Political news from WNPR

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Bob Woodward thought he knew everything about Watergate. Then Alexander Butterfield, now in his late 80's, told him there were other stories never spoken of. Woodward focuses on these stories in his latest book on the Watergate scandal called The Last of the President's Men. This hour, we hear from the legendary Washington Post journalist.

Also, the Wesleyan Argus faces an uncertain financial future. In September, the paper published an op-ed criticizing the "Black Lives Matter" movement. The backlash now threatens funding for The Argus next year.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford's development director has resigned amid an investigation into allegations the city was overbilled on a project to redevelop a soccer stadium. 

This weekend in Hopkinton, several hundred conservatives took part in something new for this state: a caucus. The group behind the event wants grassroots activists to play a larger role in choosing the Republican nominee in 2016.

Today marks 90 days since the United Nations Security Council endorsed the landmark nuclear accord agreed between Iran and six world powers (the U.S., Britain, France, Germany China and Russia.)

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will unfold in a series of steps that include nuclear cutbacks made by Iran and sanctions relief offered by the other countries. The phase that begins now is of special interest to nuclear non-proliferation experts.

Donald Trump and Jeb Bush were at it again.

Trump upped the ante in criticizing Jeb Bush by slamming his brother George W.'s presidency and at least partially blaming the elder Bush brother for Sept. 11.

"When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time," he told Bloomberg. When the questioner said he couldn't blame Bush for terrorist attacks, Trump responded this way: "He was president, OK? ... Blame him, or don't blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign."

Lance Mercier knows his job gets harder when a co-worker goes out on leave. But he recently also learned that raising a newborn involves, as he puts it, an "insurmountable" amount of work.

The 39-year-old bank manager from Silver Spring, Md., is currently on leave from work taking care of his newborn son with his wife, Luz.

"As a manager who has had a lot of people go out on leave of absence, it absolutely sucks when they go out on leave," he said. "This puts everything back into perspective for me."

In this presidential campaign, political outsiders are outshining experienced politicians.

To succeed with the conservative Republican base in the early-voting state of Iowa, Ted Cruz will need to win over supporters of both outsiders and insiders vying for the nomination.

At a restaurant in the Mississippi River town of Keokuk, Iowa, this week, the Texas senator addressed a full room over a loudspeaker.

"God bless the great state of Iowa," Cruz said. "I spent most of last week in Washington, D.C., so it is great to be back in America."

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The city of Hartford violated state public records laws when it refused to release executed contracts related to its new minor league baseball stadium, according to a ruling this week by the state’s Freedom of Information Commission. 

Every four years, as interest in New Hampshire’s presidential primary rises, two UNH political scientists find their services in high demand. Now, the professors are preparing to offer their insights to the general public through a new online course.

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A new memoir from British Middle East expert Emma Sky provides an insider’s account of the Iraq war. This hour, we talk to Sky about her book called The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.

Charlie Smart / WHUS

Former President Bill Clinton spoke to a crowd at the University of Connecticut on Thursday. He was a co-recipient of the the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights.

Secretary of State John Kerry stepped before a packed auditorium Thursday. He was at Indiana University for the opening of a school of international studies.

"I have managed to completely forget that when running for president in 2004, I was crushed in Indiana," he quipped.

Kerry was welcomed Thursday as he promoted the Obama administration's recent international agreements, like deals on Pacific trade and Iran's nuclear program.

Speaking from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, President Obama said on Thursday that slowing down the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan is "the right thing to do."

"Afghan forces are still not as strong as they need to be," Obama said, so the United States will leave 9,800 troops in the country through most of 2016. By 2017, about 5,500 troops will remain in a few bases across the country.

Obama said that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan will remain focused on two non-combat objectives: to train Afghan forces and carry out counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida.

Pete Souza / White House

Senior administration officials say President Barack Obama will keep 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017.


Recent weeks of violence between Israelis and Palestinians have left dead a total of nearly 40 people from both sides. A former Connecticut resident is among those critically injured.

Iran's Guardian Council on Wednesday approved the deal intended to control Iran's nuclear program. The approval is a final step before implementation, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.

The 12-member group of senior clerics' OK followed passage by Iran's Parliament on Tuesday.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The president of Hartford's City Council is calling for the termination of the city's development director, after a deal to build a new professional soccer facility collapsed and the city apparently overpaid for work at Dillon Stadium.

Starting today, Vermonters can register to vote from the comfort of their own homes. Secretary of State Jim Condos says the new online voter registration system will improve access to democracy, and will also make elections less vulnerable to fraud.

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Trinity College wants to use artificial turf on some of its athletic fields, but the City of Hartford has pushed back, and now the two are in state court. 

Aundrea Murray / WNPR

A poll from Quinnipiac University released on Wednesday found that Connecticut voters disapprove of the job Governor Dannel Malloy is doing, 58 to 32 percent. It's his lowest approval rating ever.

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The 2016 presidential cycle has been mostly dominated by a crowded Republican field but now it's the Democrats' turn as the candidates square off in their first debate. Also this week, former President Bill Clinton is in Connecticut to accept an award at UConn. But a trip to the Nutmeg State isn’t complete without a fundraiser, so he’s swinging by Attorney General George Jepsen’s house to fundraise for his wife’s presidential campaign as well. But out of all these events, only the debate will be broadcast in virtual reality.

This post was updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

The first Democratic debate brought out some passionate and, at times, awkward moments from the five candidates on stage. A highlight of the night was when Bernie Sanders decided he'd had enough of Hillary Clinton's email scandal, exclaiming "the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails."

But Sanders later stumbled on foreign policy, and Clinton struggled to defend her changing positions.

Here's each candidate's best and worst moment from Tuesday night:

Democratic presidential hopefuls sparred over gun control policy and financial regulation during their first presidential debate.

Here's a closer look at what the candidates were debating in Las Vegas.

Gun Control

Hillary Clinton: "We have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long, and it's time the entire country stood up against the NRA."

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

It was the summer of 2007. Eddie Perez was still Hartford’s mayor, he was in his office faced with a state investigator, and he told that investigator that he had paid a city contractor for work done on his house when he hadn’t.

Now, eight years later, that lie and the effect it may have had on his trial are at center stage.

ConnectMeetings flickr.com/photos/connectyourmeetings/20900617180 / Creative Commons

Former President Bill Clinton will speak at the University of Connecticut Thursday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, and will receive a human rights award.

Iran's Parliament voted Tuesday to support the implementation of the nuclear deal struck by world powers in Vienna in July.

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A poll from Quinnipiac University released on Tuesday found that Donald Trump leads in a Republican presidential primary race in Connecticut, at 34 percent. But he trails leading Democrats in general election matchups.

Chion Wolf / WNPR


A judge in 17th century Connecticut ruled on the thorniest of problems. Some of these included ruling on a piglet’s paternity, who was to blame for faulty shoes, and whether illicit sex had occurred on a boat sailing to Stamford. 

A bruised Hillary Clinton will have much to prove as she takes the debate stage Tuesday evening alongside four of her Democratic presidential challengers. The former secretary of state has been damaged by lingering questions about her private email server and doubts about her trustworthiness.

That has partly enabled Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders to ride a wave of progressive support to a lead over her in New Hampshire and an impressive $25 million fundraising haul last quarter.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez will have his corruption case heard by the state’s highest court Tuesday, as he continues to fight his 2010 convictions on bribery and extortion-related charges.