Politics

Crimea
8:41 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Ukrainian Troops' Departure From Crimea Isn't A Simple Matter

A Russian flag flies behind him Thursday as a Ukrainian soldier leaves what was one of his military's bases outside Simferopol, on the Crimean Peninsula. Local "self-defense forces," followed by Russian troops, have seized many strategic locations.
Yuri Kochetkov EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 6:36 pm

Ukraine's plans to withdraw its troops from Crimea, which as we reported were announced Wednesday, have apparently been complicated by the issue of whether they will be allowed to take their weapons and other equipment with them.

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WAMC News
8:33 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Mayor Sarno Defends Process For Picking New Police Commissioner

Deputy Police Chief John Barbieri was selected by Mayor Domenic Sarno ( at right) to be the next police commissioner.

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 6:17 pm

A 26-year veteran of the police department in Springfield, Massachusetts has been picked to be the next police commissioner.  It is a high-profile post in a city where public safety has consistently ranked as the number one issue.

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Budget Time
3:53 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Cities and Towns Make Their Case for Funding

Legislators listen to municipal leaders on Wednesday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Municipal leaders from across the state came to the capitol Wednesday to speak to legislators about their budget concerns. 

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
2:05 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Debate: It May Be Flexing Its Muscles, But Is Russia A Marginal Power?

Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.
  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

In the past year, Russia has been a decisive player in several events on the international stage — often to the chagrin of the Obama administration. It gave asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, blocked United Nations efforts to impose sanctions against the Syrian government and sent troops into Ukraine.

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

A New Haven Kind of Wheelhouse

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse heads down to New Haven.
Credit Versageek / Wikimedia Commons

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will be in New Haven, where the mayor's race led to special elections that created a political game of musical chairs recently. Our panel of reporters will catch you up on all the week’s news from the Elm City and beyond.

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Ukraine
8:05 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Ukraine Says It's Preparing A Plan To Withdraw From Crimea

Armed men stood atop a chimney near Ukraine's naval headquarters in Sevastopol, Crimea, on Wednesday. They raised Russian flags after taking over much of the facility.
Vasily Fedosenko Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:25 pm

This post was last updated at 4:50 p.m.

A day after Russia claimed Crimea as its own, Ukraine's security chief said they were drawing up plans to withdraw troops and their families from the area.

The BBC reports Andriy Parubiy said during a press conference that Ukraine wanted to move the troops "quickly and efficiently" to mainland Ukraine and that they would also ask the United Nations to declare Crimea a demilitarized zone.

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Veterans
4:08 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Here Are The 24 Heroic Stories Behind Today's Medals Of Honor

Vietnam veterans Melvin Morris (center), Jose Rodela (obscured) and Santiago J. Erevia (left) received the Medal of Honor from President Obama at the White House on Thursday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:50 am

This post was updated at 4:09 p.m. ET.

Old wrongs were righted Tuesday afternoon, as The Associated Press says, when President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to 24 Army veterans.

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Tribal Land Claims
11:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Effects of Potential Connecticut Tribal Recognitions in Debate

Dancers at an event at the Pequot Museum last fall.
Credit Brandon Lavallee / Pequot Museum

Federal authorities are considering changes to tribal recognition procedures and it could have a unique impact on Connecticut. But it's unclear exactly what rights any newly recognized tribes would have.

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Farm Bill
9:33 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Malloy, Boehner in Food Stamp Fight

Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

Governor Dannel Malloy has sharply criticized U.S. House Speaker John Boehner who accused Connecticut and other states of cheating the federal food stamp program.

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Taste Test
9:27 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Lyme Cheese Maker Organizes Connecticut Cheese Challenge

Connecticut-made cheese: just as good as the European version?
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A cheese-maker in Lyme is organizing the Connecticut Cheese Challenge, hoping to draw attention to efforts by the European Union to limit the use of names like Parmesan, feta and Gorgonzola on cheese made in the U.S.

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Crimea
8:16 am
Tue March 18, 2014

West Is Ruled 'By The Gun,' Putin Says As He Annexes Crimea

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti/Kremlin pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:21 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': Ellen Barry, Moscow correspondent for 'The New York Times,' talks with NPR's Renee Montagne
We updated this post as Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke and other leaders reacted.

Wasting no time and showing no sign that he's concerned about Western objections or economic sanctions, Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea on Tuesday.

