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Politics

Political news from WNPR

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A legal fight heated up last summer between state marshals and the Hartford Parking Authority. The question was whether the marshals could, by law, park their cars illegally while doing their jobs. That fight wound up in state court and the marshals lost. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families said she doesn’t believe her office would benefit from the oversight of an outside ombudsman. 

This week, President Obama announced what he called a permanent ban on offshore oil and gas drilling along areas of the Arctic and the Atlantic seaboard.

In 2014, the Obama administration issued a federal memo aiming to put an end to random deportations of people living illegally in the U.S. who aren't criminals. But a closer look finds that there are still cases where immigration authorities are ignoring these policies, including in Vermont.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State officials, community providers and youth advocates are continuing their work to reform juvenile justice in Connecticut. The latest efforts have been focused on a plan to close the state’s juvenile jail in Middletown.

This hour, Department of Children and Families Commissioner Joette Katz and Deputy Commissioner Fernando Muñiz join us in-studio to talk about the department’s plan to shutter the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and its other responsibilities as the state’s child welfare agency. 

President-elect Donald Trump is rounding out his White House team — installing several trusted campaign advisers to senior West Wing positions.

Kellyanne Conway will serve as counselor to the president, the transition team announced on Thursday. Sean Spicer will be press secretary, and Jason Miller has been named director of communications.

Next month, a mix of Syrian and Iraqi refugees will begin arriving in Rutland, Vermont. They’ll be the first of 100 that will be resettled there over the next year. Though there's been loud opposition to the plan in the aging, blue-collar city of 16,000, proponents remain optimistic — and many have been volunteering long hours to ensure the plan succeeds.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Dunkin' Donuts Park is on track to be completed for the Hartford Yard Goats home opener April 13, according to the insurance company charged with finishing the minor league baseball stadium.

jglazer75 / Creative Commons

The electoral college voted, and Donald Trump is still President-elect. But that big news paled in comparison to two terror attacks that posed direct threats to relations between European countries, Russia, Turkey and the conflict in Syria. 

Turkey and Russia have launched a joint investigation into the assassination of Russia's ambassador to Turkey at the opening of a photo exhibit in the capital, Ankara, on Monday.

The ambassador, Andrei Karlov, was gunned down as he gave a speech at an art gallery. Turkey has identified the attacker as Mevlut Mert Altintas, a 22-year-old riot police officer, who shouted to the crowd, "Don't forget Aleppo! Don't forget Syria!" He was killed by Turkish special forces at the scene.

It’s hard to avoid the hand-wringing about aging demographics in New England these days. The region's six states have the six lowest birth rates in the country. Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont have the oldest populations in the country, and Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts aren't far behind.

Photo courtesy of United Congregational Church-Bridgeport

A picturesque building that’s been the home of the United Congregational Church in Bridgeport -- for 91 years -- will soon be transformed into a mosque.

This hour, we learn the story behind the Bridgeport Islamic Community Center’s plans to purchase the UCC church and the strong interfaith partnership that will make the purchase possible. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

As expected, all seven of Connecticut's presidential electors cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton for president and Tim Kaine for vice president in a ceremony at the state Capitol on Monday.

Wikipedia

The Voice of ​America is a U.S.- funded and independent source of news that airs in societies that don't have a free press. Last week, Congress decided to shift oversight from an independent board to one person chosen by the president. President Obama embraced the shift from an unwieldy part-time advisory board to a professional CEO. Do we trust Donald Trump, a man who has threatened to change libel laws to better control the U.S. press, with this responsibility?

President Obama sees a role for himself in rebuilding the Democratic Party after he leaves office — coach.

DVIDSHUB / Creative Commons

Last year was a landmark year for the U.S. military and its servicemembers. For the first time, women were granted equal access to all military combat roles

At least 25 buses entered besieged neighborhoods to evacuate rebel fighters and civilians from eastern Aleppo Sunday, Syria's official news agency says — but that was before an attack on buses elsewhere put all movement on hold.

The setback comes after the evacuation effort was halted Friday after just one day, with all sides lobbing accusations at each other.

Since Donald Trump won the presidential election last month, his conflicts of interest have come into sharper focus.

Ethics experts say that to clearly separate his role as president from his role as businessman, he must sell off his holdings. Trump has so far rejected that recommendation, saying via Twitter that he intends to have his two oldest sons run the Trump Organization.

But those sons have been deeply engaged in the transition work of the incoming Trump administration.

MItya Aleshkovskiy / Creative Commons

President Barack Obama has vowed to respond to alleged cyber-hacking by Russia. Speaking on NPR, Obama said, "I think there is no doubt that when any foreign government tries to impact the integrity of our elections that we need to take action."

Meanwhile, a Russian political activist with ties to Connecticut has announced that he’ll run for president of Russia in the 2018 election.

President Obama said Friday he is leaving behind a more prosperous and safe country than the one he inherited from his predecessor.

"Almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than it was eight years ago," the president said at a White House news conference on Friday before the Obama family's departure to Hawaii for its annual holiday vacation.

Evacuations of embattled eastern Aleppo, which began Thursday after days of efforts to negotiate a cease-fire, have come to a halt.

Thousands of civilians and fighters have already been evacuated from the rebel-held enclave: Some 3,000 civilians were evacuated in the first few convoys, along with more than 40 wounded people, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Thursday.

The aid group anticipated it would take days to fully evacuate east Aleppo.

President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday he will nominate bankruptcy attorney David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel. Friedman, who has no prior diplomatic experience, is an outspoken supporter of Jewish settlement on the Israeli-occupied West Bank and has questioned the need for a Palestinian state.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Five hundred thirty-eight members of the Electoral College meet Monday in state capitols across the U.S. to cast their votes for the next president -- and Connecticut U.S. Congressman Jim Himes is calling on them to reject President-elect Donald Trump.

Lori Mack/WNPR

Community members, activists, and local leaders held a rally in New Haven Wednesday in support of Assistant Police Chief Luiz Casanova following his temporary suspension. 

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