Politics

The Five Percent
3:18 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

To Change a City Charter, How Many Votes Is Enough?

Credit Chion Wolf, WNPR

How many people should have to vote to change a city's charter? 

That's a question being posed now at the state legislature. Last year, Hartford had some pretty significant reforms to its charter on the city's ballot. 

Read more
Legislative session
3:14 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

State Public Safety Committee Raises Bill to Repeal Keno

Co-chairs of the legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee, Rep. Stephen Dargan and Sen. Joan Hartley, at left.
Credit Connecticut Commission on Children

Connecticut's Public Safety and Security Committee met Thursday morning to raise a bill on Keno in the state. State Representative Stephen Dargan (D-West Haven) is proposing legislation to repeal last year's bill that legalized the game in Connecticut.

The controversial game is looking less likely to survive the current session, as more lawmakers express an interest in repealing legislation that made it legal. 

Read more
Egypt
12:37 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

3 Al-Jazeera Journalists In Egypt Plead Not Guilty To Terrorist Links

Journalists hold placards as they demonstrate across the street from Egypt's embassy in central London, on Wednesday.
Lefteris Pitarakis AP

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 2:44 pm

Three journalists working for Qatar-based network Al-Jazeera English who are on trial in Egypt for their alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood have pleaded not guilty on Thursday. The trio were denied bail and their trial was adjourned until March 5.

Australian Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohammed, wearing white prison outfits, appeared in metal cages, according to Reuters, which says several others identified as al-Jazeera journalists are being tried in absentia.

Read more
That Didn't Last Long...
4:17 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Is the Era of Keno in Connecticut Over?

There's a good chance you'll never see a sign like this in Connecticut.
Credit Marc Moss / Creative Commons

Keno in Connecticut may be over before it begins.

Less than a year after a Keno bill passed the legislature in the eleventh hour, and was signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy, legislative leaders are making a push for its repeal, citing an improving economy.

Democratic Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey announced his support for a repeal during remarks to the Connecticut Council of Small Towns.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed February 19, 2014

The Wheelhouse Remembers a Felonious Governor

The Wheelhouse is broadcasting from Trumbull Street.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Once again, Connecticut’s felonious former governor is making headlines. This time, John Rowland is hiring a criminal defense attorney as officials investigate his role in the 2012 congressional campaign of Lisa Wilson-Foley.

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses this and all the week’s news from our downtown Hartford location.

Read more
Ukraine
7:05 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Negotiations In Ukraine Under Close Scrutiny After Bloodshed

Riot police officers stand in Kiev's Independence Square on Wednesday as smoke rises from protesters' burning barricades.
Alexey Furman EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 11:13 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': David Stern of the BBC speaks from Kiev
This post was updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

The U.S. and the European Union are closely watching Ukraine amid news that the government was starting negotiations with opposition leaders to end the violence, which has left more than two dozen people dead since Tuesday.

A statement on the Ukrainian presidential website said:

Read more
Legislative Session
9:16 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Minimum Wage, Standard Wage Provoke Controversy at Labor Committee

State Rep. Richard Smith of the state's labor committee.
Credit CT-N

The legislature's labor committee had a full slate on Tuesday as it considered some controversial bills. The committee heard public testimony on a wide range of legislation, but among the most disputed were the proposal to further raise the minimum wage, and another bill that would force large corporations to pay a living wage. 

Read more
Ukraine
2:12 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Anti-Government Protests In Ukraine Turn Deadly

Smoke from exploding fireworks and fires billows into the night sky as Ukrainians gather at Independence Square during continuing protests in Kiev on Tuesday.
Igor Kovalenko EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 12:01 am

This post was updated at 8:52 p.m. ET

Riot police stormed the main anti-government camp in central Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, on Tuesday. They fought with demonstrators armed with clubs and wearing helmets fought back. More than a dozen people were killed, including five policemen, according to AP and the BBC.

Opposition leaders met late in the day with President Viktor Yanukovych, but left without an agreement.

Read more
Diplomacy
11:51 am
Tue February 18, 2014

For U.S. Ambassador, Ties To Prague That Transcend Diplomacy

Norm Eisen, the U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic, poses at his official residence in Prague in October 2013. Eisen's mother was born and raised in what was Czechoslovakia and was sent by the Nazis to the Auschwitz concentration camp, which she survived.
Filip Singer The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 8:18 am

The drive into Prague is like a journey into the past. As you approach, grand castles and cathedrals appear on the horizon and pull you into an old-world city that could be the setting for a fairy tale.

