Politics

Middle East
8:27 am
Thu October 2, 2014

U.N. Report Details Possible War Crimes By Islamic State Militants

Islamic State flags on the Mullah Abdullah bridge in southern Kirkuk earlier this week. A U.N. report says the extremist group has perpetrated possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 10:27 am

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

A United Nations report out today lists what it describes as a "staggering array" of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq, including mass executions, the kidnapping of women and girls to use as sex slaves and the use of child soldiers.

It also points to shelling and airstrikes by Iraqi security forces that killed civilians and "may have violated the principles of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law."

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Secret Service
4:56 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

The White House Could Be Made A Fortress, But Should It Be?

Visitors take photos in front of the White House.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 7:46 am

It turns out the Secret Service isn't too good at protecting the White House, and maybe one reason is that we don't want it to be.

Secret Service agents are famously willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect the president and his family. They are also trained to take the lives of others in defense of their protectees.

But are they equally prepared to do either of those things for the White House itself? Should it be policy for the armed agents around 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to use deadly force whether the president or his family is present or not?

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Election 2014
1:34 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Connecticut Governors Race Among Nation's Least Positive

Screenshots of negative ads from both Tom Foley and Dan Malloy's campaigns.

Negative campaigning is nothing new, but a new study finds that Connecticut’s race for governor is one of the least positive in the country.

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Media
12:32 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

One System, Two Media: How China, Hong Kong Are Covering The Protests

People read newspapers placed along a street blocked by protesters outside the government headquarters building in Hong Kong on Wednesday. While Hong Kong media are covering the protests closely, media in mainland China have been mostly quiet.
Carlos Barria Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 1:40 pm

Hong Kong media are providing wall-to-wall coverage of the protests calling for the resignation of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, but in mainland China there has been little to no mention of the unrest.

The contrast is an illustration of the "one country, two systems" policy that has been in place since the former British colony reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

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Election 2014
9:31 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Malloy and Foley Dispute Jobs, State Spending

The two major party candidates debated in West Hartford last night.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Jobs, taxes, and the economy were the big issues in Tuesday night's gubernatorial debate between candidates Democrat Dannel Malloy and Republican Tom Foley. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed October 1, 2014

The Wheelhouse Took a Vacation and a Lot Happened

Today's edition of The Wheelhouse featured Jon Lender, Khalilah Brown-Dean, Mark Pazniokas, and Colin McEnroe (Clockwise from top-left)
Chion Wolf WNPR

When host John Dankosky last sat behind the microphone for our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we lived in different times. John Rowland was only convicted once. The 2014 race for governor was still three months away. Derek Jeter was a professional baseball player. And Yuengling was not for sale in Connecticut.

Oh, how times have changed.

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Financial Regulation
5:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in June.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:39 am

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street.

In an interview with Morning Edition, Warren says the recordings provide definite proof of that relationship.

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Political History
5:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Secret Talks And Back Channels Pervaded U.S. Relationship With Cuba

Cuban Premier Fidel Castro addressed the United Nations General Assembly in September 1960 in New York. A new book details secret negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba dating back to President Kennedy's administration.
AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:34 am

For five decades, the official U.S. policy on Cuba was one of silence. But the real U.S. relationship with Havana involved secret negotiations that started with President Kennedy in 1963, even after his embargo against the island nation, say the authors of the new book Back Channel to Cuba. In fact, nearly every U.S. administration for the past 50 years has engaged in some sort of dialogue with the Cuban government, they say.

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White House
2:33 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Secret Service Chief Grilled Over White House Security Failures

Secret Service director Julia Pierson enters a hearing room in April to answer questions before a closed meeting of the Senate homeland security committee in Washington. Today, Pierson will appear before a House committee to respond to questions about White House security breaches.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:58 pm

Update at 1:50 p.m. ET

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson faced a tough inquiry by lawmakers today as she appeared before a House committee to answer questions about the Sept. 19 White House security breach in which a man with a knife entered the executive mansion.

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Hartford City Hall
12:02 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Top Malloy Aide Considering a Run for Hartford Mayor

Luke Bronin testifying in 2011 on U.S. policy toward Syria.
C-SPAN

The next election for Hartford's mayor is over a year away, but competition for Mayor Pedro Segarra is already beginning to emerge -- and a top adviser to Governor Dannel Malloy is considering a run. 