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Scotland Sovereignty
4:44 am
Tue March 18, 2014

After 300 Years Of Marriage, Scotland Contemplates U.K. Divorce

Pro-independence campaigners attend a rally In Edinburgh, Scotland, in September.
Jeff J Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:22 am

Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom for more than 300 years. This fall, that could change. In mid-September, a referendum on independence will determine whether Scotland breaks off from England, Northern Ireland and Wales to become a sovereign nation.

Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, is ground zero in this debate. The East End of this city is poor and run down, with some of the worst health figures in Europe. Men here are expected to live into only their mid-50s, some 30 years less than in wealthy areas.

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End of Life Choices
9:40 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Legislature Hears Testimony on "Aid in Dying"

Supporters of the bill say they want to allow death with dignity.
Credit Nathan & Jenny / Creative Commons

The legislature's Public Health Committee is slated to hear testimony Monday on a bill which would allow physicians to help terminally ill patients to end their lives.

The so called aid-in-dying legislation is likely to draw impassioned advocates on both sides. 

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Where We Live
8:15 am
Mon March 17, 2014

The Ongoing Debate Over Tribal Recognition

One of the big issues surrounding tribal recognition in Connecticut is the construction of more casinos.
Credit David Zeuthen / Creative Commons

Before Thomas Hooker founded the Colony of Connecticut, before Europeans even knew this land existed, the indigenous people already lived off the land. But over hundreds of years, the United States of America grew into what it is today, and the indigenous people were only granted small slices of land if they are "recognized" by the federal government.

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Ukraine
7:28 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Russia Recognizes Independent Crimea; U.S. And EU 'Stand Firm' With Ukraine

A pile of the votes cast Sunday in Simferopol, Ukraine, the regional capital of Crimea.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 3:28 pm

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET.

Russia has officially recognized Crimea as a sovereign independent state, after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to that effect late Monday, according to a release from the Kremlin. The decree takes effect immediately, naming "the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status."

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Europe
9:10 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

New York Ukrainians Worry About 'Evil' Happenings at Home

A woman walks past the Ukrainian National Federal Credit Union in the Ukrainian neighborhood in Manhattan's East Village. New York is home to tens of thousands of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 1:10 pm

Yonkers, N.Y., is home to many Ukrainian immigrants and home to the Ukrainian Youth Center, which, despite its name, also has a full bar. It's where Rostyslaw Slabicky is glued to the news.

"The mood right now is extremely apprehensive," Slabicky says. "There's part that's fait accomplis, that Putin is basically doing what he wants and the entire world is basically standing by, not doing anything."

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Ukraine
12:02 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Crimea Overwhelmingly Supports Split From Ukraine To Join Russia

People in Simferopol, Ukraine, attend a pro-Russian rally in Lenin Square after a day of voting on whether to unite with Russia. Exit polls show strong approval for the move, according to Russian state-run media.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 16, 2014 9:59 pm

  • NPR's Gregory Warner on 'Weekend Edition Sunday'
This post will be updated throughout the day Sunday.

Russian news services are claiming overwhelming support in Crimea for the region's plan to secede from Ukraine and unite with Russia, citing exit polls from Sunday's referendum. Russia's state news agency reports that afer 50 percent of the votes had been processed that more than 95 percent of voters said they were in favor of joining Russia.

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Newspapers
7:08 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Papers Fight Proposals to Alter Publication of Legal Notices

Mike Killian stands in the building that once housed the presses of the Meriden Record-Journal.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

As newspaper advertising revenue continues its slump across the country, publishers are trying to hold on to one line of stable cash: the printed legal notice. In Connecticut, municipal leaders are pushing for a change in state law that would allow them to save money and cut back on those notices. And newspapers are pushing back. 

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Immigration
6:27 am
Sat March 15, 2014

Hispanic Activists Vow To Keep Pressing White House Over Deportations

Demonstrators protest the Obama administration's deportation policies in Phoenix last year.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 4:52 pm

Five months before his 2012 re-election, President Obama announced that his administration would stop deportations of more than a half-million young adults, often referred to as "Dreamers," brought illegally to the U.S. as children.

Latinos subsequently turned out to vote in record numbers that fall. More than 70 percent marked their ballots for Obama — helping him win the popular vote and triumph in key battleground states.

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Prosecution
11:28 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Obama Nominates Daly as U.S. Attorney for Connecticut

Deirdre M. Daly.

