Politics

Health Policy
10:01 am
Thu May 22, 2014

GOP Strategy To Run Against Health Law Hits Snags

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal delivers remarks during the the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in March 2013.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:49 am

Last year, the Republican playbook for keeping control of the House of Representatives in 2014 and winning the Senate consisted of a fairly simple strategy: Run against Obamacare.

But now that the 2014 races are starting to take shape, that strategy isn't looking quite so simple. Democrats are fighting back. They're focusing on Republican opposition to the health law's expansion of Medicaid as a part of their own campaigns.

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Thailand
7:53 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Coup In Thailand: Military Seizes Control Of Country

Thai soldiers patrol after army chief Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha announced that the armed forces were seizing power after months of political turmoil.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 11:37 am

Thailand's army is now running the country. Two days after declaring martial law — and saying it wasn't staging a coup — the military has changed its mind, Thailand's army chief says.

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Veterans Affairs
11:27 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Obama: People 'Will Be Held Accountable' For Veterans Affairs Problems

President Obama addresses the growing furor over allegations of misconduct at the Department of Veterans Affairs, on Wednesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 6:23 pm

Anybody found to have manipulated or falsified Veterans Affairs records "will be held accountable," President Obama said Wednesday. The president condemned the reported widespread problems at the VA, defending Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.

Obama spoke after he and Shinseki met in the Oval Office Wednesday morning with White House deputy chief of staff Rob Nabors, who since last week has been detailed to work with the VA. Neither of those men attended the president's news conference.

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Climate Change
9:01 am
Wed May 21, 2014

For N.J. Mayor, The Time To Adapt To Rising Sea Levels Is Now

Hoboken, N.J., residents walk through flood water in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Mayor Dawn Zimmer is advocating for better planning and increased funding for flood-prone urban areas.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:41 pm

Last week, scientists warned that a massive chunk of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet will eventually drift into the sea and melt, raising sea levels at least 10 feet higher than previous predictions.

Even before the announcement, scientists at the nonprofit research organization Climate Central predicted that surging seas could put the homes of nearly 5 million Americans underwater by the end of this century.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed May 21, 2014

The Wheelhouse Drinks Chocolate Milk To Recover From Convention Hangover

Tom Foley and Dan Malloy are endorsed for a rematch of the close 2010 race.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The conventions are over and the results are...familiar. Dannel Malloy and Tom Foley have been endorsed for a rematch of the 2010 race. But there may be a wild card entering the field. Jonathan Pelto is a liberal critic of Malloy and he's considering a run for governor.

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Campaign Corruption
7:59 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Rowland Seeks Dismissal of Federal Charges

Rowland faces the media in 2009.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Connecticut Governor John Rowland filed a motion seeking to dismiss charges that he broke federal election laws in his roles with two congressional campaigns. 

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Egypt
6:54 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Egyptian Court Sentences Mubarak To 3 Years In Prison For Corruption

Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, sitting in a defendants cage, waves during a court hearing Wednesday. He and two sons were sentenced to jail on corruption charges.
Hassan Mohammed AP

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 8:33 am

Deposed Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak has been sentenced to three years in prison and a fine, after a court found him guilty of embezzling public money. Mubarak's sons, Alaa and Gamal, were given four-year sentences; the three were accused of using public funds to pay for work on their own property.

The criminal court in Cairo ordered the three to pay a fine of nearly $3 million.

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Intelligence
9:45 am
Tue May 20, 2014

CIA Says It Will No Longer Use Vaccine Programs As Cover

A doctor gives a polio vaccine to a child at a health clinic in Baghdad last week. The CIA says it banned the use of vaccine programs as cover for spying last year — a practice health officials said had wide repercussions.
Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:32 pm

A White House official says the CIA will no longer use vaccine programs as cover for spy operations, answering health experts' complaints that it had hurt international efforts to fight disease.

The CIA famously used a vaccination program as a ploy to gain information about the possible whereabouts of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. That effort didn't succeed, and the doctor involved was sentenced to a prison term. But the revelation had immediate effects — particularly in the fight against polio.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: Jonathan Pelto

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

Former state legislator Jonathan Pelto has been a vocal critic of Governor Dannel Malloy since day one. His frustration with the current administration may push him to run for governor as a liberal third-party candidate. Pelto joins us in-studio to talk about why he’s considering a challenge from the left.

What questions do you have for Pelto? Would you support his candidacy?

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Election 2014
8:47 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Jonathan Pelto to Set Up Exploratory Committee For Governor's Race

Jonathan Pelto at WNPR.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Former state legislator Jonathan Pelto has been criticizing Governor Dannel Malloy for years. Recently he said he'd consider shaking up this year's race for Connecticut governor by running from the left. 

