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The fifth debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was their first appearance as a duet, and that helped to highlight some of their harmony – even as it heightened their crescendos of dissonance.

With Martin O'Malley having suspended his campaign earlier in the week, the two remaining rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination met in New Hampshire on Thursday night — on stage together for nearly two hours.

"I happen to respect the secretary very much; I hope it's mutual," said Sanders.

And Clinton reciprocated:

Iowa has once again proved its perennial resistance to political inevitability and the power of personality.

In this year's iteration of the Iowa caucuses, national polling leaders Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had their campaign momentum slowed in significant ways by party activists who preferred their rivals.

A big win in Iowa might have set either leader on the path to a relatively easy nomination. But that was not to be, and now both Trump and Clinton face difficult and perhaps protracted struggles to overcome rivals they had hoped to dismiss.

A bipartisan task force created by Congress issued "an urgent call to action" Tuesday to overhaul the nation's federal prisons and reduce the number of U.S. inmates by 60,000 over the next decade.

On Monday, President Obama announced changes to the federal prison system that include banning solitary confinement for juvenile offenders and for prisoners who have committed low-level infractions, calling the practice overused and potentially devastating.

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to review a challenge to President Obama's executive actions on immigration.

As we've reported, back in November 2014, Obama announced plans to shield from deportation up to 5 million immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. Even before his plans got off the ground, lower courts put them on hold.

The presidential primary has now reached the final two-week stretch before Iowans meet to caucus on Feb. 1, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is spending some of those precious final days making a swing through New Hampshire.

Unlike Iowa, where Cruz is neck and neck with Donald Trump, New Hampshire is a state where Trump dominates, leading the rest of the pack by nearly 20 points in recent polls.

But Cruz said he believes the campaign is entering a "different phase," where voters will take a closer look at candidates' records — particularly Trump's.

Citing concerns over pricing and pollution, the Obama administration on Friday unveiled a moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands. The change won't affect existing leases, which generated nearly $1.3 billion for the government last year.

The Department of the Interior says it wants to make sure the money it's charging for coal leases takes into account both market prices and what's often called the "social costs" of coal — its impact on climate change and public health.

The agency says federal lands account for roughly 40 percent of all U.S. coal production.

There was a new urgency as Republican presidential hopefuls took the stage Thursday evening, with simmering feuds spilling into the open less than three weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

The onetime detente between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz was gone. The billionaire real estate mogul early on had to defend his doubts as to whether the Canadian-born Texas senator is even eligible for the White House.

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Recent polls show the gap closing between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination. With less than three weeks until the Iowa caucuses, Sanders is getting help from outside organizations.

President Obama used his final State of the Union address Tuesday night to reflect on his legacy. But he also put forth some specific proposals for his remaining year in office. And the very first one was "helping students learn to write computer code."

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What is the state of the union? It's probably strong, as the previous five presidents have said. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will recap President Barack Obama's final State of the Union address. We also look ahead to the race for his successor. Former President Bill Clinton swings through Connecticut to fundraise for his wife's campaign.

It was perhaps fitting that the most memorable passage of President Obama's final State of the Union speech should come near its end.

After nearly an hour on the podium, Obama paused and slipped into a mode more suited to a pulpit. In the next few minutes, the president tried to address the state not of the American union but of American politics.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy will be sitting with first lady Michelle Obama during the president's final State of the Union address.

On Tuesday night, President Obama will give his final State of the Union address. It's the last big speech many Americans will watch him deliver, and he wants to leave a good impression.

Here are five things to watch for.

1. How different will this speech be from his past State of the Union addresses?

New Hampshire Primary Now A Race For 2nd Place

Jan 9, 2016

The Republican presidential primary race in New Hampshire is turning into a contest for second place.

With businessman Donald Trump so far ahead in the polls, the other GOP candidates are ratcheting up efforts to win over crucial undecided voters in the next four weeks.

Breaking Out Of The Pack

kcdsTM / Creative Commons

This week President Barack Obama announced new executive action to tighten gun control in the United States, but what will the proposed changes mean for Connecticut?

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Connecticut lawmakers were given advance notice of President Obama’s executive orders on guns. The Newtown school shooting was referenced several times during Obama's speech and several family members of the victims were in attendance. This week, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss the president’s action and some recognition by the New York Times on Connecticut’s criminal justice reforms.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy said he applauds President Obama's plan to use executive authority to implement a set of measures aimed at curbing gun violence.

President Barack Obama announced a series of executive actions on Tuesday intended to combat gun violence. His plans would require background checks for guns bought from dealers even if they're purchased online or at gun shows. 

Pete Souza / White House

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy will be on hand when President Barack Obama officially announces his executive action requiring all gun sellers to register as dealers, and other measures to curb gun violence.

President Obama is announcing a series of executive actions intended to combat gun violence, including a regulatory change designed to make it harder for gun buyers to avoid background checks. Obama plans to detail the moves on Tuesday with a statement in the White House East Room.

Pete Souza / The White House

Several members of Connecticut's congressional delegation are among a group of federal lawmakers meeting with President Barack Obama about his executive actions tightening the nation's gun laws.

President Obama is preparing to take executive action on guns soon, after being rebuffed by Congress in his effort to crack down on gun violence.

Gun control advocates say the move could come as early as next week.

"The president has made clear he's not satisfied with where we are and expects that work to be completed soon," said White House spokesman Eric Schultz.

This story was updated at 3 p.m. ET

Two top staffers for Ben Carson's presidential campaign have resigned, an ominous sign for the struggling Republican's White House hopes just a month before voting begins.

Campaign manager Barry Bennett and communications director Doug Watts have both stepped down, something the campaign called "enhancements" to "shift the campaign into a higher gear."

Retired Army Major General Bob Dees will take over as campaign trail while Ed Brookover, former a senior strategists, will be the new campaign manager.

Many Republicans may have sided with Donald Trump's controversial proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., but his rival Jeb Bush predicts that the GOP faithful will eventually oppose the plan and see it his way.

"Trump clearly banning all Muslims would actually be so counterproductive in our efforts to destroy ISIS that it's foolhardy," the former Florida governor told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview Wednesday in Boston. "I mean, it's beyond ridiculous; it's quite dangerous."

President Obama wrapped up 2015 by taking another round of questions from the press.

At the traditional end-of-year news conference Friday afternoon, Obama began with a list of achievements, including the legalization of same-sex marriage across America and progress made toward addressing global climate change.

Donkey Hotey / Flickr

Republican presidential hopefuls debate for the first time since the Paris attacks and San Bernardino shootings and national security is on the forefront of national discussion. This hour on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss the latest debate in the long road to the White House. There was more of a clear divide between some candidates, especially surrounding military spending and intelligence gathering.

Republicans took the gloves off for their fifth presidential debate in Las Vegas. Focusing almost entirely on foreign policy and national security, the candidates revealed big divides in how they would handle the threat of terrorism and deal with foreign leaders.

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