Politics

Food Stamps
7:12 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

House Votes To Slash $40 Billion From Food Stamp Program

A woman and her daughter shop for groceries in New York City's Union Square using electronic benefits transfer (EBT), more commonly known as food stamps, on Wednesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

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.

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Storified Radio
5:02 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Statewide Reaction To Tom Foley's Appearance on "Where We Live"

Tom Foley on WNPR's "Where We Live."
Chion Wolf WNPR

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.

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Coming Home Project
3:19 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Meeting the Legal Needs of Veterans

Margaret Middleton is the Executive Director of the Connecticut Veterans Legal Center.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

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.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
1:14 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Weighing Sentences; Making Lists; Taking Names

Joshua Nassi after his sentencing in Hartford on Thursday.
Credit The Connecticut Mirror

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.

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Live Blog
8:59 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Tom Foley Live on Where We Live

Tom Foley is considering a run for governor, and joins us in studio.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

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."

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Gun Policy
8:26 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Newtown Families Return to Washington, D.C. to Advocate for Gun Control

Po Murray speaks on behalf of the Newtown Action Alliance at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
Credit Ana Radelat / The Connecticut Mirror

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.

Carlos Soto’s sister Vicky died in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. He said even if it's hard to change minds in the Senate, he’ll continue to lobby lawmakers. "Most of the senators that we haven't met with," he said, "refuse to meet with us. They refuse because they know that their conscience will take over."

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Food Stamps
6:47 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Fight Over Food Stamps Reveals Sharp Differences in Congress

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro opposes shrinking the federal food stamp program.
Credit Ana Radelat / The Connecticut Mirror

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.

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Syria
7:41 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Assad: Syria Is Committed To 'Full Requirements' Of Agreement

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 7:56 pm

"We are committed to the full requirements of this agreement."

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Economy
6:12 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The Fed's Surprising Decision: Should You Cheer Or Boo?

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.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

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.

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Nonreligion
5:13 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Atheists Start PAC To Elect Nonreligious Candidates

Bishop McNeil, who isn't a cleric despite his name, speaks to reporters Wednesday at a news conference to introduce the Freethought Equality Fund PAC.
Frank James NPR

Americans who count themselves among the "nones" — as in atheists, agnostics or those of no definite religious affiliation — have launched a new political action committee.

The goal? To support the election of like-minded lawmakers or, at a minimum, candidates committed to upholding the constitutional separation between church and state.

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Iran
3:44 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Iran Frees Political Prisoners

Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh smiles at her house in Tehran on Wednesday, after being freed from prison.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 5:17 pm

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh was among several political prisoners released by Tehran on Wednesday, just days ahead of a visit by Iran's newly elected moderate president to the United Nations in New York.

Sotoudeh, who had been held since 2010, was one of eight women and three men released, according to the BBC. Reformist politician Mohsen Aminzadeh was also among the prisoners freed.

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Where We Live
2:51 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Tom Foley: Swinging Out of the Gate

Tom Foley returns to WNPR's studios for Where We Live.
Chion Wolf WNPR

In this hour of Where We Live, we follow up with Tom Foley, who announced last week that he was exploring another run for governor. He joins us in studio to talk about his decision to possibly run against Governor Dannel Malloy again, and about some recent comments he made about ethics at the state Capitol.

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Names
1:40 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Judge: Boy In Tennessee Can Keep Name 'Messiah'

Originally published on Wed September 18, 2013 3:34 pm

A judge has ruled that a Tennessee woman can name her 8-month-old son "Messiah" — a decision that overturns a ruling last month that drew international attention to the boy.

In a paternity hearing in August, Jaleesa Martin and Jawaan McCullough brought a dispute over their son's surname. Martin had given her son the name Messiah Deshawn Martin, but McCullough wanted the boy to have his last name.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
1:38 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Reform Rejected; Gang Leader Turns Editor; Borrowing Encouraged

Paul Vallas in 2008, when he served the New Orleans school district.
Credit Manny Broussard / FEMA

As the fall leaves begin to turn in Connecticut, we're thinking today at The Wheelhouse Digest about a few other things turning a corner as well. Efforts toward school reform in Bridgeport were pushed back last week. A former Latin Kings member in New Haven found a way to transform herself and her work. And everything will be turning up jobs if we just borrow some more, according to a new report. Here's a taste of the news you need to know now.

