Politics

Political news from WNPR

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Several governors from New England visited Connecticut on Thursday to talk about regional energy infrastructure challenges. 

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

European leaders attended a ceremony marking the centenary of the massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I, as German lawmakers risked triggering a diplomatic row with Turkey by voting to acknowledge the historical event as "genocide" –- a charge Ankara has strongly denied.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

President Obama offered his "grief and condolences" to the families of the American and Italian aid workers killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in January. Both men were held hostage by al-Qaida.

"I take full responsibility for a U.S. government counterterrorism operation that killed two innocent hostages held by al-Qaida," Obama said.

The Senate voted Thursday, 56-43, to approve the nomination of Loretta Lynch to serve as U.S. attorney general, ending a more than five month-long political impasse that had stalled her bid to become the first black woman to lead the Justice Department.

Lynch, 55, grew up in the shadow of the civil rights movement in North Carolina, where her family had preached for generations. Most recently, she prosecuted terrorists, mobsters and white collar criminals as the top federal prosecutor in Brooklyn, a district that covers 8 million people.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Five out of six New England governors will meet in Hartford on Thursday for a closed-door energy roundtable. Together, they’ll work on developing a cooperative strategy to address some of the region’s biggest energy challenges. 

State of Connecticut

State lawmakers have overwhelmingly voted to reconfirm Chase Rogers as chief justice of the Connecticut State Supreme Court. 

A full-fledged Democratic trade war has broken out.

"I love Elizabeth. We're allies on a whole host of issues, but she's wrong on this," President Obama said Tuesday night in an interview on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, referring to liberal Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Courtesy CT-N

State Treasurer Denise Nappier wants to shake-up the way Connecticut pays off its debt.
 Her proposal follows a sharp disagreement with Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget chief over the amount that should be set aside to service state debt in the upcoming two-year budget.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Wednesday the creation of a state council to set goals related to Connecticut's efforts to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Photo Phiend / Creative Commons

Republicans at the state capitol hope to get out in front of their counterparts by releasing their own budget plan. But what influence will that have on the majority party? Will new casinos be part of the long-term plan?

At the national level, presidential candidates are balancing their budgets with trips to Connecticut's gold coast, including Sen. Marco Rubio who will headline a GOP fundraiser in Stamford on June 4. That's just a day after the legislative session wraps up, so there may be some tired lawmakers in attendance.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A week after a state court judge ruled against their effort to remove the city's three elected registrars, members of Hartford's city council have voted not to appeal. 

Heather Brandon / WNPR

Hartford officials have admitted they violated various aspects of the state's open meetings law last year when they held a closed-door meeting to discuss proposals to build a new minor league baseball stadium. 

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who recently declared his candidacy for president, is headlining the Connecticut Republican Party's annual fundraising dinner.

State GOP chairman Jerry Labriola Jr. announced Monday that Rubio will keynote the 37th Annual Prescott Bush Awards Dinner. The event is June 4 in Stamford.

Less than two years after he was removed from power by the military, an Egyptian court has sentenced former President Mohammed Morsi to 20 years in prison for the arrest and torture of protesters during his tenure.

The charges stem from the months of protests between late 2012 and July 2013, when Morsi was kicked out of office.

Twelve other defendants were also found guilty and received the same sentence as Morsi; they include former Muslim Brotherhood legislator Mohamed al-Beltagi and Essam al-Aryan, the group's former spokesman.

Chion Wolf

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra wants state revenue to help pay for its new $60 million minor league baseball stadium. And he took that case to the capitol Monday.

Iran is charging a Washington Post reporter with four crimes, including espionage, the newspaper said today. This is the first time the precise charges against Jason Rezaian, the Post's bureau chief in Tehran, have been made public since he was detained by the Iranian authorities nine months ago.

Martin O'Malley, former governor of Maryland, says he'll decide by late May whether he's running for president. Running would put him — even he seems to acknowledge — in an uphill battle against Hillary Clinton, currently the only Democrat who has declared.

