Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 7:16 am
Is the National Security Agency collecting cellphone tracking information on millions of Americans?
After a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, we still can't be sure. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has been trying to get intelligence officials to confirm or deny the existence or nonexistence of such a program.
Remember, records of where your cellphone is located give a pretty good idea of where the owners are. Wyden asked NSA Director Keith Alexander about that at Thursday's hearing, and Alexander said, no — not under "the current program."
Connecticut is doing a little bit better getting ready for rainy days, we learned from Kevin Lembo this week, but when there's fair weather, the state legislature made sure we won't be generating energy from wind turbines anytime soon. Read about that and more in today's Wheelhouse Digest... where UConn has us thinking about the legality of digesting hemp brownies.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra said his administration has been discussing a reduction in the city's car fleet since last year, before two illegal incidents involving city employees and city-owned cars. During a panel discussion on Where We Live in downtown Hartford, Segarra framed the discussion largely as a fiscal one.
Today at The Wheelhouse Digest, there's a lot of talk of shutting down and tightening up. Maybe it's the cooler weather, or maybe it's a new mentality pushing us to block things from happening. In that vein, there's an effort at hand to consider the Associated Press's request to release 911 recordings in the wake of the Newtown shooting last year. Read about that and more in today's digest.
Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:29 pm
There's a showdown underway in Congress.
The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government running only if the Affordable Care Act is defunded, and the Democratic-controlled Senate isn't likely to go along with that plan. If the two sides can't resolve their differences by Oct. 1, the U.S. government will shut down.
We asked you what you wanted to know about the potential government shutdown, and journalists from NPR's Washington Desk tracked down the answers:
The statistics about the growing Latino population are startling. According to the most recent census, the Latino population in Connecticut is growing 12 times faster than the general population (which had very little growth at all).
We took our weekly political roundtable, The Wheelhouse on the road! We broadcast from a vacant storefront on Trumbull Street in downtown Hartford as part of the city’s iConnect project. The conversation started off with Mayor Pedro Segarra and reporters from the Hartford Courant and Hartford Business Journal joined in with their own questions for the mayor.
Whether it's the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Connecticut, the head of a nasty-looking anvil cloud, or the head of a horse you're looking to avoid: today's Wheelhouse Digest has you covered.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
Two Connecticut police officers are on trial in federal court this week. They're accused of harassing and intimidating Latino residents in the city of East Haven. The police department there has been working to change a culture of discrimination. Jeff Cohen of our member station WNPR has the story.
In the 2012 election, Latino voters accounted for ten percent of all voters nationwide - a large margin, which will only increase as the Latino population does. Between now and 2030, 40 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote.
The National Security Agency won't say exactly when it will fully rev up its newest and biggest data farm in the Salt Lake City suburb of Bluffdale, Utah. There will be no "grand opening" or celebratory barbecue outside the sprawling facility, which is five times the size of the Ikea down the road.
But, according to NSA spokeswoman Vanee' Vines, "We turn each machine on as it is installed, and the facility is ready for that installation to begin."
Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 11:26 am
Secretary of State John Kerry plans to meet his Iranian counterpart this week for the highest-level face-to-face between Washington and Tehran in six years.
The meeting with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and representatives of five other world powers — Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany — would come as newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visits the United Nations in New York. The talks would center on Iran's nuclear program.
It was a violent weekend in some parts of the world, and we're monitoring the situation at the Nairobi mall today along with the rest of the world as the situation unfolds. In Connecticut, steady habits are keeping some of our attention in court, where Bridgeport Superintendent Paul Vallas and East Haven police officers are busy today to kick off this first week of fall. Meanwhile, others in Middlebury were involved in some very unsteady habits. Read all about it in today's Wheelhouse Digest.
Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 5:37 pm
The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government funded but its "continuing resolution" comes with a poison pill to defund the Affordable Care Act that Democrats have vowed is dead on arrival in the Senate.
Luis Luna, a Wallingford man who was arrested three years ago for filming police as they broke up a fight in New Haven, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city. Luna was arrested on September 25, 2010, and filed the lawsuit on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.
The state labor department says Connecticut's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.1 percent in August. Local government job cuts, particularly in schools shut for the summer, far surpassed private sector job gains.
Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:51 pm
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to slash $40 billion from the federal food stamp program.
GOP lawmakers cited what they said was widespread abuse of the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is intended to help poor individuals and families buy groceries.
The vote to cut food stamps came on a party line vote of 217-200.
"It's wrong for working, middle-class people to pay" for abuse of the program, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.
He's not a declared candidate for governor and the election is still more than a year away, but you wouldn't know that based on Tom Foley's recent media appearances. Today, Foley appeared on WNPR's Where We Live and continued to level allegations of improper behavior against Governor Dannel Malloy.
Politicians, reporters and voters reacted to Foley's remarks.
Homeless veterans have told the VA that one of their top needs is finding legal assistance. The Connecticut Veterans Legal Center in New Haven is one organization that fills this need. Now the non-profit is working to build a network of similar legal service providers.
Sentences matter today at The Wheelhouse Digest. Tom Foley visited Where We Live to explain some accusatory words he levied against Governor Dannel Malloy in recent days. Hours later, Joshua Nassi, former aide to Chris Donovan, was sentenced to time in prison. If you're more of a list person, or maybe you're into puns and names, we've got you covered there too.
Join us for live updates during this hour of Where We Live with our guest, Tom Foley, who is exploring a run for governor. Foley made some recent public statements accusing Governor Dannel Malloy and others in his administration, past and present, of what he termed "improper behavior." The accusations were refuted by the Malloy administration as "factually incorrect."
Newtown families and activists are in Washington again to try to prod lawmakers on gun control. A bill that would expand FBI background checks of gun buyers stalled in the Senate in April, and there has been no movement on gun control in Congress.
Congress is heading into a major fight over food stamps. The battle highlights sharp ideological differences over a program that helps to feed about 220,000 people in Connecticut.
Conservative House Republicans, especially members of the Tea Party, say the food stamp program has become bloated and discourages people from finding jobs. They propose cutting $40 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the official name for food stamps.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke arrives to speak at a news conference Wednesday in Washington, D.C. The Fed cut its economic growth forecasts and said it would keep buying bonds in a bid to keep interest rates down.
If you are trying to buy a home, you just got good news: The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is not going to try to drive up long-term interest rates just yet.
Stock investors are happy for you. They like cheap mortgages too because a robust housing market creates jobs. To celebrate, they bought more shares, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up 147.21 to an all-time high of 15,676.94.