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Where We Live
10:42 am
Wed September 18, 2013

The Messy World of Politics

Republican Tom Foley appeared on WFSB's Face the State last weekend with Dennis House.
WFSB screenshot

The race for governor is already heating up, more than a year before the 2014 election. Who’s providing the heat? It’s Republican Tom Foley, who’s kicking off his campaign for Governor Malloy’s job by throwing out some accusations and getting some accusations thrown his way. Seems like a job for our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse

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Demographics
8:09 am
Wed September 18, 2013

More Old People, Fewer Workers: Nations Look To Immigration

A man relaxes at a downtown park in Seoul. The pronounced demographic shift triggered by a plummeting birth rate and soaring life expectancy is seen as one of the greatest challenges facing Asia's fourth-largest economy.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 5:43 pm

A story in the Financial Times caught our eye this week. It was on foreign workers in South Korea.

The story looked at the town of Ansan, where about 7.6 percent of the population is foreign. They come from other Asian countries, as well as from Russia. Here's one of the reasons for the change in South Korea, a highly homogeneous society:

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7:08 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Foley: "I didn't ask for hard evidence."

Lead in text: 
Every day there's a new bit of drama surrounding likely GOP candidate for governor Tom Foley. In an interview with Mark Pazniokas of The Connecticut Mirror, Foley backtracks on allegations of impropriety he leveled at Governor Malloy. Paz and Dennis House of WFSB join Where We Live in The Wheelhouse for more on this story today at 9am.
Republican Tom Foley conceded Tuesday he has no idea what evidence, if any, supports his suspicion that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy accepted money as a candidate from the man he later appointed commissioner of environmental protection, Daniel C. Esty. "It's possible it's not true," Foley said. "I believe it's true."
Diplomacy
2:29 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Brazilian Leader Postpones State Visit Over Spying Concerns

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends the first working meeting of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 7:16 pm

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday that she would not travel to the United States for a state visit on Oct. 23.

It is the first concrete diplomatic consequence of the revelations made by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who revealed widespread spying by the U.S. government on foreigners.

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New Haven
1:01 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

New Haven Native Nominated for Posthumous Congressional Gold Medal

Constance Baker Motley in 1988.
Credit Columbia Law School

Constance Baker Motley, a New Haven native, has been nominated for a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal. Motley was born in 1921 to a family that emigrated to New Haven from the West Indies. She was a pioneer as a civil rights lawyer, lawmaker and judge.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:06 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Malloy Rebuts; Six Eyes at Mohegan; New Rooftop Turf

Malloy talks with reporters on Monday.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The week started off pretty rough with yesterday's news of a horrific shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Here's a dose of daily news you need to know now that does not involve violence... maybe just a little mud in the eye. 

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Immigration Policy
3:41 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Connecticut Leads the Way on Immigration TRUST Act as California Considers It

The Islas family in New Haven
Unidad Latina En Acción

Immigrant advocates are waiting to see whether California Governor Jerry Brown will sign the TRUST Act into law. The bill would prevent police from holding undocumented residents for immigration officials if they haven't committed serious crimes.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Summers Pulls Out Of Running To Be Federal Reserve Chief

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Citing what he calls an "acrimonious" confirmation process, Lawrence Summers called President Obama to tell him of his decision not to seek the job of Federal Reserve Chairman Sunday.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 11:01 am

Larry Summers has removed his name from the running to be the next chairman of the Federal Reserve. The former Treasury secretary informed President Obama of his decision in a phone call Sunday. The withdrawal was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

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Race for Governor
2:12 pm
Sun September 15, 2013

Foley Accuses Malloy of "Improper Behavior"

Tom Foley announces he is exploring a run for governor in 2014.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Republican Tom Foley is exploring a run for governor and he's already on the offensive against Governor Dannel Malloy.