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Thailand
7:57 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Thai Army Declares Martial Law But Says It's No Coup

Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha (front) during a military parade in January. The army has declared martial law amid months of political unrest.
Apichart Weerawong AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 8:28 pm

Thailand's army has declared martial law less than two weeks after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was thrown out of office by the country's Constitutional Court.

The Associated Press reports:

"The army said in a statement that it had taken the action to 'keep peace and order,' and soldiers entered several private television stations that are sympathetic to protesters.

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Kentucky Yankee In McConnell's Court
2:22 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Connecticut Bell Factory Owner Trails McConnell In Kentucky Primary

Matt Bevin is running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Tuesday's primary.
Credit MattBevin.com

A Kentucky Tea Party candidate with Connecticut-ties has a tough primary facing him tomorrow.

Matt Bevin trails Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by 20 points in a new poll. Connecticut residents might remember Bevin as the owner of the bell factory in East Hampton that burned down in 2012.

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State Conventions
1:52 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

Rematch Endorsed: Malloy, Foley Win Party Nods

Tom Foley, left, and Gov. Dannel Malloy during visits to WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Democrats endorsed Governor Dannel Malloy for a second term in office on Friday night, while state Republicans are once again backing Tom Foley as their party's candidate for governor.

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Pennsylvania Politics
3:39 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

A Role Reversal In Pennsylvania's Race For Governor

Tom Wolf, who leads in polls for Pennsylvania's Democratic gubernatorial nomination, shakes hands with a customer at a Mount Lebanon, Pa., hardware store on Thursday.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 4:56 pm

If the polls are correct, the Pennsylvania governor's race is poised to see the usual political script flipped.

The Republican incumbent, Gov. Tom Corbett, is using a populist attack against the challenger who is leading the Democratic primary field — accusing Tom Wolf of being an opportunistic businessman who profited at the expense of taxpayers and workers.

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Veterans Affairs
3:32 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Top VA Health Official Resigns Amid Scandal Over Treatment Delays

Veterans Affairs Undersecretary Robert Petzel testifies Thursday on Capitol Hill. Petzel tendered his resignation from the VA on Friday.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 5:49 pm

This post was updated at 5:45 p.m. ET.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki says he has accepted the resignation of the department's undersecretary for health, a day after both men testified before Congress about a growing controversy over delays in treatment.

"Today, I accepted the resignation of Dr. Robert Petzel, undersecretary for health in the Department of Veterans Affairs," Shinseki said in a statement cited by Reuters.

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Cafeteria Staple
1:21 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Tweeting Over Spilled (Chocolate) Milk

Gov. Malloy wins over the elementary school student demographic.
Credit United States Department of Agriculture

Governor Dannel Malloy's office released a statement today with an eye-catching title:

STATEMENT FROM GOV. MALLOY'S COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR ANDREW DOBA ON CHOCOLATE MILK 

In case you missed it, a provision was put into a bill with "minor revisions" that would ban chocolate milk in schools.

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Code Switch
8:44 am
Fri May 16, 2014

A Complicated First: A Black Editor Takes The Helm At The Gray Lady

The New York Times removed the first woman to ever hold its top editor post and replaced her with the first person of color to ever do so.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 6:58 pm

When New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger removed Jill Abramson from the paper's executive editor spot on Wednesday, it stunned the media world. Abramson was the first woman to ever fill the paper's top post and was credited with helping right its fiscal ship, and much of the early coverage about just why she was pushed out centered on a possible dispute over her pay, which was less than her male predecessors' compensation.

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Ukraine Crisis
5:25 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Former Ambassador To Russia: Putin Has No Master Plan For Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, second right, speaks with U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul during a walk in Moscow's Red Square in May 2013.
Mladen Antonov AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 8:02 pm

When Russian President Vladimir Putin started vilifying the U.S., and state-controlled media took his cue, Michael McFaul was portrayed as one of the American villains. McFaul was the American ambassador to Russia from January 2012 to February of this year. He planned to leave just after the Sochi Olympics, which ended up coinciding with the Ukrainian Parliament voting to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, leading to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

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Code Switch
12:29 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Young People Want Equality But Struggle To Discuss Bias

These protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court in favor of affirmative action last fall, but MTV found that majorities of young people, across races, opposed racial preferences of any kind.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 2:53 pm

One oft-employed generalization about The Kids These Days is that they've grown up free from the legalized discrimination and racial neuroses of older generations, and they will live in a more multicultural world with less racism. But do we even know if that's true?

