Politics

Congress
10:05 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Republicans Debate: Fight The President Now, Or Fight Him Later?

Republican Senator-elect Thom Tillis of North Carolina says he expects his party to challenge the president immediately on immigration, and that he hopes President Obama's Defense and Justice nominees will be acceptable to both parties.
Davis Turner Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 9:16 am

Congress returns for its final session of the year on Monday afternoon, and lawmakers have a big to-do list ahead before they can adjourn for the holidays.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 1, 2014

What It's Like to Be Detained in Russia; Public Confidence in Local Hospitals

Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise.
Apples and oranges Creative Commons

It’s been just over a year since Russian authorities arrested 30 activists aboard Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior III -- a ship protesting Russia’s controversial oil rig in the Arctic. Among those arrested was the ship’s captain, Peter Willcox, a Greenpeace veteran and resident of Norwalk, Connecticut. 

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White House
7:09 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Obama To Ask For $263 Million For Police Body Cameras, Training

Officers wearing riot gear walk through a park in downtown St. Louis on Sunday.
Tom Gannam AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 8:00 pm

After a day spent meeting with his Cabinet, civil rights leaders and other officials about the mistrust of police in communities of color, President Obama will ask Congress for $263 million in part to equip local police with body cameras.

Update at 6:55 p.m. ET: Other Possible Changes

As the president confirmed his plans at the White House, Attorney General Eric Holder announced he will soon release new guidelines to limit racial profiling by authorities.

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Europe
3:35 am
Mon December 1, 2014

German Government May Say 'Nein' To After Work Emails

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses a mobile phone during a meeting of the German federal parliament in Berlin, on Nov. 28, 2013. The country's labor minister supports a call that would prohibit employers from sending emails to employees after normal business hours.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

All of us are familiar with the sound a smartphone makes when an email or text has arrived. Our somewhat Pavlovian response is to pick up the device, see who the message is from and read it.

In Germany, a growing number of these emails come from the boss contacting employees after work. That's not healthy, say experts on work-related stress, including psychologist Gerdamarie Schmitz in Berlin, who is feeling the technological encroachment herself.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 26, 2014

The Wheelhouse: After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision, What's Next?

Memorial to Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Jamelle Bouie Creative Commons

As the nation tries to better understand the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss what comes next. With widespread calls for change in the judicial system, how does that happen?

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Baseball in Hartford
2:03 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Hartford Stadium Critic Files Suit, Alleges Procedural Error

A rendering of a planned baseball stadium in Hartford.
City of Hartford

The New Britain Rock Cats want to play baseball in Hartford in April 2016, so when it comes to building their new stadium, every day matters. Now a new lawsuit says the city, in its haste, didn’t follow the law

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Civil Rights
11:35 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Federal Ferguson Investigation Will Remain Independent, Holder Insists

Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson, Mo., in August, where he met with elected and police officials and community members.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 8:15 am

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Attorney General Eric Holder says "far more must be done to create enduring trust" between police and communities they serve, even as his Justice Department continues to investigate possible discriminatory police actions in Ferguson, Mo.

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New York Casinos
8:57 am
Tue November 25, 2014

NY Casino Decision Expected December 17

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 4:09 pm

A decision on where up to four casinos will be located in upstate New York is expected to be announced December 17, the date a board reviewing casino applications is expected to meet for the final time.

New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams announced plans for the meeting Monday during a meeting of the commission.

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White House
11:45 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Will Step Down, Once Successor Is Confirmed

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 1:34 pm

(This post was last updated at 11:41 a.m. ET.)

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the highest-profile Republican on President Obama's Cabinet, will step down, once his successor is confirmed by the Senate.

Calling Hagel an "exemplary defense secretary," Obama made the announcement in the State Dining Room of the White House on Monday.

Hagel, a two-term Republican senator, came to the post in February of 2013, the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Department of Defense.

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State Budget
10:52 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Despite Improving Economy, State Could Face Billion-Dollar Deficit

Credit moodboard / Thinkstock

Despite an improving economy, Connecticut could be facing budget deficits of more than a billion dollars over the next three years. 

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Hartford Corruption
4:30 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Insurance Agent Earl O'Garro Indicted, Pleads Not Guilty

Earl O'Garro.
Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes under30ceo.com

Earl O'Garro, the troubled insurance agent who was the target of a federal grand jury that brought an unwelcome spotlight on Hartford City Hall last year, was charged Friday in federal court with one count of wire fraud. He pleaded not guilty.

