Politics

Guns
12:59 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

Data Shows Origins of Guns Recovered in 2012

Credit Petesimon2 / Wikimedia Commons

Data collected by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and published by ProPublica provides a state-by-state look at the origin of guns recovered in 2012. 

The data shows that roughly one-third of the 155,000 firearms traced by U.S. officials that year came from sources located outside of the states in which they were found.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

The Second Amendment, Colt, and Tracing Guns

Emily Stanchfield Creative Commons

The Second Amendment is just 27 words long, but it has caused more debate than just about anything else in the Constitution. "It’s confusing and self-contradictory and we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what its clauses and commas mean," said Michael Waldman, author of the new book The Second Amendment: A Biography. We talk to him about the history and odd syntax of this Amendment and the debate over it that was renewed by the tragedy in Newtown.

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Middle East
7:20 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Iraq Battles Militants For Key Oil Refinery In Beiji

Iraqi army soldiers parade during a recruiting drive for men to volunteer for military service in Baghdad on Thursday. The country's leaders are urging Iraqis to help battle insurgents who have mounted an aggressive campaign in the north.
Karim Kadim AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 8:54 am

In an attempt to stop the juggernaut advance of the Sunni extremist group ISIS, Iraq's central government says the fight for the country's largest oil refinery is far from over. A military official says 40 militants have been killed.

"Iraqi government officials say an elite special operations force is holding off ISIS militants at the Beiji refinery 160 miles north of the capital," NPR's Deborah Amos reports from Erbil. "But local police report ISIS is tightening a grip on the facility."

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Election 2014
3:39 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Boughton Drops Out of Race for Governor

Mark Boughton during a visit to WNPR (file photo).
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton announced on Wednesday that he is dropping out of the race for Connecticut governor. Instead, he's supporting endorsed Republican candidate Tom Foley.

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World
12:09 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

What's Next For Iraq?

A woman and a girl wash at a camp in Kalak set up for those fleeing the fighting in northern Iraq. The escalating conflict has sent shock waves across the region and is further destabilizing the Middle East.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 9:40 pm

This post was updated at 9:40 p.m. ET to reflect the Obama administration's pressure on the Iraqi government.

A week ago, it would have been difficult to find anyone in the U.S. arguing for renewed U.S. military action in Iraq. Now there's a furious debate about what the U.S. should, or shouldn't, do in the latest Iraqi crisis.

The drama seemed to erupt out of nowhere as Islamist extremists captured Mosul, one of the country's largest and most important cities, and kept pushing south toward the capital Baghdad.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed June 18, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Endorsements and Debates in Our Two-Party System

Tom Foley addresses the CT AFL-CIO convention delegates.
Credit Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

This week, the endorsed Democratic and Republican candidates for governor addressed the AFL-CIO political convention. Not surprisingly, incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy won the union's endorsement. Notably absent from the convention was new third-party candidate Jonathan Pelto, who said he asked to address the candidates, but was ignored.

This hour, on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we take a look at the role of labor unions in Connecticut politics.

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Iraq
7:42 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

What, Exactly, Are U.S. Interests In Iraq's Turmoil?

Iraqi Shiite tribesmen show their enthusiasm Tuesday for joining Iraqi security forces in the fight against Islamist militants who have taken over several northern Iraqi cities.
Haidar Hamdani AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:33 pm

As the U.S. steers warships closer to Iraq and beefs up its embassy's security in Baghdad with nearly 300 troops, a nagging question has resurfaced.

What compelling interests does Washington still have in a nation where all U.S. forces were pulled out 2 1/2 years ago?

Three days after Sunni militants calling themselves the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, President Obama paused on the White House lawn and issued a warning.

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WAMC News
7:40 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Springfield Budget For New Fiscal Year Approved Without Cuts

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno's recommended budget was approved by a unanimous vote of the Springfield City Council

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:34 pm

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts has a budget in place for the fiscal year that begins July 1st.  The city’s elected officials are in agreement that following years of recession-forced spending cuts, the budget for fiscal year 2015 moves the city forward.

The $581.9 million budget recommended by Mayor Domenic Sarno was adopted by the Springfield City Council Monday night by an 11-0 vote with two councilors absent.  The vote wrapped up the least contentious budget season in the state’s third- largest city in recent years.

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Hartford Or Bust?
10:09 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Springfield Says There Were No Talks With Rock Cats

Springfield City Hall in Massachusetts.
Credit Jeremy Goldstein / Creative Commons

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra and his people have said that their negotiations to move the minor league New Britain Rock Cats to Hartford had to be confidential, because speaking about them publicly could have risked the whole thing and pushed the team out of state.