MTV, that reliable weather vane of popular youth culture, wanted to find out. It polled a nationally representative sample of people ages 14 to 24 about their views on bias and identity.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Promises, Promises, Promises: Who Keeps Them?

President Barack Obama
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Promises, promises -- all politicians make them, but they don't always keep them. Just last month, Gov. Dan Malloy canceled the $55 tax rebate he’d promised residents earlier this year. 

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Technology
3:42 am
Thu May 15, 2014

FCC To Unveil Proposed Rules To Govern Internet Traffic

Proponents of open Internet access protest in front of the FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. The commission votes Thursday on its proposed rules amid debate about network neutrality.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 2:55 pm

The Federal Communications Commission announced last month that it would propose new rules. In a blog post, Chairman Tom Wheeler insists that the open Internet rules will help maintain what's called network neutrality. That is, making certain that your Internet provider doesn't give a faster connection to a service that can pay more.

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New Grand Old Party?
3:30 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Lowell Weicker: Connecticut Republicans Are "Irrelevant"

Former Governor and U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker during an earlier visit to WNPR.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Lowell P. Weicker, former governor and U.S. senator, warned that the Connecticut Republican party can’t compete in its current form. “It’s irrelevant,” Weicker said. “That’s a big problem for the state of Connecticut.”

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WAMC News
12:31 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Massachusetts Gaming Commission To Hold Final Public Hearing On MGM Springfield Casino

MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis addressed the Massachusetts Gaming Commission during a public hearing in Springfield April 1, 2014

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 12:31 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is scheduled to hold a final public hearing in Springfield today on the casino proposed by MGM.   It is a last chance for commissioners to gauge public sentiment before completing a lengthy evaluation of the sole resort casino applicant in western Massachusetts.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed May 14, 2014

The Wheelhouse Puts On Convention Hats

Are you ready for election season?
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse gears up for the statewide political conventions, which move the campaign season into full swing. Last week's Quinnipiac poll was good news for Tom Foley, who has been largely quiet recently.

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WAMC News
8:07 am
Wed May 14, 2014

Gaming Regulators To Hold Public Hearing On MGM Springfield Casino

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 7:39 pm

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission is meeting in Springfield Wednesday to listen to public comments for the last time on MGM’s casino project.

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New Law
3:46 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Governor Malloy Signs Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Gov. Malloy signed several bills into law on Monday, including one aimed at addressing sexual assault on college campuses in the state.
Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Malloy has signed into law a bill that attempts to address and prevent sexual assault on all public and private colleges and universities in Connecticut. 

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Politics
1:48 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Veteran Congressman Makes A Career-Threatening Mistake

Michigan Rep. John Conyers, at a congressional hearing last week. The Democrat and longtime congressman faces the prospect of not being on Michigan's August primary ballot after failing to present the required number of valid signatures.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:27 pm

It's basically Politics 101. To get on the ballot in many states, candidates for office must first collect a designated number of valid signatures from voters, and present those petitions to election administrators.

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WAMC News
1:26 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Springfield Parking Authority Gets New Director And Direction

Springfield Parking Authority Executive Director Mary McNally speaks in city hall after Mayor Domenic Sarno ( at right) announced her appointment. Springfield Chief Development Officer Kevin Kennedy stands next to the mayor.

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:21 pm

An attorney and veteran of several municipal boards and commissions has been tapped to head the parking authority in Springfield, Massachusetts. The appointment comes as the city is on the verge of a parking space crunch. 

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno announced Friday the selection of Mary McNally as the new executive director of the Springfield Parking Authority.  He called her “eminently qualified” and said the appointment is part of a new direction at the authority.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Free Speech in the Public Workplace; Employment Law; an Exit Interview with Teresa Younger

U.S. Supreme Court
Credit TexasGOPVote.com / Creative Commons

Sometimes the rulings of the narrowly-divided Supreme Court actually reflect the very divided views of the public and the delicate nature of the law.

But the 2006 decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos made a lot of people scratch their heads. In it, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that work-related statements made by public employees are not protected by the First Amendment.  

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Ukraine
7:56 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Separatists Vote To Split From Ukraine; Russia 'Respects' Decision

In the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk, the "chairman of the Central Election Commission" Alexander Malykhin shows a document with the results of a referendum outside the regional state administration building Monday. He said voters had chosen to leave Ukraine.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 7:01 pm

A referendum on independence from Ukraine shows strong support for secession, according to separatist leaders in the districts where Sunday's vote was held. Kiev and Western governments say the vote is illegitimate.

Russia, which has been accused of orchestrating the unrest in eastern Ukraine, says it "respects the expression of will of the population of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions." But the Kremlin's statement also called for dialogue with Kiev, not violence.

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