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Election 2014
11:36 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Teachers Union Endorses Malloy After Internal Debate

Sheila Cohen, president of the Connecticut Education Association, in a file photo.
Credit CEA

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy appears to be mending fences with teachers, many of whom were angered by remarks he made about tenure and by the roll-out of his public education reform initiative.

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Massachusetts
10:39 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Candidates For Mass. Governor Debate In Springfield

Candidates for governor debated at the City Stage theater in Springfield. It was their only scheduled broadcast debate in western Massachusetts.

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 10:49 pm

The five candidates for governor of Massachusetts participated in their first broadcast debate Monday night, the only one scheduled in western Massachusetts.

   Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat Martha Coakley differed on energy policy, the need for universal pre-school, and indexing the gasoline tax to inflation.  Baker said rather than raise the gas tax the state should rein in transportation costs. 

    "We've got to figure out how to do this stuff better and cheaper and in some cases faster."

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Middle East
9:36 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Afghanistan Signs Deal Allowing 10,000 U.S. Troops To Remain

Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar (right) and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan James Cunningham exchange documents after signing the Bilateral Security Agreement, with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (rear, left) and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah in the background.
Jawad Jalali EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:29 pm

Update at 9:55 a.m. ET

Afghanistan has signed a pact with the U.S. to allow about 10,000 troops to remain in the country after the end of the year, when most American forces are to be withdrawn.

The country's newly inaugurated president, Ashraf Ghani, signed the Bilateral Security Agreement, or BSA, which would leave in place the U.S. troops and a few others from NATO allies to bolster Afghan forces.

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China
7:16 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Hong Kong Leader To Protesters: 'Stop Campaign Immediately'

Pro-democracy activists sleep, rest and walk on a street near the government headquarters Tuesday in Hong Kong. Students and activists, many of whom have been camped out since late Friday, spent a peaceful night singing as they blocked streets in Hong Kong in an unprecedented show of civil disobedience to push demands for genuine democratic reforms.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 10:34 am

Updated at 8:30 a.m. ET

Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying is appealing to pro-democracy demonstrators who've brought parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill in recent days to halt their campaign "immediately" because, he says, Beijing won't accede to their demands. But protesters have promised to announce a new phase of civil disobedience if reforms aren't forthcoming.

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Sovereignty Dilemma
1:08 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Former Diplomat: U.S. Should Step Back From Ukrainian Crisis

Ukraine sovereignty will be challenged by the latest settlement.
Credit Vladimir Yaitskiy / Creative Commons

The U.S. should allow others to take the lead in the Ukrainian crisis, according to former state department diplomat and foreign policy analyst E.Wayne Merry

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Election 2014
10:26 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Money Pouring Into Connecticut Governor's Race Despite Public Financing System

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Millions of dollars from outside groups are flowing into Connecticut's tight race for governor despite a widely heralded, publicly-funded campaign financing system that's intended to stem the flow of outside money.

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World
4:53 pm
Sat September 27, 2014

At U.N., India's Modi Discusses Pakistan, Terrorism, And Peace

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, speaks at the UN General Assembly in New York City Saturday. Addressing the question of peace talks with Pakistan, Modi said they must happen "without the shadow of terrorism."
John Angelillo UPI /Landov

Originally published on Sat September 27, 2014 5:22 pm

Saying his country is prepared to resume peace talks with Pakistan, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the U.N. General Assembly Saturday that the discussion must take place "without the shadow of terrorism."

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Middle East
8:27 am
Fri September 26, 2014

U.K. Approves Joining Anti-ISIS Airstrikes In Iraq

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the Houses of Parliament on Friday. He urged MPs to authorize the U.K.'s participation in anti-ISIS airstrikes.
PA EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 3:23 pm

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

The British Parliament has voted to approve the U.K.'s participation in U.S.-led airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq after Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that the extremists pose a "clear and proven" threat to British lives.

The 524-to-43 vote in Parliament came after a lengthy debate that followed the latest U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on targets of the hard-line Islamist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The strikes hit oil installations for a second consecutive day.

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Moneyball
2:59 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Report: Hartford Stadium Project Could Give City "Considerable" Benefits

Urban Design Associates

A consultant for Hartford's city council says the baseball stadium development "has the potential to create a new neighborhood" with "considerable" benefits for the city.

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White House
10:40 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a Sept. 4 news conference at the Justice Department in Washington.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 8:29 am

This post was last updated at 4:44 p.m. ET.

Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, will resign his post after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

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Baseball
11:32 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

As Hartford Stadium Plan Progresses, Segarra Apologizes for Process

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra addresses the Hartford Redevelopment Agency.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A day after Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission voted against the plan to bring a stadium to Hartford, a different agency has voted to support it. But not before Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra apologized for the way the process has unfolded.

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public meetings
4:54 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

As the Hartford Baseball Stadium Turns

Credit iStock / Thinkstock

It's a trifecta this week for those who like public meetings about the proposed ballpark in Hartford (don't all click at once).

On Tuesday, the Planning and Zoning Commission met and gave a non-binding smackdown to the stadium that anchors the $350 million project. 

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United Nations
3:45 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

U.N. Security Council Unanimously Passes Anti-Terrorism Resolution

The U.N. Security Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a historic resolution aimed at ending the flow of foreign extremists to the world's conflicts. President Obama thanked the council but warned that "a resolution alone will not be enough."
Julie Jacobson AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 5:35 pm

In a vote presided over by President Obama, the U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved a historic resolution aimed at stopping the flow of foreign extremists to battlefields around the world.

Resolution 2178, which criminalizes traveling abroad to fight for extremist organizations as well as the recruiting for or funding of such groups, was adopted by all 15 members of the Security Council. According to Reuters: "It generally targets fighters traveling to conflicts anywhere in the world. It does not mandate military force to tackle the foreign fighter issue."

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Climate Change
12:43 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Obama At U.N.: World Risks Being Caught In 'Undertow Of Instability'

President Obama addresses the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters in New York on Wednesday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 11:54 am

President Obama told a gathering of the U.N. General Assembly today that the world is living in "pervasive unease" from such crises as terrorism, expansionism and the Ebola epidemic. He challenged the world body to fix the international system or risk being "pulled back by an undertow of instability."

"We come together at a crossroads between war and peace, between disorder and integration, between fear and hope," the president told member nations at U.N. headquarters in New York.

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Springfield
8:03 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Pro-casino Group Campaigns To Defeat Massachusetts Ballot Question

Mayor Domenic Sarno of Springfield speaks at the formal kickoff of the campaign to defeat a ballot question that if approved would stop casino development in Massachusetts

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:16 pm

A statewide campaign to fight repeal of the Massachusetts casino law had a formal kickoff in Springfield today.

The casino industry-funded Coalition to Protect Mass Jobs held its first official campaign event Tuesday in the downtown offices of MGM Springfield. About 100 local community leaders, business owners, and labor representatives gathered to hear brief speeches and see the first television ad of the campaign, which stars the city of Springfield.

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Curveball?
11:31 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Hartford's Planning Commission Votes Against Baseball Stadium

Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission discusses the stadium before it eventually rejects it.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Just as the effort to build a baseball stadium in downtown Hartford appeared to be gaining support, the project was delivered a blow Tuesday night. The city's own Planning and Zoning Commission voted against it. 

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Incarceration
5:38 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Crime Falls As U.S. Locks Up Fewer People, Attorney General Holder Says

In the past year, the U.S. prison population fell by roughly 4,800, the first time in decades the number has gone down, according to the Justice Department. Attorney General Eric Holder discussed the findings in New York on Tuesday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:20 pm

The U.S. is seeing "historic" progress in reducing both its crime and its incarceration rates, Attorney General Eric Holder said, with the federal prison population falling by some 4,800 inmates in the past year — "the first decrease we've seen in many ‎decades."

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Planning and Zoning
3:53 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Is a Baseball Stadium Supposed to Be in Downtown Hartford?

The City of Hartford wants to build a stadium within a $350 million development project. Some of the sites under consideration are in yellow.
Credit Hartford Redevelopment Agency

The effort to build a minor league baseball stadium in the city of Hartford continues. On Tuesday night, a city commission considers whether a stadium is consistent with the city's long-term planning. 

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Religious Influence
12:20 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

More Americans Favor Mixing Religion And Politics, Survey Says

President Obama closes his eyes as a prayer is offered at the National Prayer Breakfast in February in Washington, D.C.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 6:14 pm

Nearly three-quarters of Americans believe religious influence on life in the U.S. is waning and nearly half think that churches and other houses of worship should play a greater role in the national discourse on social and political matters, according to a new Pew study.

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Middle East
10:35 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Obama: Airstrikes in Syria "Not America's Fight Alone"

President Barack Obama speaks on Tuesday morning on the White House lawn.
whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama said the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria "makes it clear to the world this is not America's fight alone."

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