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Connecticut’s Democratic lawmakers have proposed increasing the state sales tax to 6.85 percent from 6.35 percent -- part of a nearly $40 billion budget plan released Wednesday.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, a Democrat from Berlin, says an increase in the Connecticut sales tax from 6.35 percent to 6.85 percent is needed in order to balance the state’s two-year-budget. That budget is already seven weeks late.  

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Connecticut Republicans and Democrats seem closer to a budget proposal -- but it's not without controversy. 

Updated at 4:25 a.m.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the three-star commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet was relieved of command on Wednesday. The fleet is based in Yokosuka, Japan.

A statement from the Navy explains why Aucoin was dismissed.

Updated at 11:55 p.m. ET

President Trump launched into a lengthy defense of his comments on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., and again derided the news media at an impassioned campaign rally in Phoenix.

As Connecticut approaches the end of the second month without a state budget, Democratic legislative leaders say they’ll present their revised final state budget plan this week. The proposal is expected to include a controversial sales tax increase.  

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How do you confront hate?

This hour, we dive into this resurgent — and unfortunate — reality. Should we tolerate hate? Or should we be intolerant? Do we fight hate with more hatred, or something else? We talk about all this, along with the recent incidents in Charlottesville and Boston.

Five years ago, before he was a candidate for president, Donald Trump was pretty sure he knew what to do about Afghanistan. It was a losing proposition, "a complete waste" in terms of "blood and treasure."

"Why are we continuing to train these Afghanis who then shoot our soldiers in the back?" he asked on Twitter in 2012. "Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!"

More recently, candidate Trump was less certain about exactly when the U.S. should exit the struggle that he had railed against continuing.

President Trump inherited it with the presidency and now is putting the albatross that is Afghanistan around his own neck.

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President Trump is addressing the nation Monday night on U.S. engagement and "the path forward" in Afghanistan and South Asia.

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Governor Dannel Malloy’s latest executive order restores $40 million in funding to nonprofit providers of state services. 

A proposed memorial honoring World War II veterans is causing controversy. The dispute focuses on just who should be honored.

The memorial is designed to be an exact copy of one that was removed in 1959 to make way for a new highway. It honored black veterans who served in World War II, but only covers those who enlisted or were drafted through 1943.

North Korea is issuing fresh threats against the United States as a 10-day computer-based military exercise gets under way on the Korean peninsula. It's an annual joint drill between American and South Korean forces, but this year, it comes following a bitter back-and-forth between North Korea and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Updated at 7:40 pm ET

Steve Bannon has lost his job as chief White House strategist.

The White House described the departure as a mutual agreement between Bannon and chief of staff John Kelly.

"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

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Connecticut’s sales tax-free week goes ahead from this Sunday, despite the state’s continuing fiscal crisis. The Department of Revenue Services has estimated it will forgo about $4 million in sales tax during the course of the week.

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