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ISIS
3:35 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Joe Courtney: Recent Events in Middle East Give "Validation" to Support of Rebels

Rep. Joe Courtney discusses his support of Syrian rebels and other priorities for the coming session.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Rep. Joe Courtney from Connecticut's second congressional district was the only member of the delegation to vote in favor of arming and training Syrian rebels in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.

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Immigration
9:52 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Boehner: 'We Will Not Stand Idly By As President Undermines The Rule Of Law'

Speaker of the House John Boehner talks with reporters in his office in the U.S. Capitol on Friday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:05 pm

"We will not stand idly by as the president undermines the rule of law and places lives at risk."

That's what House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, had to say this morning about President Obama's unilateral action on immigration.

In a news conference at the Capitol, Boehner used harsh language to describe the executive actions intended to defer the deportation of, according to the White House, up to 5 million immigrants.

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Massachusetts
8:33 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Springfield Set To Hire Police, Firefighters Thanks To Casino Cash

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announces new police and fire department hires. Sarno said the new staff is financially sustainable because of the money MGM must pay the city as it prepares to build a casino.

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 6:15 pm

Counting on casino cash, the city of Springfield, Massachusetts is planning to hire more cops.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno Thursday announced new police and fire department academies starting early next year. When the police cadets graduate next spring it will bring the number of uniform patrol officers in Springfield to more than 400 for the first time in two decades, according police Commissioner John Barbieri.

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White House
9:13 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Obama Goes It Alone, Shielding Up To 5 Million Immigrants From Deportation

President Obama announces executive actions on U.S. immigration policy during a nationally televised address from the White House on Thursday.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:01 pm

After six years of often bitter back-and-forth with congressional Republicans over the issue of immigration, President Obama announced he has decided to go it alone by temporarily shielding up to 5 million immigrants from being deported.

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White House
6:26 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Watch: President Obama Unveils Executive Action on Immigration

President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on November 1, 2014.
Pete Souza White House

President Barack Obama is pushing the limits of his authority to shield from deportation millions of immigrants illegally in the United States, but the fate of millions more will still be left unresolved. 

Obama is set to announce Thursday that he is sidestepping Congress with his own action on immigration. Watch live below tonight starting at 8:00 pm.

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Immigration
2:12 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Rosa DeLauro Supports Obama's Executive Action, Doesn't Fear More Gridlock

Rep. Rosa DeLauro blamed her own chamber for partisan gridlock in Washington.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Republican lawmakers are already denouncing President Barack Obama's planned executive action on immigration and the idea of another government shutdown has been floated. But Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro says the gridlock is a product of her chamber in Washington.

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Immigration
9:45 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Republicans Warn Obama Ahead Of Planned Immigration Action

President Obama is expected to announce steps today that would provide temporary relief to some of the 12 million immigrants in the country illegally. Republicans are warning him against acting unilaterally on the issue.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 5:40 pm

Republicans in Congress are warning President Obama against acting alone on immigration, hours ahead of a planned announcement by the president that could provide temporary relief to some of the nearly 12 million immigrants in the country illegally.

Republicans say any unilateral action on immigration by the president would mean there is no chance of passing a comprehensive immigration overhaul in Congress.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Rails, Roads, and Buses: A State Transportation Check-In

Commissioner James Redeker from the Department of Transportation stopped by in December, 2013.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker to provide updates on the latest transportation news including CTfastrak, I-84, and our regional railways. Also, as we head into the winter months, how prepared are the state's roads?

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Congressional Check-In
3:44 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Jim Himes on Wall Street Regulation and Transportation Deficiencies

Rep. Jim Himes will represent the 4th district for his 4th term.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Connecticut's Fourth District Congressman Jim Himes was in the running to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee but lost out to New Mexico congressman Ben Ray Lujan.

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Cities
3:01 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Group Details Burdens on Connecticut Cities

Connecticut cities in CCM's latest report.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

An advocacy group for Connecticut's cities and towns is calling attention to what it describes as the disproportionate burdens on poor communities. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 19, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Budget Blues, Young Republicans, and Remembering Judge Downey

The Wheelhouse takes a bird's-eye view of the week's news.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse brings together some of the best and brightest reporters to break down the week's news. As expected, the state budget faces a serious deficit and the Connecticut Mirror's Keith Phaneuf will explain what that means for taxpayers. Also, the Democrats will retain control of the legislature, but there are some intriguing young Republicans to watch - including a 20-year-old legislator! We will also remember Connecticut Judge John T. Downey, who died this week after an extraordinary life.