Several news reports -- some citing anonymous city officials and sources, others citing speculation and rumors -- suggested that Springfield, Massachusetts was a serious contender.  

Not so, says Springfield. 

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Iraq
8:03 am
Tue June 17, 2014

ISIS Rebels Drive Closer To Baghdad; U.S. Considers Options

Displaced Iraqi children line up with their mothers Tuesday to register at a temporary camp for people fleeing violence in northern Iraq.
Karim Sahib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:35 am

The extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is tightening control of Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, attacking the strategic city of Baqouba, less than 40 miles from Baghdad. The U.S. is sending up to 275 military personnel to bolster its embassy in the capital; President Obama is also reportedly weighing airstrikes.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Iraq War Veterans Reflect on New Crisis

U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter flies over Baghdad, Iraq on June 15, 2007.
Tech. Sgt. Rick Sforza The U.S. Army

Throughout the U.S. occupation of Iraq, there was concern about what would happen to the country when combat forces left. Over the last year, militant extremists have slowly taken over the country and now President Barack Obama is weighing his options. "We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraqi security forces," Obama said on Friday.

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Gun Control
9:08 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Gun Control Activists March Across The Brooklyn Bridge Demanding Action

Demonstrators raise posters as they march across the Brooklyn Bridge to call for tougher gun control laws on Saturday in New York.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 1:56 pm

Hundreds of activists marched across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday, demanding reforms to the country's gun policies.

The march was organized by two groups — Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Everytown for Gun Safety — after a series of news-making mass shootings.

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Middle East
12:50 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Obama Rules Out Troops In Iraq But Says U.S. Is Weighing Other Options

President Obama ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq, saying any U.S. action must be accompanied by Iraqi political action.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 2:28 pm

Updated at 12:46 p.m. ET

President Obama has ruled out the use of ground troops in Iraq, saying any action will be "targeted and precise" but must be accompanied by political action by Iraqis to end sectarian divisions.

"We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq, but I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraq's security forces," Obama said from the south lawn of the White House.

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Second Amendment
11:02 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Tom Foley Opposes New Gun Control Laws, But Doesn't Offer Specifics

After the Newtown school shootings, the Connecticut legislature passed stricter gun control laws.
Credit R0Ng (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Republican candidate for governor Tom Foley said the legislative response to the Newtown school shootings didn't address the underlying problems, but he doesn't think the new gun control laws will be repealed.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Is Congestion Pricing in Connecticut's Future?

Tom Condon.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Toll booths have lots of bad connotations in the Northeast, and not just because of a the tragic accident in Connecticut nearly 30 years ago, which forced the closing of the toll booth.

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Rock Cats
4:24 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

City Council May Not Have Final Vote On Hartford Ballpark

Credit City of Hartford

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has called his plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." He's celebrated the plan as both good for Hartford's pride and for its pocketbook.

The city council doesn't necessarily have the final vote, however -- and not everyone likes it. 

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Vermont Public Radio
12:35 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

New England Governors To Hold Drug Summit

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 12:19 pm

For the first time ever, New England's governors will hold a summit to develop common strategies to deal with the region’s growing opiate addiction problem.  

In the last six months, Vermont’s growing opiate problem has received a lot of national attention but it turns out that most of the other New England states are also experiencing similar situations.

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Governor's Race
9:50 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Foley Reacts to Pelto's Announcement; Agrees on Education and "Corporate Welfare"

Tom Foley
Chion Wolf WNPR

Tom Foley, Republican candidate for Connecticut governor, said on WNPR's Where We Live that he agrees with third-party candidate Jonathan Pelto on education policy and his approach to corporate welfare, and doesn't see a threat from him in the upcoming election.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: Tom Foley

Tom Foley.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last month at the Republican convention, Tom Foley won his party’s endorsement. Recent Quinnipiac University polls show him neck-and-neck with Governor Dannel Malloy in a rematch of their contest four years ago.

This hour, Foley joins us for our Where We Vote series, and we take your questions.

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2014 Election
8:20 am
Thu June 12, 2014

He's In: Jonathan Pelto Enters the Race for Governor

Jonathan Pelto on WNPR's Where We Live.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former state legislator Jonathan Pelto is officially entering the race for governor as a third party candidate. Pelto is converting his exploratory committee into a candidate committee.

