Politics

Politics
3:00 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Obama Wants Congress' Support On ISIS, But He May Not Need It

President Obama will address the nation Wednesday to present his strategy against the Islamic State.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 2:57 pm

The top four congressional leaders will be at the White House today to talk to President Obama about U.S. military action against the group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS. This comes just one day before Obama will address the nation and lay out his strategy for dealing with the extremist group.

The president says he wants congressional buy in, but "buy in" can mean a lot of things.

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Congress
12:24 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

5 Questions About The 2 Weeks Congress Plans To Work This Fall

Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives return to work at the Capitol this week after a five-week vacation. They must get to work on a continuing resolution to extend funding for government agencies to prevent a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 7:45 am

Tanned and rested after a five-week summer vacation, Congress has returned for a brief session before returning home to campaign for re-election. This autumn session is expected to last a couple of weeks, give or take a couple of days.

What can be accomplished in so short a time? A great deal, if House and Senate choose to work together. Or nothing, if they don't. If you are wondering which will happen, you haven't been watching the 113th Congress up to now.

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WAMC News
10:27 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Gambling Regulators Weigh Greater Boston Casino Proposals

The design of Mohegan Sun's proposed casino at Suffolk Downs in Revere, MA received a favorable evaluation from the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 4:07 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission Monday began a final review of the two competing proposals for a resort casino in greater Boston.

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Conspiracy Trial
6:00 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Brian Foley Testifies He Hid Campaign Work By Rowland

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

Brian Foley, the husband of a 2012 Republican congressional candidate, told jurors that he wanted to hire former Connecticut Governor John Rowland for campaign services, but the risk of hiring a convicted felon posed a big political hurdle.

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Europe
10:47 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Russia Reports Troop Deaths In Ukraine, But Calls Them 'Volunteers'

Mothers and wives of Russian paratroopers captured in Ukraine wait for information outside their base in Kostroma, Russia. Russia's military has been challenged to explain an upsurge in dead and missing soldiers from its elite units.
Dmitry Serebryakov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 12:31 pm

Ukraine and the West, including the United States, insist that the Russian army has been fighting in eastern Ukraine, a charge that Russia just as vehemently denies.

But reports from Russia now acknowledge that Russian soldiers are part of the battle — though they are claimed to be volunteers, on leave from their army jobs.

Critics say the Russian military is ordering soldiers into the fight, and covering up the deaths of those who are killed, in an unacknowledged war on foreign soil.

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Islamic State
9:08 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Arab League Chief Urges 'Confrontation' With Islamic State Militants

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby (foreground) speaks to the head of the Syrian Coalition (second from right) during a meeting in Cairo, Egypt, on Monday. Elaraby is urging the league's members to confront Islamic State extremists.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 2:45 pm

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby is calling on the organization's members for a "comprehensive confrontation" of Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria in apparent support of U.S. plans to build a coalition to stop the militants.

Elaraby said a "clear and firm decision for a comprehensive confrontation" was needed to confront the "cancerous and terrorist" groups in the region.

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State Legislature
7:51 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Connecticut Democrats Under Pressure as State Senator's Condition Remains Uncertain

Senator Andrew Maynard
Credit CT Senate Democrats

Pressure is growing on Senate Democrats to release more information about the future of Senator Andrew Maynard. Maynard was seriously injured in a fall two months ago, and questions remain about his ability to stand for election in November.

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New York
11:23 am
Sun September 7, 2014

Cuomo Gets More Of An Opponent Than He Bargained For

Gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout been hammering Gov. Andrew Cuomo for allegedly interfering with the work of his own anti-corruption commission earlier this year.
Mike Groll AP

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was supposed to cruise past next Tuesday's primary election in New York on his way to a second term.

But the powerful Democratic incumbent may have more trouble than many expected. For one thing, his main opponent, a little-known law professor named Zephyr Teachout, is mounting a respectable challenge from the left. For another, Cuomo could potentially wind up with a running mate he doesn't want.

This week, the local cable news channel NY1 tried to host a debate between Cuomo and Teachout. Teachout was the only one to show up.

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Politics
1:53 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

From Statehouse To Big House: A Guide To Governors Gone Bad

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 8:39 pm

Now that Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell has been found guilty of corruption, fraud and bribery, his name could be added to a long list of top state officials who have had to take the walk from the statehouse to the big house.

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Election 2014
1:49 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Republican Charlie Baker Wants To Run A More Efficient Mass. Government

Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, right, chats with Bradford Herrick, of Bridgewater, during a visit at Eagle’s Deli in Boston. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 8:23 am

Fifth in a series of profiles of the gubernatorial candidates

BOSTON — The 2014 election is Republican Charlie Baker’s second race for the corner office. Four years ago, he ran and lost to incumbent Gov. Deval Patrick by 6 points.

