additional questions," he said.

Arasmus Photo / Flickr Creative Commons

Sanctuary cities have become a focus in the national debate on immigration reform. But what are they? Where are they? And how do they affect communities around the country? 

A bipartisan task force created by Congress issued "an urgent call to action" Tuesday to overhaul the nation's federal prisons and reduce the number of U.S. inmates by 60,000 over the next decade.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A week after announcing a three-way deal to pay for $10 million in construction overruns at Hartford's new minor league baseball stadium, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin held a town hall meeting with residents to talk about it. 

On Monday, President Obama announced changes to the federal prison system that include banning solitary confinement for juvenile offenders and for prisoners who have committed low-level infractions, calling the practice overused and potentially devastating.

A Texas grand jury investigating Planned Parenthood took no action against the abortion provider, but it indicted two anti-abortion activists involved in making covert videos of the organization.

This week, NPR and some member stations will be taking the temperature of the electorate in communities around the country. You can follow those stations, via Twitter, here.

The mood of the voters is one of the most important political factors in an election year. This year voters are anxious, frightened and angry.

Candidates in both parties are trying to show they get it.

A divorced New York businessman billionaire with a mixed political history and knack for controversy and grabbing the spotlight might run for president. Another one.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is again weighing a possible independent bid for the White House after seeing an opening in a chaotic and unpredictable 2016 race.

Sen. Chris Murphy Decries Fast-Track Military Authorization Bill

Jan 22, 2016
C-Span

Senator Chris Murphy spoke out on the Senate floor on Thursday against a Republican resolution that would fast-track authorization of military force in the war against ISIS. 

North Korean state media said Friday that the country has detained a U.S. student from the University of Virginia for "anti-republic activities."

The state-run agency, KCNA, said the student, Otto Frederick Warmbier, entered North Korea as a tourist but "with a goal to wreck the foundation of state unity ... under the manipulation of the U.S. government."

The U.S. Embassy in Seoul said it was aware of the report.

The University of Virginia's website lists an undergraduate with that name at the McIntire School of Commerce, the university's business school.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Dannel Malloy's budget office is projecting Connecticut will end the current fiscal year with a deficit, despite a recent special legislative session that attempted to fix the fiscal problem.

Connecticut Senate Democrats

State Senate President Martin Looney has issued a statement about last week's car crash that saw his colleague, Senator Andrew Maynard, hospitalized for four days.

CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

Questions continue to swirl around a car crash involving a state senator. Andrew Maynard, a Democrat from Stonington, was already recovering from a fall at his home in 2014 that left some questioning his ability to serve before the most recent incident. 

CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

Police are still waiting to interview State Senator Andrew Maynard after the crash which landed him in hospital for three days. His attorney has told police he won't be available until at least next week to give his version of the events on Route 32 last Thursday.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

Tea Party darling Sarah Palin threw her support behind Donald Trump in a raucous speech Tuesday night, a blow to a surging Ted Cruz with less than two weeks to go until the Iowa caucuses.

Trump is "perfectly positioned to let you make America great again. Are you ready for that, Iowa?" Palin told a crowd in Ames, standing beside Trump. "No more pussyfooting around."

BPt111 / city-data.com

Part of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy’s $100 billion transportation overhaul includes an $11 billion allocation for widening I-95 the span of the entire state. But Connecticut advocacy group ConnPIRG said on Tuesday that widening I-95 that distance won’t be a “good return” for the state -- and won’t address the problem of congestion.

Spyder Monkey / Wikimedia Commons

This all started with a scratchy phone message from a guy named Bobby Duley. He had been making regular visits to his mother convalescing at a rehab facility in Old Saybrook. Down the hall in one of the public rooms, he discovered a woman who was intimately involved in the civil rights marches that began in 1966 in the south.

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to review a challenge to President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

As we've reported, back in November 2014, Obama announced plans to shield from deportation up to 5 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. Even before his plans got off the ground, lower courts put them on hold.

The presidential primary has now reached the final two-week stretch before Iowans meet to caucus on Feb. 1, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is spending some of those precious final days making a swing through New Hampshire.

Unlike Iowa, where Cruz is neck and neck with Donald Trump, New Hampshire is a state where Trump dominates, leading the rest of the pack by nearly 20 points in recent polls.

But Cruz said he believes the campaign is entering a "different phase," where voters will take a closer look at candidates' records — particularly Trump's.

Mamata.mulay / Creative Commons

New state revenue estimates show Connecticut continues to face deficit problems despite recent efforts by lawmakers to make spending reductions. 

Connecticut State Democrats / Creative Commons

A Connecticut state senator has been hospitalized following a one-vehicle crash. 

There was a new urgency as Republican presidential hopefuls took the stage Thursday evening, with simmering feuds spilling into the open less than three weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

The onetime detente between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz was gone. The billionaire real estate mogul early on had to defend his doubts as to whether the Canadian-born Texas senator is even eligible for the White House.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Recent polls show the gap closing between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. With less than three weeks until the Iowa caucuses, Sanders is getting help from outside organizations.

A Veteran's Son / Creative Commons

The remains of a Vietnam-era Army veteran are being removed from the Connecticut state veterans' cemetery because he was convicted of killing three people.

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