Three years ago, Norm Eisen made this journey in a motorcade. It was his first day as U.S. ambassador to the Czech Republic. He was returning to the land where his mother, Frieda, had been born almost 90 years ago.

Read more
Where We Live
8:53 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Pre-K and Right-to-Die Bills Face the Legislature in 2014

Myra Jones-Taylor, executive director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's agenda includes universal access to pre-kindergarten. But in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing universal pre-kindergarten.

What's the difference?

This hour, we ask the executive director of the Office of Early Childhood, who is working on this issue.

Read more
WAMC News
7:32 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Decision Due On Casino Surrounding Community Petitions

An artist's rendering of MGM Resorts' proposed $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, MA

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 10:11 am

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission will announce a decision Tuesday on the petitions from three municipalities seeking mitigation payments if an MGM casino is built in downtown Springfield.

Read more
Poverty
3:50 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

LBJ's War on Poverty Sidetracked by Politics, Economics

President Lyndon B. Johnson on his poverty tour on May 7, 1964 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Credit Cecil Stoughton / LBJ Library Photos

Fifty years ago in his state of the union address, President Lyndon Johnson declared "war on poverty." Today, there are still 50 million people in poverty in the U.S. But Yale Historian Jennifer Klein said that number doesn't mean Johnson's war was a failure.

Read more
Puerto Rican Pride
2:39 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

National Puerto Rican Day Parade Reorganizes After Misuse Of Funds

Parade onlookers cheer marchers in last year's National Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 5:32 pm

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade will be marching down New York City's Fifth Avenue under new leadership this year.

Read more
Sandy Hook
8:08 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Keyword Searches for Newtown Commission Open Window Into Process

Credit State of Connecticut

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is continuing its work. As it does, the law firm that advises it has done a lot of legwork itself, making a searchable database out of the thousands of pages of the Connecticut State Police Newtown investigation.  

Read more
Where We Live
6:10 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

The Wheelhouse Breaks Down the State of the State

As always, WNPR's John Dankosky and Colin McEnroe lead the conversation on The Wheelhouse.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we recap Governor Dannel Malloy’s State of the State address and the proposals he laid out surrounding the state budget, education and the minimum wage. We’re joined by a panel of reporters who have spent the last week digesting the governor’s agenda.

Also, a discussion about the Olympics with a Connecticut-native who won a gold medal in women's ice hockey during the 1998 Olympics. The rivalry between the U.S. and Canada is as intense as ever and we talk about it with this Olympian.

Read more
Hartford's Former Mayor
5:10 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

With Perez Convictions Overturned, What Happens to His Pension?

Eddie Perez in 2010.
Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

A state law says public officials can lose their pensions if they commit a crime related to their public office. But what happens if a conviction is overturned? That’s the question in the case of former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez. 

Read more
Death Penalty
2:52 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Washington Governor Declares Moratorium On Death Penalty

Gov. Jay Inslee.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:41 pm

Saying the practice is "inconsistent and unequal," Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced he was issuing a moratorium on the death penalty in his state.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Inslee said there were too many doubts raised about capital punishment and too many flaws in the system. With so much at stake, he said, it's not possible to accept "an imperfect system."

Read more
Civil Rights
10:31 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Holder Calls For Restoring Felons' Voting Rights

Eric Holder, attorney general of the United States, speaks at a Feb. 7 reception for baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron in Washington.
Nick Wass AP

Attorney General Eric Holder called on 11 states to repeal "counterproductive" laws that bar convicted felons from "the single most basic right of American citizenship-the right to vote."

In a speech Tuesday at Georgetown University law school, Holder used his bully pulpit to note that 5.8 million people are prohibited from voting because of current or former felony convictions, including 1-in-5 black adults in Florida, Kentucky and Virginia.

Read more
Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Gov. Dannel Malloy: Live on WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last week, Governor Dannel Malloy delivered his fourth State of the State address. There are numerous Republican candidates for governor who hope it's his last. The address itself outlined Malloy's wide-ranging proposals for the budget, education, and assistance for veterans.

Read more
Pakistan
3:27 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

U.S.-Pakistan Relations Shrouded By Decades of Misunderstanding

Credit creativedoxfoto/iStock / Thinkstock

In 1947, the world watched as South Asia gave birth to a new independent nation. That nation was called Pakistan -- a word combining Persian and Hindi to signify a holy and pure country.

That name, however, now stands as an example of tragic irony. Since Pakistan established itself as a militant nation, internal tension and strained international relations -- particularly those with the United States and India -- have tainted Pakistan’s community.