This time he’s running a different campaign and aiming for better results — focusing on his experience as a problem-solver, visiting urban centers, and meeting with more minority voters who traditionally vote Democrat.

A ‘Second Trip To The Plate’

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NATO
12:34 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Obama: Our Goal Is To 'Dismantle' The Islamic State

President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference at the NATO summit at Celtic Manor, Newport, Wales, on Friday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 12:43 pm

During a press conference to mark the end of a two-day meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Wales, President Obama said he found "conviction" among U.S. friends and allies that the international community must "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State.

Obama said the militant Sunni group cannot be contained because it is already causing so much damage.

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Eastern Europe
9:58 am
Fri September 5, 2014

In Ukraine, Cease-Fire Between Government, Separatists Takes Hold

Pro-Russian separatists stand on a road in the village of Novokaterinovka, eastern Ukraine, on Thursday.
Anatolii Boiko AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 1:43 pm

This post was updated at 1 p.m. ET.

The government of Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists in the east say they have stopped fighting, honoring a cease-fire that took effect late Friday afternoon local time.

NPR's Corey Flintoff tells our Newscast unit that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko ordered a cease-fire once separatists agreed to peace talks at a meeting in Belarus.

During a televised press conference, Poroshenko said the peace deal was forged based on a phone conversation he had with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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World Relations
8:33 am
Fri September 5, 2014

U.S. Announces Coalition To Fight Against The Islamic State

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 11:28 am

The United States says it has formed a coalition of 10 countries to help in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq.

The group consists of the United States plus Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Turkey, Italy, Poland and Denmark.

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Election 2014
7:35 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Malloy Bets on New Haven, Vows to Improve Transportation

Governor Malloy endorsing Toni Harp in the 2013 race for New Haven mayor.
Thomas MacMillan New Haven Independent

In 2010, Dan Malloy beat Tom Foley in the race for governor by just over 6,400 votes statewide. The smattering of polls that have been released in this year’s race show a similarly close rematch.

If Malloy does win a second-term, he’ll need to win the cities -- by a lot. In the city of New Haven alone, Malloy won by a margin of more than 18,600 votes. It’s no surprise that Malloy continues to court the votes in the Elm City.

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NATO
6:55 am
Fri September 5, 2014

NATO Announces 'Rapid-Reaction Force' Amid News Of Ukraine Cease-Fire Deal

President Obama stands alongside British Prime Minister David Cameron, center left, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, second left, Croatian President Ivo Josipovic, left, Romanian President Traian Basescu, right, and RAF Group Captain David Bentley, second right, during a flypast at the NATO summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales on Friday.
Jon Super AP

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 11:11 am

(This post was last updated at 8:04 a.m. ET.)

On the second and final day of their meeting in Wales, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are expected to announce more aid to Ukraine.

NATO also announced the formation of a so-called rapid-reaction force. As The Associated Press describes it, this consists of "several thousand troops in Eastern Europe that could quickly mobilize if an alliance country in the region comes under attack."

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Dealmaking
4:31 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Paying For Hartford's New Stadium and Neighborhood Developments

Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced he had picked a developer to build a new minor league baseball stadium and other surrounding buildings in a new, $350 million project. As the deal moves to the city council for its review, however, there are still a lot of questions. 

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Federal Investigation
1:32 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Ferguson Police Tactics Draw Justice Department Investigation

Police stand watch Aug. 13 as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 11:05 am

The U.S. Department of Justice will launch an investigation into police tactics in Ferguson, Mo., NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, with a focus on looking for a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing.

Carrie says the department was holding off on announcing the investigation until clashes in the town died down:

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NATO
8:24 am
Thu September 4, 2014

At NATO Summit, Allies Consider Lethal, Nonlethal Aid To Ukraine

President Obama sits with (from left) French President Francois Hollande; Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko; British Prime Minister David Cameron; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi as they meet about Ukraine Thursday at the NATO summit at Celtic Manor in Newport, Wales.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 11:18 am

President Obama, along with all members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, are in Wales today as a set of international conflicts puts the military alliance back in the spotlight.

At the top of the agenda is, of course, the crisis in Ukraine.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, said the allied forces are facing a situation they never thought they would see again in the region.

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Eastern Europe
3:01 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Can NATO Find A Way To Contain Russia?

Pro-Russian rebels prepare their weapons in the eastern city of Donetsk on Aug. 31. Russia's role in Ukraine has raised tensions between Russia and NATO to their highest level since the Soviet breakup more than two decades ago.
Mstislav Chernov AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 3:44 pm

Ever since the Cold War ended, the armies of NATO and Russia have been moving warily toward each other while their political positions keep moving further apart.

Twelve Eastern European countries have joined NATO since the Soviet breakup, and NATO is now on the verge of creating a rapid-reaction force for the region. Russia has sent troops into two former Soviet republics, Ukraine and Georgia, that have relationships with NATO, but not membership.

