Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 10:25 am
The U.S. and China are easing visa rules for each other's citizens, in a reciprocal agreement that President Obama says will "benefit everyone from students, to tourists, to businesses large and small." Starting his eight-day visit to East Asia, the president also said "good progress" has recently been made for a free-trade agreement among Pacific Rim countries.
Obama and other leaders are visiting China for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, where the president announced the U.S. and China have agreed to expand their visas beyond the current one-year term.
Originally published on Sun November 9, 2014 4:41 pm
A quarter-century after the Berlin Wall that split East and West Germany came down, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said its destruction shows that dreams can come true and "nothing has to stay as it is."
The Wall was built in 1961, closing off access to West Germany to stop people from the communist East from fleeing. The roughly finished concrete and barbed-wire structure became a potent Cold War symbol of what former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once described as an "Iron Curtain" dividing Europe.
Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:33 pm
When the international press corps descend on the Catalan capital Barcelona, as they are this weekend to cover the region's symbolic independence vote, Catalan President Artur Mas often holds a news conference. Here's how he usually begins:
"I'll try to answer your questions in whatever language you ask them," Mas says. "Catalan, Spanish, French, English — I'll try my best in Italian too," he says, and settles in for up to two hours, until all questions are exhausted.
Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 12:28 pm
The introduction of Las Vegas-style gambling to Massachusetts will proceed at a more rapid pace now that a major hurdle has been cleared. Voters soundly defeated a ballot question to repeal the 2011 casino law.
With the cloud of uncertainty caused by the repeal vote lifted, The Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting in Boston Thursday voted unanimously to formally award licenses to build and operate full-scale destination casinos to MGM Resorts for the company’s Springfield project and to Wynn Resorts in greater Boston.
A report released by the National Coalition for the Homeless last month shows a growing number of U.S. cities are making it illegal to hand out food to the homeless. Since January 2013, 21 cities have passed legislation restricting food distribution.
After previously saying he would not seek a second term, Democratic New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has changed his mind.
Finizio made his announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday. After announcing in April he would not run for re-election, "many New Londoners came to me, at my office, at my house, on the street, urging me to reconsider and run for re-election," Finizio wrote.
Southeastern Connecticut saw some notable races in the state legislature, with one state senate seat changing hands, and another staying with the incumbent, despite the fact he's currently hospitalized.
Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 12:58 pm
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, won another four years in office, but the Republicans also recaptured the State Senate. That could lead to Washington-style gridlock on a number of issues that Cuomo pushed in the campaign.
There are so many plots and subplots emanating from yesterday.
Republicans had a good night around the country. They extended their control in the U.S. House of Representatives and took control of the U.S. Senate. It was one of the worst blows dealt to a mid-term administration since World War II, putting President Obama in the company of Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1994.
Governor Dannel Malloy claimed victory in the race for governor early Wednesday morning, but only by a razor-thin margin. Without final results, the best call he could make was, "We're going to win this thing."
Republican challenger Tom Foley, reluctant to concede, gave a speech announcing that yeah, he probably lost. Also still unclear: results of the races for secretary of the state, comptroller, and treasurer.
Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 3:19 am
It appears Republican Charlie Baker will be the next governor of Massachusetts, beating Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley. Baker gave what was short of a victory speech in the early morning hours Wednesday.
Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:44 am
With a loss by Sen. Mark Pryor, the first Democratic incumbent fell in the 2014 midterms, setting off a chain of events that brought the Republicans a new Senate majority. The man who would lead them in Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell, coasted to a win in Kentucky.
McConnell was projected to defeat Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes by a 15-point margin, 56 percent to 41 percent, with almost a third of the vote tallied.
In Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor lost to Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, a first-term member of Congress. Pryor has served in the Senate since 2003.
Democrat George Jepsen has been elected to a second four-year term as Connecticut's attorney general, beating a Republican who accused him of taking too many companies to court and fostering an anti-business atmosphere.