O'Malley is positioning himself to Clinton's left, and even President Obama's left.

City of Hartford

There's a public hearing Monday on a plan that would use money generated by a state tax to help pay off the debt for the new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford. But the governor doesn't know much about it, and the state senate Republican leader is opposed to the plan.

Office of Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy on Friday named the state's interim education commissioner, Dr. Dianna Wentzell, to the role permanently.

DoNo Hartford LLC

The city of Hartford wants state tax dollars to help pay back the loans on its new $60 million minor league baseball stadium built for the team that's now in New Britain, and there's a measure at the capitol to get it done. But not everyone is convinced it's a good idea. 

David King / Creative Commons

Dozens of Connecticut librarians rallied at the Capitol building in Hartford Wednesday to oppose nearly $4 million in cuts in Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed two-year budget.

Forty-five years ago, the attention of the nation and much of the world swung toward New Haven, where the murder trial of Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins had made the city a magnet for Black Panther outrage and pushed New Haven to the brink of anarchy.

It's an amazing story with a cast of characters that includes not only the Panthers, but future black leaders like Kurt Schmoke, a Yale student who would become mayor of Baltimore, and J. Edgar Hoover, Jerry Rubin, Allen Ginsberg, Archibald Cox, Spiro Agnew, Kingman Brewster and Tom Hayden.

Computer security experts have warned for years that some voting machines are vulnerable to attack. And this week, in Virginia, the state Board of Elections decided to impose an immediate ban on touchscreen voting machines used in 20 percent of the state's precincts, because of newly discovered security concerns.

The problems emerged on Election Day last November in Spotsylvania County. The AVS WINVote touchscreen machines used in precinct 302 began to shut down.

purple_onion / Creative Commons

The state legislature's Finance, Revenue and Bonding committee heard public testimony on Wednesday on the video lottery game keno.

House Bill 7054 would give the Connecticut Lottery Corporation the authority to operate Keno, with the exception of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos.

"The exhibition of profound grief was such as I have never seen equalled. Several overcome by their emotion, sat down upon the very ground and wept."

That was how Thomas Nelson, a U.S. minister to Chile, described the reaction of ordinary citizens in Spain to the news of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865.

Schoolhouse Rocks

Many bills, including some high-profile ones face the end of their life in the 2015 legislative session. They died a slow death due to personal drama behind closed doors. That allowed an important deadline to pass before moving bills through committee.

Also, remember Keno? That game was legalized by the legislature, then repealed the following year after public outrage. But now that the state is considering more casino gambling, the state lottery is pushing for Keno again and lawmakers are listening.

While Connecticut grapples with a budget deficit, many constituencies are defending their state funding, including librarians who spoke to Gov. Malloy this week. And the Hartford registrars of voters successfully defended their jobs in court.

If this makes your head spin, at least it's baseball season and the Rock Cats get underway in their final season in New Britain. So what happens to the stadium when they move to Hartford?

Updated at 8:10 p.m. EDT

The U.S. Capitol Police have confirmed that Douglas Mark Hughes of Ruskin, Fla. was the pilot who landed a gyrocopter not far from the capitol building.

Police searched the vehicle, saying "nothing hazardous" was found. The gyrocopter was relocated to a secure location, the department said in a statement.

Shortly after landing, Hughes was quickly named by friends and news outlets as the man who flew low over the reflecting pool to land near the Congressional buildings. He was met by police with their guns drawn.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

A state court judge ruled Tuesday that Hartford's city council does not have the authority to remove its registrars of voters, and the decision comes on the same day that the city council was set to begin its proceedings. 

J E Theriot / Creative Commons

Known to many as the “first lady of the black press,” Ethel Payne fearlessly documented the struggle for civil rights in twentieth-century America. This hour, we take a look at a new biography, which celebrates the life and legacy of the pioneering journalist. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Following a disastrous 2014 election day in Hartford when voters were turned away from the polls, state lawmakers have tried to introduce various fixes to the system. And one of them died Monday afternoon.

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