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White House
9:28 am
Wed September 3, 2014

'Justice Will Be Served,' Obama Warns The Islamic State

President Obama speaks during a press conference with Estonia's president at the Bank of Estonia in Tallinn on Wednesday.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 12:42 pm

Speaking in Estonia today, President Obama issued a warning to the extremist group that took responsibility for beheading two American journalists: "We will not be intimidated," Obama said, according to Time. "Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget, and that our reach is long, and that justice will be served."

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed September 3, 2014

The Wheelhouse Has Déjà Vu All Over Again

One of the few moments when former President Bill Clinton was not the center of attention in New Haven, Tuesday.
Credit CT Mirror

Former Governor John Rowland is back on trial today as he faces charges of election-fraud. Former President Bill Clinton  was in his old stomping-grounds of New Haven to raise money for Governor Dan Malloy and former Congressman Rob Simmons is getting back into politics!

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Election 2014
8:03 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Republican PAC Airs TV Ad Slamming Malloy Tax Hike

Grow Connecticut released an ad Tuesday criticizing Malloy's tax increases.
YouTube

A Republican political action committee has launched a TV ad attacking Governor Dannel Malloy's tax policies. 

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Europe
7:40 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Russia, Ukraine Distance Themselves From News Of A Cease-Fire Deal

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (left) welcomes Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland during a meeting Monday.
Mykhailo Markiv AP

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 1:01 pm

The morning started on a hopeful note: The office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said that in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the two had agreed on a "permanent cease-fire."

But that was short-lived. As the state-funded Russia Today reports, the Russians quickly pointed out that they had reached no such agreement, because "Russia is not party to Ukraine conflict."

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To Build, Or...
9:54 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Hartford's Segarra Picks Stadium Developer

Credit City of Hartford

Just a few months after Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announced that the city would spend up to $60 million of its own money to build a minor league baseball stadium for the New Britain Rock Cats, the mayor announced Tuesday that he has picked a developer who will foot the entire bill

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Conspiracy Trial
4:11 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Rowland Trial Gets Underway; May Hinge on Cryptic Email

Former Gov. John Rowland.
Credit WTIC

Former Governor John G. Rowland's federal conspiracy trial gets underway in New Haven on Wednesday. He's facing charges of violating federal campaign laws by allegedly hiding his role as a campaign consultant in a 2012 congressional race.

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Election 2014
2:18 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Bill Clinton Appears in New Haven for Fundraiser

Credit Thomas MacMillan / The New Haven Independent

Former President Bill Clinton headlined a rally in New Haven to raise money for Democrats running in elections across the country. 

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Eastern Europe
8:31 am
Tue September 2, 2014

NATO To Create New 'Spearhead' Force For Eastern Europe

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Monday.
Yves Logghe AP

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 7:12 am

NATO leaders are expected to set up a rapid-response force to deploy quickly to eastern Europe to defend against potential Russian aggression at their meeting in Wales later this week.

The force of about 4,000 troops will be ready to move on 48 hours notice from a station in a member country close to Russia, The New York Times reported.

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WAMC News
8:28 am
Tue September 2, 2014

A Tale Of Two Casinos And A City

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 12:50 pm

As established casinos across the Northeast close their doors or administer cost-cutting measures, New York is just getting into the game.  And although it won’t host a casino if its own, Albany has become a key player.

The mantra has been "jobs and the economy," and New York's capital is crossing its fingers, hoping for a windfall should a casino go up in nearby Rensselaer County.

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Paid Sick Days
7:01 am
Tue September 2, 2014

The Politics Of Calling In Sick

Women are more likely to take time off to care for a sick child or elderly adult, making mandatory paid sick leave a hot partisan topic.
Shutterstock

Originally published on Tue September 2, 2014 1:23 pm

Got the flu? Or a new baby? Perhaps a little one with chicken pox? In most countries, your employer must pay your wages if you stay home sick or to care for others. Not in America.

But a growing grass-roots movement aims to change that — starting with paid sick leave.

Already the movement has met some success. This past weekend, California became the second state in the country to mandate sick leave for employees.

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Ukraine
9:38 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Pro-Russia Rebels Say They Will Settle For Autonomy In Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called Monday for a cease-fire in Ukraine, but demanded that Ukrainian troops leave positions from which they can "harm the civilian population." His comments come ahead of talks in Minsk, Belarus, involving Ukraine, Russia, Russia-backed separatists and international monitors.
Jia Yuchen Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 4:45 pm

Update at 3:21 p.m. ET

Pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine are no longer demanding full independence, telling negotiators in Belarus that they will respect Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for autonomy.

The Associated Press adds:

"It's a shift that reflects Moscow's desire to strike a deal at a new round of peace talks — possibly avoiding tougher Western sanctions. The talks follow last week's meeting between the presidents of Russia and Ukraine. Similar talks earlier this summer produced no visible results."

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