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World
7:40 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Obama: Options Open For Response To Militant Gains In Iraq

ISIS militants at al-Sharqat base north of Tikrit, Iraq. The al-Qaida-linked group has captured Mosul as well as Tikrit. This image came from a video posted by IraqiRevolution, a group that supports ISIS.
AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 7:53 pm

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

The violence in Iraq has intensified today, with al-Qaida-linked Sunni militants moving into areas close to Baghdad after capturing the cities of Mosul and Tikrit.

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Immigration
9:55 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Cantor's Loss In Va. Is Immigration Issue's Death Knell. Or Not.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss in his district's primary is seen by many as the end of a chance at immigration overhaul any time soon.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 11:04 am

As the smoke clears from the wreckage of the Republican establishment's monumental loss in the Virginia congressional primary, it appears that hopes of immigration overhaul have been snuffed out.

Economic professor Dave Brat, who beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Tuesday, made immigration policy a major part of his argument against Cantor.

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Song of Solomon
3:14 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Papa Solomon Visits Hartford

Art Solomon "wrote the book" on owning minor league teams.

The New Britain Rock Cats are owned by Double Play LLC, which consists of Josh Solomon, his brother Jim, and their sister Jennifer Goorno. When that group bought the team, they insisted they were utterly separate from DSF Sports and Entertainment, which is owned by their father, Art Solomon.

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Development Deals
2:10 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

City Explains Hartford's Secrecy Around Proposed Stadium

Hartford City Hall.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

For the better part of a year and half, Hartford city officials negotiated a plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city behind closed doors, saying the deal needed that kind of confidentiality, lest it fall apart. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:33 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Young Black Men Pay a Hefty Price

David Canton is an associate professor of History at Connecticut College
Chion Wolf

President Obama announced a five-year, $200 million initiative to help young black men succeed. It's called "My Brother's Keeper," and aims to work with non-profits and foundations to search for solutions to the  problems of young black men. Leaders cite school and job readiness, discipline, and parenting as a few of the problems they'll tackle, but it's  mostly the bone-crushing poverty and low expectations that hold them back. 

This well-intended initiative put forth to help young black men succeed will  help a few beat the odds at the expense of the masses. The success feels good but may not change much.

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Playing Ball
9:53 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Hartford State Senator Opposes New Rock Cats Stadium

A rendering of a proposed Rock Cats stadium in Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

Earlier this week, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra called the plan to move the New Britain Rock Cats to the capital city a "done deal." 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed June 11, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Public Policy in the Dark; Metro-North Problems; and Resolution in East Haven

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra announces the deal to bring baseball to town.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford’s “done deal” on minor league baseball once again has our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse thinking about the process behind government decisions. The plan to bring the New Britain Rock Cats' franchise to town was months in the making behind closed doors. 

We also check in on East Haven where a racial discrimination settlement was reached, closing another chapter in the painful history of the town. A very old bridge is creating new problems for Metro-North commuters down the shoreline too and officials are pointing fingers.

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Genetic Modification
8:46 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Will Vermont Be Able To Defend Its GMO Labeling Law On Donations Alone?

A fund to help Vermont fight lawsuits from national food corporations has raised just over $15,000 -- a small portion of the $1 million to $5 million that the state would pay in the event of a suit.
michaelquirk Thinkstock

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 8:34 am

Vermont’s effort to require labels on foods made with genetically modified ingredients has garnered lots of out-of-state attention – and cash.

According to data from the Agency of Administration, money from out-of-state donors makes up the majority of the state’s "Food Fight Fund," the holding account for money that will ultimately help the state defend the law in court.

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Virginia
8:38 am
Wed June 11, 2014

'Stunning': Reactions To Eric Cantor's Election Loss In Virginia

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., left, and Dave Brat react after the polls closed Tuesday. Brat defeated Cantor in the Republican primary, a result that shocked many political analysts.
AP

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 10:00 am

"Dollars don't vote — you do." And with that statement to his supporters, college professor Dave Brat ousted seven-term Rep. Eric Cantor in their primary battle Tuesday night. The loss by the No. 2 House Republican shocked many political analysts and the congressman himself.

"It's disappointing, sure," Cantor told supporters after the results came in. "But I believe in this country. I believe there's opportunity around the next corner for all of us."

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Governor's Race
1:08 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Mark Boughton and Mark Lauretti Face Ballot Signature Deadline

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti.
Credit City of Shelton

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti faced a looming deadline Tuesday to submit thousands of signatures from registered Republicans in order to appear as a lieutenant governor candidate on the GOP primary ballot.

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