Read more
Winter Olympics
12:40 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

4 Gay Activists Arrested In Russia As Olympics Kick Off

Gay rights activists carry rainbow flags as they march during a May Day rally in St. Petersburg, Russia, in May of 2013.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Police in St. Petersburg, Russia, arrested four gay activists who unfurled a banner quoting the Olympic Charter's ban on discrimination, the Associated Press is reporting.

The protesters, reports the wire service, "gathered on St. Petersburg's Vasilyevsky Island, [and] were quickly rounded up by police, according to Natalia Tsymbalova, a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist."

Read more
Legislative Session
9:11 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Business Gives State of the State a Mixed Review

Credit Siri Stafford/Digital Vision / Thinkstock

The legislative session that got underway Thursday is expected to focus on jobs and the economy. And the governor's State of the State address contained a mixed bag of economic initiatives.

Read more
Where We Live
8:37 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Misunderstanding U.S.-Pakistan Relations; Understanding Spirituality

Credit mjbs/iStock / Thinkstock

The U.S. is curtailing drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Pakistan, a step toward better relations between two allies who’ve seemingly been at odds for years.

As Husain Haqqani sees it, it’s all part of a history of misunderstanding between the countries. He’s the former Pakistani Ambassador to the U.S., and a Boston University professor whose new book is called Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding

In it, he explains the Pakistani obsession with it’s rival India, and with building military might, something the U.S. has been quick to support. We talk with him on a recent visit to the state. We also run these ideas of U.S.-Pakistan relations past two members of that community here in Connecticut.

Read more
Wants Two New Trials
5:57 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Former Hartford Mayor Perez Files Papers With State Supreme Court

Credit Chion Wolf/WNPR

Attorneys for former Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez have filed papers in the state's supreme court arguing that it should not get involved in his case.

Read more
State of the State
4:20 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Malloy, Legislators Get to Work

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Delayed a day by the snow, Connecticut's lawmakers returned to work to open this year's legislative session, and they began their work by hearing a budget address from Governor Dannel Malloy. 

Read more
Congress
3:16 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Boehner Casts Doubt On Prospects For Immigration Overhaul

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives for a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Thursday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:06 am

Speaker of the House John Boehner seemed to throw cold water on bipartisan hopes for a law overhauling the country's immigration system this year.

"This is an important issue in our country," Boehner acknowledged in a press conference on Thursday. "It's been kicked around forever, and it needs to be dealt with."

Then the Ohio Republican delivered a big, resounding but. He said he "never underestimated the difficulty of moving forward this year." And he issued an ultimatum of sorts.

Read more
Connecticut Legislature
10:09 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Malloy Delivers the State of the State, and the Session Starts

Governor Malloy will give his State of the State address at noon.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The legislature officially opened today, after being delayed because of Wednesday's snowstorm. Governor Dannel Malloy gave his annual State of the State address after budget chief Ben Barnes briefed the media on the governor's midterm budget adjustment proposals earlier in the morning.

Read more
2014 Session
9:30 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Connecticut Legislative Session Opens

The Connecticut General Assembly (file photo).
Chion Wolf WNPR

The Connecticut legislative session began on Thursday morning in Hartford, delayed a day by a winter storm. Secretary Ben Barnes, of the Office of Policy and Management, delivered a budget briefing, and Governor Dannel Malloy addressed the joint session of the General Assembly at noon. Read the text of his speech here.

Read more
Pakistan
2:22 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

In Pakistan, Another Bhutto Joins The Risky Family Business

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari (left), son of assassinated Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, arrives for a festival at Moenjodaro in southern Pakistan on Feb. 1. The event was seen as a political coming-out party for Bhutto, whose family has prominently featured in Pakistani politics for decades.
Waqar Hussein EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:23 pm

His grandfather was hanged by a military dictator. His mother was assassinated. One of his uncles was slain by the police. Another died in a mysterious poisoning.

His father spent eight years in jail, yet later served a full term as president of Pakistan.

The Bhutto family history is a roller coaster ride, veering from prison, exile and corruption scandals to wealth, fame and power.

Read more
Where We Live
9:08 am
Wed February 5, 2014

The Wheelhouse Plows Ahead

Credit SergeyVButorin/iStock / Thinkstock

Governor Malloy was supposed to give his State of the State address on Wednesday, but the snow pushed it back to Thursday at noon. Ah, yes… it’s still winter. Storm today, more snow predicted this weekend. We hope you’re home snuggled in.

As a matter of fact, this hour on The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable, we need your help. Sure, we’ll talk about politics: priorities for the legislative session, education reform, and a new plan to raise the minimum wage. But we also want to hear from you: are you snowed in? Going to work, or not?

Read more

Pages