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Politics

Political news from WNPR

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Certain researchers are calling for greater scrutiny of how politics and technology intersect.

Come next Tuesday, millions of people will stand in line to vote; last presidential cycle, about 57.5 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. Still, that means nearly half did not. Many people stay away from the polls because they run out of time, or have a work conflict — in which case lacking paid time off to vote might be a factor.

Paid leave to vote is covered by a patchwork of laws around the country.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

In a letter to several Democratic senators Monday, the Justice Department said it "will continue to work closely with the FBI and together, dedicate all necessary resources and take appropriate steps as expeditiously as possible" regarding the review of thousands of newly discovered emails that may be relevant to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server.

This year, politicians and political action committees have spent millions of dollars connecting Republican candidates to Donald Trump, and Democrats to the policies of Governor Dannel Malloy.

Foreign journalists' access to Syria is severely restricted, but this week, the regime of Bashar Assad extended an unusual invitation to a group of Western reporters to visit Damascus, the capital. NPR's Peter Kenyon and Alison Meuse are among the foreign journalists who've been granted visas to Damascus this week. For Kenyon, it's the first time back since 2008, before the 2011 uprising that led to Syria's war. He spoke with Morning Edition host Renee Montagne about the visit.

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FBI Director James B. Comey wrote in a Friday memo to Congressional leaders that "the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation" of Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server. The memo sparked a firestorm that rages hotter by the day, resisting all attempts to contain its damage. 

Updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

Federal agents now have a search warrant they need to examine the thousands of emails found on a computer belonging to former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner that could be pertinent to the investigation of Hillary Clinton's personal email server, sources familiar with the matter tell NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Weiner is the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.

Fadi al-Asmi has learned to adjust his Syrian pastries to American tastes at the City Steam Brewery café in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. "America, chocolate!" he says, as he adjusts his baseball cap and serves his latest chocolate-encrusted confection.

It's not the only thing he's learned since he and his family were catapulted into a new life after arriving as refugees in May.

FBI Director James Comey is facing criticism for turning the agency's attention to newly discovered emails that could be linked to Hillary Clinton, again focusing on the former secretary of state just days before Election Day.

Former prosecutors and former Department of Justice officials are questioning what Comey hopes to accomplish by announcing the investigation so close to the election.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

Newly discovered emails being examined by the FBI in relation to Hillary Clinton's email server came to light in the course of an unrelated criminal investigation of Anthony Weiner, a source familiar with the matter tells NPR's Carrie Johnson.

Weiner is the estranged husband of close Clinton aide Huma Abedin; he has been under scrutiny for sending illicit text messages to an underage girl. Sources said authorities seized electronic devices in their home, which led them to this new information.

In North Dakota, tension over the 1,200-mile Dakota Access oil pipeline is escalating. Police and National Guard troops arrested more than 140 protesters near a construction site Thursday.

The Standing Rock Sioux have sued to stop the pipeline from crossing under the Missouri River next to their reservation, claiming the project would destroy sacred sites and threaten the water supply.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

It’s been two years since Connecticut's former State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Dr. Linda Schwartz was named Assistant Secretary for Policy and Planning at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In that role, her focus has expanded dramatically -- encompassing issues relevant to veterans and their families across all 50 states. 

A Mediterranean-bound convoy of Russian warships will not be stopping for fuel at a Spanish port, Russia said Wednesday, after Spain's NATO allies objected to the refueling plan.

NATO members are worried the ships are intended to support increased Russian airstrikes in Syria. The convoy includes Russia's only aircraft carrier.

Some ships in the convoy had been planning to stop for fuel in Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in North Africa directly across from Gibraltar. It's normal practice for Spain to allow Russian warships to stop at its ports, The Associated Press reports.

Imagine for a moment that it's Jan. 21, 2017. After a chilly inauguration the day before, the parades and festivities have ended. And the new president of the United States is ready for his or her first day of work.

"What follows is my 100-day action plan to make America great again," Donald Trump told supporters in Gettysburg, Pa., last weekend. "First I will announce my intention to totally renegotiate NAFTA, one of the worst deals our country has ever made."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Retired major league baseball player and Hartford resident Doug Glanville has been appointed to the state panel that sets standards for police officers. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Republican leaders in Connecticut are condemning a recent digital advertisement linking Republican candidate for state legislature William Petit to presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

We’ve been talking a lot about national politics lately on the Wheelhouse. But there’s a LOT happening here in Connecticut. 

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As Election Day approaches, voter registration has soared throughout the country. And according to the Pew Research Center the electorate this year will be the country’s most racially and ethnically diverse ever. The number of eligible Hispanic voters alone has jumped 17 percent since 2012. 

The chair of the state Republican Party said a Democratic candidate has violated state election law by invoking the name and image of Donald Trump in a political ad.

The Hartford police officer who allegedly kicked a handcuffed suspect in the head said he did so in order to get the suspect to lay flat on the ground. The officer said he lacked the latex gloves he needed to force the suspect down with his hands, so he used his foot, instead, according to a newly-released police report

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

It’s almost election day and voting demographics have changed dramatically since our last presidential election. The number of eligible Hispanic voters has jumped 17 percent since 2012 according to the Pew Research Center.

This hour, we talk about the Latino vote here in Connecticut and nationwide.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ripped into Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton's behalf at a rally in New Hampshire on Monday. Warren was playing the role of a sassy friend with the snark to say the things Clinton either could or would not say.

Jill Kaufman / New England Public Radio

Thirty-seven states now provide some kind of opportunity for all registered voters to cast their ballots before Election Day. Massachusetts is the newest kid on the block with in-person "early voting" that started on Monday, October 24.

Refugees from around the world continue to find homes in Massachusetts.

The number of Syrian refugees, in particular, has more than doubled here over the last year, despite heated national rhetoric around immigration.

Increased Interest Greets New Refugees

In the basement of the First United Baptist Church in Lowell, newly arrived refugees from Syria and Afghanistan stand shoulder to shoulder with new arrivals from Somalia.

From the outset, Democrats needed a very big-wave election to get to the 30 seats they need to win back control of the House. Then, a video of Donald Trump surfaced showing the GOP nominee making lewd comments, and later multiple women accused him of groping them. That left some wondering if these scandals could trigger that wave.

But that simply hasn't happened.

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