When he announced on Tuesday that he was exploring a run for governor, Foley accused Malloy of improperly giving state business to friends who did him favors. He declined to give any examples.

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Race
7:48 am
Sun September 15, 2013

50 Years After The Bombing, Birmingham Still Subtly Divided

Investigators work outside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., following an explosion that killed four young girls. Three Ku Klux Klansmen were convicted in the bombing years later.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:18 pm

Fifty years ago Sunday, a Ku Klux Klan bomb at a Baptist church in Birmingham, Ala., killed four black girls and sent shock waves throughout the country.

In Birmingham, the tragedy laid bare a deep rift.

Carolyn McKinstry, standing on the sidewalk outside 16th Street Baptist Church, remembers arriving for worship 50 years ago.

"It was Youth Day," she says. "We were excited because that meant we got to do everything. We sang, we ushered, we did everything."

Some of her Sunday school classmates had gone to the ladies' room to freshen up.

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Syria
8:37 am
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S. And Russia Form A Plan On Syria's Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons arsenal from Geneva on Saturday.
Larry Downing AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 1:06 pm

Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart have reached a deal that calls for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons. The plan, which Kerry announced in a news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Geneva on Saturday, gives Syria a week to detail its chemical arsenal.

"The world will now expect the Assad regime to live up to its public commitments," Kerry said. "And as I said at the outset of these negotiations, there can be no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance by the Assad regime."

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Syria
6:31 am
Sat September 14, 2013

U.S., Russia Reach Deal On Syrian Chemical Weapons

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, his back to camera, and senior aides talk outside at a Geneva hotel Saturday before announcing an agreement on securing Syrian chemical weapons.
Larry Downing AP

Originally published on Sat September 14, 2013 7:15 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday they have reached an agreement on a framework for Syria to destroy all of its chemical weapons, and raised the specter of a potential U.N. Security Council resolution that could authorize sanctions — even military action — if President Bashar Assad's government fails to comply.

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Politics
6:33 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Congress Searches For A Shutdown-Free Future

House Speaker John Boehner tried to sound optimistic Thursday that his Republican conference would find a way to avoid a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

There's a lot of searching on Capitol Hill but no discovery yet of a way to avoid a federal government shutdown at the start of next month.

Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are searching for enough House GOP votes for a spending bill that could pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate and keep the government open past Sept. 30.

Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers are searching for a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the help of the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama.

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Syria
7:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Russian Plan 'Is Just A Lie,' Syrian Rebel General Says

A Free Syrian Army fighter in eastern Syria on Wednesday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:13 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Free Syrian Army Gen. Salim Idris

As Secretary of State John Kerry was preparing to sit down with his Russian counterpart Thursday to discuss whether the Assad regime's chemical weapons can be handed over to international monitors, the commander of the rebel Free Syrian Army was telling NPR that "the Russian initiative is just a lie."

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Where We Live
11:09 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Twists and Turns of Syria

President Obama speaks to his cabinet about the situation in Syria.
Pete Souza (White House)

It’s been an amazing few days in the life of the Syrian crisis. On Monday morning, we heard Bashar al-Assad address his country’s chemical weapons in an interview with Charlie Rose. "We don't discuss this issue in public because we never said that we have it," said Assad. "And we never said that we don't have it. It's a Syrian issue. It's a military issue. We never discussed it in public with anyone." 

Last night, during a speech to the nation, President Barack Obama laid out his case for military intervention in Syria: "If we fail to act," he said, "the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them."

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Race for Governor
10:53 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Voter Fraud Or No Voter Fraud In 2010?

Tom Foley concedes the 2010 election for governor.
Credit WNPR

When he conceded the gubernatorial election in 2010, Republican Tom Foley said there was "no credible evidence" of voter fraud

Now, Foley says he's exploring a run in 2014.  And, looking back, the Republican says that while there was no evidence of fraud in 2010, he's convinced the system is full of it.  Fraud, that is.  Without it, he says he would have won. 

That got a rise of out Malloy's former advisor, Roy Occhiogrosso, on Twitter.

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