Political news from WNPR

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Local races across the state have caught our eye: from the crowded field running for mayor in Hartford, to the Bridgeport race pitting the incumbent versus a former mayor who went to jail for corruption when in office. This hour on our weekly news roundtable, The Wheelhouse,  we check-in on those races and more news from across the state.

Pete Souza / White House

When Dustin Johnson missed that four-footer on the final hole in this year's U.S. Open that would've forced a playoff with eventual champion Jordan Spieth, he wasn't under this much pressure.

Joe Courtney, the mild-mannered Connecticut Congressman, had scored a spot in a weekend foursome with fellow House Democrats John Yarmuth of Kentucky, Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, and the most famous lefty golfer this side of Phil Mickleson, President Barack Obama.

The U.S. and Cuba have restored diplomatic relations and reopened their embassies — but it's not yet open season for American tourists hoping to visit the island. The U.S. embargo on travel and business means you still have to have a valid reason to go — and that doesn't include sitting on the beach and drinking mojitos.

Mamata.mulay / Creative Commons

Lawmakers gathered in Hartford on Monday for a poorly-attended veto session.

Republicans in the House of Representatives resurrected a bill that would have required the Commissioner of the State Department of Education to have a strong background in teaching.

The 41st commissioner of the Boston Police Department credits his upbringing in South Boston for how he handles his job, especially his philosophy on community policing.

William Evans has led the police department for a year and a half. But for many, Evans may be most remembered for his role at the end of the manhunt in Watertown, months before he became interim commissioner.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

All eyes are on Congress as lawmakers debate the Iran nuclear agreement. This hour, we speak with Connecticut's 2nd district Rep. Joe Courtney. He called the tentative deal a "hopeful development" when it was first announced.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A spike in violence in the city of Hartford has already left 18 people dead this year. 

Just after hosting Cuba's foreign minister at the State Department, Secretary of State John Kerry sat down with NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep to discuss the restoration of diplomatic relations with that country, as well as the status of a nuclear deal with Iran.

Kerry defended the Obama administration's stance on both countries, and said if diplomatic relations with Cuba or a nuclear deal with Iran were scuttled — either by a future president or Congress — it would hurt the U.S.

Veterans groups have added to the chorus of condemnation against Donald Trump — much of it coming from within his own party — following disparaging remarks the real-estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate made about Sen. John McCain's war record.

And Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America:

Barbara Krawcowicz / Creative Commons

On Thursday, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra asked Governor Dannel Malloy for more state detectives, inspectors, and other manpower to help him deal with the current spike in violent crime and deaths in the city.

"This is literally a public safety issue and I respectfully ask for an expedited response," Segarra wrote.

On Friday, Malloy wrote back. And he's not giving Segarra what he wants. Not yet, at least. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The Democratic leaders of the Connecticut General Assembly say they've decided not to try and override any of Democratic Governor Dannel  Malloy's nine vetoes.

Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, Scarlett Lewis

A woman whose young son was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting and Sen. Richard Blumenthal are cheering passage in the U.S. Senate of legislation that would boost training of teachers in social and emotional learning.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The race for Hartford's mayor is entering its final stretch before the city's Democratic party makes its pick. But even a powerful supporter of Mayor Pedro Segarra said it's increasingly likely that the mayor will lose the nomination to challenger Luke Bronin.   

President Obama has made incarceration reform a White House theme this week. On Monday, he commuted the sentences of 46 mostly nonviolent drug offenders; and on Tuesday, he spoke about reducing the prison population in a speech to the NAACP.

"The United States is home to 5 percent of the world's population but 25 percent of the world's prisoners," Obama said. "Think about that. Our incarceration rate is four times higher than China's."

Chuck Kennedy / White House

President Barack Obama has more to say about the Iran nuclear deal.

Obama held a news conference on Wednesday to continue selling the agreement that he contends will cut off all the pathways Iran currently has to develop a nuclear weapon.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It has been a full three weeks since The Wheelhouse was last on the air due to vacations and unexpected absences. That means we have no shortage of news to talk about. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will recap the last three (!?) weeks in news with intrepid reporters who stuck around to cover the special session and all the fallout from the budget implementer. We discuss that at-length on this week's edition of The Wheelhouse.

Stalin's Ghost

Jul 14, 2015
Eugene Zelenko / Wikimedia Commons

Joseph Stalin's only daughter grew up the beloved pet of a man responsible for a decades-long campaign to arrest, torture, execute or forcibly imprison millions of Soviet citizens, including children and members of his own family. That's what we know now.

Is it a good deal?

President Obama and his detractors are headed for a ferocious debate on this question following the nuclear agreement announced Tuesday in Vienna between Iran and six world powers.

The United States and five world powers have reached a historic agreement with Iran over its nuclear program.

As we've reported, the deal puts restrictions on Iran's nuclear program and also sets up an inspections regime that aims to make sure Iran is meeting its obligations. In exchange, the U.S. and its European partners have agreed to drop tough sanctions, allowing Iran to sell more oil and rejoin international financial systems.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

For the first time, Governor Dannel Malloy could face a real threat of one of his vetoes being overridden by fellow Democrats in the General Assembly.

During an emotional ceremony and amid popular cheers, the Confederate battle flag was brought down from a 30-foot flagpole that sits on the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C.

The historic ceremony marked the end of an era and was conducted by South Carolina state troopers, who marched in formation in front of a cheering crowd of hundreds.

Slowly, the troopers cranked the flag down from the pole, folded it, rolled it up and marched out.

The crowd chanted, "USA! USA! USA!"

Alan Grinberg / Creative Commons

Lawmakers in Congress are debating the Student Success Act, which would replace and update the No Child Left Behind law. The Republican House bill passed without the support of Connecticut lawmakers, or any Democrats at all.

Peter Patau / Flickr Creative Commons

For over a decade now, when we've heard about military drones, we've likely been hearing about the Predator-- that peculiar, pilotless aircraft, patrolling the deserts and preying on its targets below. Indeed the iconic image of this modern day killer and tales of its near-autonomous deeds have been featured in the news, magazines and even Hollywood movies.

c-George/iStock / Thinkstock

Connecticut’s new rules for its Rainy Day Fund could be a model for other states — that according to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Lexcie / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy said he's in active conversations with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Amtrak about the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail line scheduled to begin operation in late 2016.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Former Connecticut U.S. Senator Chris Dodd's name is being floated as a possible candidate to become the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba in more than half a century.

(This post was last updated at 8:44 a.m. ET.)

Just hours before a self-imposed deadline, Iran and six world powers said they would not extend a deadline but they would keep working toward a deal over Iran's nuclear program for the next few days.

Reporting from Vienna, where the talks are taking place, NPR's Peter Kenyon says both sides — Iran and the so-called P5+1, which consists of the U.K., China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States — are saying they will not be pressured into accepting a bad deal. Peter filed this report for our Newscast unit:

Updated at 5:26 p.m. ET

President Obama has warned that the campaign against the so-called Islamic State "will not be quick" as he cited gains made in Iraq and Syria by the coalition fighting the militant group.

"This will not be quick," Obama said at the Pentagon. "This is a long-term campaign."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's tax commissioner said his agency has unearthed about $85.8 million in uncollected tax revenue. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

While all the other members of Connecticut's congressional delegation voted against it, Jim Himes has been a strong supporter of "fast track" trade authority, which allows the president to negotiate with 11 other Pacific nations.