Politics

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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Texas
8:33 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Rick Perry's Legal Trouble: The Line Between Influence And Coercion

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked on August 19 in Austin. Perry is charged with abuse of office and coercing a public official.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Sat August 30, 2014 12:33 pm

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

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Ukraine/Russia Conflict
2:05 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

White House Says "Continuation," Murphy Says "War"

Sen. Chris Murphy on WNPR's Where We Live in December, 2013.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia continues to escalate, Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Murphy wants to call it what it is: a war.

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Europe
11:43 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Britain Raises Terror Alert Level, But Cites No Specific Threat

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron speaks at a news conference in London on Friday after the U.K. raised its terror alert level.
Paul Hackett PA Photos/Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:07 pm

British Prime Minister David Cameron is warning that the threat to the U.K. from international terrorism is "greater and deeper" than ever before, as London raised its terror warning level in response to what it said were plans by the Islamic State and other extremist groups to attack the West.

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Rethinking Poverty
8:42 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Rep. Ryan Calls For 'Culture Of Inclusion' To Tackle Poverty

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan speaks during a news conference at the Union League Club of Chicago on Aug. 21.
John Gress Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 8:00 am

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, used to have a habit of describing the American people in two categories. There were the "makers" — people paying taxes — and the "takers" — people getting government benefits.

Today, the Wisconsin Republican says he was wrong, and that the country needs to overhaul how it thinks about poverty. In his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, he offers ways to redirect federal spending to fighting poverty.

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Assault Weapons
8:14 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Connecticut Law: Failure to Register Weapons a Misdemeanor, Not a Felony

Credit Brian nairB / Creative Commons

Connecticut's new gun control law says gun owners who failed to register their now-banned assault weapons by a January deadline face a misdemeanor charge, not a felony as described by Republican governor candidate Tom Foley in Wednesday night's debate. 

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Ukraine
7:53 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Ukrainian Prime Minister Says Government Will Seek NATO Membership

A pro-Russian rebel walks in a passage at a local market damaged by shelling in Petrovskiy district in the eastern Ukrainian town of Donetsk.
Mstislav Chernov AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 1:17 pm

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk says his government has sent parliament a bill that allows Ukraine to open a path toward membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

"The main and only goal of Ukraine's foreign policy is to join the European Union," Yatsenyuk said in a statement.

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White House
8:29 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

'We Don't Have A Strategy Yet' On Islamic State, Obama Says

President Obama said Thursday at the White House that the U.S. doesn't yet have a strategy on how to deal with the Islamic State militant group.
Michael Reynolds EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 7:02 pm

President Obama says the U.S. doesn't "have a strategy yet" on how to deal with Islamic State militants who now control vast swaths of territory across Iraq and Syria, but he added that the militant group was continuing to lose arms and equipment because of targeted U.S. strikes against its members in Iraq.

"I don't want to put the cart before the horse," Obama said at a White House news conference Thursday. "We don't have a strategy yet."

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Ukraine
5:13 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Obama Blames Russia For Violence In Ukraine; Calls Moves 'Incursion'

President Obama said at a White House news conference Thursday that Russia is to blame for the violence in eastern Ukraine.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 10:26 am

Updated at 4:47 p.m.

President Obama blamed Russia for the violence in Ukraine and said its "incursion" into the former Soviet state will only carry additional costs.

"Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see," Obama said at a White House news conference on Thursday.

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