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Pipeline
6:22 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, In A Close Vote

Pipes for Transcanada Corp.'s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline are stacked at a depot in Gascoyne, N.D. The House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline Friday; the Senate voted against it on Tuesday.
Andrew Cullen Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 6:52 pm

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project to expand an oil pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico has failed the approval of Congress, after the Senate voted against the project Tuesday. The House passed its version of the bill Friday.

An early tally showed 35 for and 30 against the bill; subsequent calls for senators' votes failed to net the 60 votes needed for passage. The decisive 41st "No" vote came with 55 votes in favor, and the final tally was 59-41.

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Global Engagement
2:08 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Ambassador Samantha Power Sees Hope in New Congress

Ambassador Samantha Power at the United Nations.
Samantha Power Facebook

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power told a Connecticut audience on Monday that she’s hopeful of meaningful cooperation with Senate Republicans as the Obama administration shapes its foreign policy. 

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Congressional Check-In
11:49 am
Tue November 18, 2014

No Longer a Freshman, Elizabeth Esty Plans to Stay the Course

Rep. Elizabeth Esty returns to Congress for her second term.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Despite being a political target of national Republicans, Connecticut's Fifth District Democratic Representative Elizabeth Esty survived her first re-election campaign.

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Iran's Nukes
7:05 am
Mon November 17, 2014

With Deadline Looming, U.S. And Iran Meet In Vienna For Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shake hands as Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yussef bin Alawi and former EU top diplomat Catherine Ashton watch Nov. 9 in Muscat, Oman.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 12:54 pm

American and Iranian negotiators are gathering in Vienna this week for what's expected to be a final push toward a deal over Iran's nuclear program.

The stakes are huge for both countries, and the deal could reshape the Middle East and pave the way for a new relationship between two bitter rivals.

But if you look at the headlines this morning, it'll give you an idea of just how tenuous a deal may be:

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Politics
3:48 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Top Spenders On Capitol Hill Pay Billions, Receive Trillions

The amount of money spent on Capitol Hill is way more than small change — but the impact of that money is a little murky. Here, the U.S. Capitol is reflected in a fountain full of coins on Election Day this year.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 3:24 pm

How much power should corporations wield in Washington? It's an enduring question — and now the Sunlight Foundation has devised a new way to gauge that power.

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G20 Summit
8:17 am
Sun November 16, 2014

G20 Leaders Pledge Growth, Threaten More Sanctions On Russia

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron and other leaders at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia.
Kay Nietfeld DPA/Landov

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 2:17 pm

President Obama departed the venue of the annual G20 summit in Australia today, declaring it had been a "strong week for American leadership."

The gathering wrapped up by promising to fight climate change and work toward boosting economic growth even as leaders made it clear that new sanctions would be imposed on Russia if Moscow doesn't back down in Eastern Ukraine.

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Middle East
7:49 am
Sat November 15, 2014

At A Tense Jerusalem Holy Site, Palestinians Stand Watch

Palestinian men shout slogans next to Israeli police as they await permission to enter what Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call the Nobel Sanctuary, on Nov. 5, in Jerusalem, Israel. On Friday, Israel dropped age restrictions on men attending Friday prayers, a move aimed at lowering tensions around access to the contested shrine.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 4:09 pm

Muslims call it the Noble Sanctuary. Jews call it the Temple Mount. On the contested hilltop that has been the focus of so much of the unrest in Jerusalem, Muslims who see themselves as "defenders" of the sanctuary raise their voices in a call to God whenever Jewish visitors enter.

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Politics
6:05 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Get Ready To Watch This Lame-Duck Congress Sprint

U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., speaks Wednesday as U.S. military veterans, service members and immigration reform advocates look on during a press conference urging President Obama to move forward with immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 10:21 am

Maybe this duck won't be so lame after all.

Judging by what we've seen so far, the "zombie Congress" that returned to town this week (the reelected and the not-so-lucky) will do more business in the weeks following the election than it did in many months preceding.

Consider these trains — all long-sidetracked, all suddenly leaving the station on Capitol Hill:

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