President Barack Obama has nominated Deirdre M. Daly as United States Attorney for Connecticut. Obama said Daly has extensive legal experience and a commitment to public service.

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Ukraine
8:35 am
Fri March 14, 2014

No Breakthrough In Talks About Ukraine

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry before their talks Friday in London. Afterward, they reported no breakthroughs on finding a solution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Brendan Smialowski AP

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:11 pm

This post has been updated.

Update at 12:45 ET: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry came away from talks Friday in London saying they had not come any closer to an agreement about how to end the crisis in Ukraine.

Lavrov told reporters after the two men met that Russia intends to "respect the choice of the Crimean people" — who will vote Sunday on whether to join the Russian Federation. That was a sign that Russia may indeed move to annex the region if Crimeans indicate that's their wish.

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Incarceration
10:55 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Holder Backs Reduced Sentences For Some Drug Traffickers

Attorney General Eric Holder appearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, in January.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 3:40 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder is backing a proposal to shorten sentences for nonviolent drug dealers in an effort reduce federal spending on prisons.

Holder appeared before the United States Sentencing Commission on Thursday to announce his support of the panel's recommendations to trim federal guidelines for sentencing of drug traffickers to 51 months from 62 months.

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Budget Bills
10:45 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Barnes: Proposed State Tax Rebate Will Generate 1,000 Jobs

Benjamin Barnes before the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.
Credit CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy's proposal to give Connecticut taxpayers a modest rebate was up for discussion before the General Assembly's tax-writing committee on Thursday. Budget chief Benjamin Barnes said it could be a job generator in the state.

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Aging Connecticut
10:16 am
Thu March 13, 2014

State-Sponsored Retirement Plan Attracts Supporters, Critics

Credit StockMonkeys.com on Flickr Creative Commons

Legislators want to create a state-sponsored retirement plan for private sector workers in Connecticut. A bill before lawmakers would task the state treasurer with administering a low-cost plan that residents could pay into. 

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Code Switch
8:12 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color

An inmate walks through the yard at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, which recently switched to private management.
Ty Wright Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 10:03 am

A new study by a UC-Berkeley graduate student has surprised a number of experts in the criminology field. Its main finding: Private prisons are packed with young people of color.

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Legislative Session
4:25 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Malloy Wants to Ban Sale of E-Cigarettes to Minors

Governor Malloy speaks about the bill at the Trinity College Boys & Girls Club in Hartford.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. He said the makers of the devices may be trying to hook smokers while they're young. 

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Privacy
4:01 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Still Has Limited Access to Records

Dr. Hank Schwartz, member of Gov. Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week, The New Yorker published an article by Andrew Solomon featuring an extended interview with Peter Lanza, the father of Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza.

A member of Governor Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission said the interview does provide more information on the killer's medical and psychological background, but the commission has had limited access to other information while putting together its report.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed March 12, 2014

The Wheelhouse Talks FOI, Peter Lanza, and Daylight Saving Time

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse brings you news from the capitol and across the state.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's been a busy week in the news. In 2014 campaign news, the number of Republican candidates for governor went from six to five and then right back up to six. At the state capitol, lawmakers held two public hearings at the same time, both of which ironically had to do with Freedom of Information legislation.

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Code Switch
8:36 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Changing Demographics A Factor In Rhode Island's Gubernatorial Race

Two supporters of gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo walk past protesting union members outside a rally at which Raimondo announced her run for the Democratic nomination in Rhode Island in January.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 12:06 pm

Parades, social clubs and awards dinners are part of the routine of political campaigns everywhere. But if you're running to be Rhode Island's next governor, then there's one more stop you just can't miss.

Namely, the makeshift studios of Latino Public Radio, which is housed in a two-story, single-family home complete with a living room, dog and cat.

This local Spanish-language radio station based in Cranston, R.I., was co-founded almost a decade ago by Pablo Rodriguez.

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Congress
7:41 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Feinstein's CIA Outrage Splits Senate

Sen. Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA publicly and at length of hacking Senate computers to spy on Senate aides and remove documents.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 1:07 am

The Senate was a chamber divided in reaction to Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein's diatribe against the CIA for allegedly hacking into Senate computers.

A no-nonsense Feinstein, the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, took to the Senate floor Tuesday to speak at length and publicly for the first time about a dispute with the agency.

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