Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:51 pm
In his yearly report (pdf) to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the country's spy chief says one of the top threats facing the United States is the unauthorized leak of classified information.
In his threat assessment report, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, listed "insider threats," alongside cyber attacks and terrorism.
On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama gave a speech that did what it was supposed to: uplift his supporters and enrage his opponents. On WNPR's weekly news roundtable, our panel of analysts and reporters react to the State of the Union address both nationally and here in Connecticut.
Also, Republican candidate for governor Mark Boughton surprised longtime political observers with his announcement of a running mate. It wasn't what he did that was a surprise, but when he did it. Finally, we remember folk legend and American icon Pete Seeger who died this week.
After a long spell of partisan trench warfare and gridlock, President Obama called for "a year of action" Tuesday as he focused on themes that are central to his second-term agenda. The changes he proposed in his annual State of the Union speech were relatively modest, but flashes of ambition showed in his promise to move forward, with or without Congress, to address issues of income inequality.
Here's what President Obama proposed on the policy front:
A woman bundled against the cold walks past the U.S. Capitol dome prior to President Obama's State of the Union address before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
Credit Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., sits during a rehearsal of the Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address at the Capitol. According to excerpts of her speech released by her office, she will emphasize that Republicans advocate for smaller government and an empowered American public.
Credit Joshua Roberts / Reuters/Landov
President Obama walks along the colonnade of the White House earlier on Tuesday.
Credit Kristoffer Tripplaar/Pool / Getty Images
Biden and Boehner shake hands.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
Korie Robertson (left) and Willie Robertson of the television show <em>Duck Dynasty</em> pose for a picture with Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Credit Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images
First lady Michelle Obama waves as she arrives.
Credit Charles Dharapak / AP
Obama is greeted by lawmakers as he arrives to give his address.
Credit J. Scott Applewhite / AP
With Vice President Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, seated behind him, Obama called on Congress to pass immigration reform.
Credit Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images
President Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. Obama discussed a range of topics including education, income inequality, climate change and immigration reform.
Credit Larry Downing/Pool / Getty Images
"Together with our allies, we will complete our mission there by the end of this year, and America's longest war will finally be over," Obama said about the war in Afghanistan.
Credit Susan Walsh / AP
Army Ranger Cory Remsburg, who was wounded in Afghanistan, gives the thumbs up as Obama speaks about him in the final portion of the address.
Credit Jewel Samad / AFP/Getty Images
Television lighting technicians build sets inside Statuary Hall for post-speech interviews.
Last year, The Pew Charitable Trusts studied fiscal data from the 50 states to see how each could survive on its respective reserve fund. The results were diverse, depending largely on each state’s population and resources.
For Connecticut, the study’s outcome did not look promising. New England’s Constitution State was found to have one of the lowest-ranking reserve funds in the nation. Alaska, on the other hand, came out on top. But why?
An undocumented immigrant who recently graduated from the University of Connecticut will attend President Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. He's Lucas Codognolla, lead organizer of Connecticut Students for a Dream, which advocates for immigration reform and education equity for undocumented students.
Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 2:35 pm
As President Obama prepares to deliver his State of the Union speech Tuesday evening, he does it against a backdrop of some of the lowest voter-approval ratings of his presidency, with a divided Congress that has largely stalled his second-term agenda and with Washington's collective focus starting to shift toward the midterm elections and beyond.
Here are five things to expect from the president in his fifth State of the Union speech:
Last year, The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed the fiscal data for all 50 states. They used several markers to rank the states, including the amount of money in reserve funds, sometimes known as rainy day funds. Connecticut’s rainy day fund is among the lowest in the nation. The highest? Alaska.
This hour, we find out how states like Alaska got so far ahead, while Connecticut fell so far behind.
An emergency responder and volunteers, including Carlos Arredondo, in the cowboy hat, push Jeff Bauman in a wheelchair after he was injured in one of two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
A federal grand jury is looking into the business dealings of Hartford insurance broker Earl O'Garro. And from the beginning, what raised eyebrows was the relationship between O'Garro and city Treasurer Adam Cloud -- O'Garro did business with Cloud's family.
Now, there's another development. A woman who was a paid campaign consultant for Cloud's 2011 campaign also got a job with Hybrid.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 6:17 pm
The lone applicant for the western Massachusetts casino license pitched the project to state gaming industry regulators today. The 90-minute public presentation marked the beginning of an evaluation process that is expected to culminate with the awarding of a casino license in the spring.
Shortly after protests began in Ukraine, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy flew to Kiev and met with the anti-government demonstrators.
"The protesters are down there because they’re sick of seeing a government that too often resorts to violence, that has become endemic with corruption and is moving toward Russia instead of towards the European Union," said Murphy.
We hear more from Murphy about the recent, violent developments in the Kiev protests.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 8:24 pm
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has less than 24 hours to agree to hold early elections and lift anti-protest laws or the tens of thousands of demonstrators who have been in the streets of Kiev for days will go "on the attack," a leader of the opposition says.
One in five women: that's the number of women who have been sexually assaulted in college, according to a new White House report. As NPR's Tamara Keith tells us, today, President Obama formally set up a task force that's charged with protecting students.
TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: President Obama made it clear that preventing sexual assault is personal for him.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is a priority for me not only as president and commander in chief but as a husband and a father of two extraordinary girls.
If this snowstorm means a snow day, catch up on all the week's political news you may have missed. WNPR's weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will talk about the smoke-filled rooms of one political party and the mud slinging of another. Also, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it won't hear the appeal involving former governor and current radio talk show host John Rowland. It was a decision that didn't even surprise Rowland.
What stories are you catching up on during this snowstorm?
A man runs with a child after an attack Tuesday in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. Activists said President Bashar Assad's military carried out an airstrike.
Credit Ammar Abdullah / Reuters/Landov
Secretary of State John Kerry (left) meets Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Montreux, Switzerland, on Tuesday, a day before the start of a major Syrian peace conference that 40 countries will attend.
Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 9:34 am
With a major push from the U.S., a new Syrian peace conference opened Wednesday in Switzerland, the first such effort since the middle of 2012. It wasn't easy getting everyone there, and it will be harder still to achieve a breakthrough.
Here are a few key things to know about the conference:
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided against review a lower court decision that involves former Governor John Rowland and state unions.
"In a statement, Rowland and his former budget director Marc Ryan said this: It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court is not taking this case. It will have a profound impact on Governors, Mayors, Boards of Education and taxpayers all across America."
The Connecticut Mirror has more.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear former Gov. John G. Rowland's appeal regarding a ruling that his administration used layoffs to punish state employee unions in 2003. The case now heads back to U.S. District Court in Hartford, where Rowland will file a motion to dismiss the case, according to a written statement released Monday through his attorney.