Politics

Torture Report
8:41 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Dick Cheney On Senate Torture Investigation: 'The Report Is Full Of Crap'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:53 pm

"The report is full of crap."

That's what former Vice President Dick Cheney told Fox News in an interview about a Senate investigation that found the Central Intelligence Agency used brutal techniques to interrogate terrorism suspects and then misled lawmakers, the White House and Congress about what they were doing.

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China
6:42 am
Thu December 11, 2014

In Hong Kong, Police Clear Final 'Occupy' Protest Site

Hong Kong police arrest lawmaker and pro-democracy activist Leung Kwok-Hung during a sit-in Thursday as police clear the main protest site in the Admiralty district.
Alex Ogle AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:02 am

After months of acts of civil disobedience that at some points paralyzed Hong Kong, police cleared the final encampment of what's come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution.

Demonstrators had gathered on the streets of Hong Kong for two months. The protest site at Admiralty was, symbolically, the most important because it was closest to the government offices. In the end, it was also the last one standing.

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Setting the Bar
2:36 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

America, the Greatest*

Two of the Founding Fathers carved in stone.
Credit Dean Franklin / Creative Commons

The United States of America has always been imperfect. In some ways, it was designed that way. Despite the fact that their faces are on money and engraved into the side of a mountain, the "Founding Fathers" were actually humans with all of the flaws and fallacies that accompany the species. Many, if not all of them, knew that too.

At what point in history did America start thinking of itself the "greatest country in the world"?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed December 10, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Corporate Shakeups, Police Cameras, and Sexual Assault on Connecticut Campuses

Body cameras used by police in England. More departments in the U.S. are implementing their use too.
Credit West Midlands Police Department / Creative Commons

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses several national stories with implications here in Connecticut.

In the wake of the grand jury decisions in Staten Island and Ferguson, body cameras for police officers have been floated as one possible fix. It could hold officers more accountable for their actions, but it could also lead to unintended consequences.

Also, how does the Rolling Stone story on sexual assault on college campuses impact schools in Connecticut?

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China
6:49 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Officials Set To Dismantle Final 'Occupy' Camp In Hong Kong

Pro-democracy activists tents are seen Tuesday on the road outside Hong Kong's Government Complex.
Chris McGrath Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 12:24 pm

After two-months' worth of pro-democracy demonstrations that at times paralyzed Hong Kong, authorities are warning that they will clear protesters from a campsite blocking a main road near government headquarters on Thursday.

The Admiralty protest site is the last bastion of a protest movement that has come to be known as the Umbrella Revolution.

Reuters reports:

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Election 2015
3:37 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Hartford Mayoral Possibilities Start to Emerge

Hartford City Hall.
Heather Brandon WNPR

Hartford's mayoral election is a year away, and while Mayor Pedro Segarra hasn't yet said whether he'll run, others are considering a run.

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Interrogation Methods
2:25 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Report Says CIA Misled Congress, White House On Interrogation Program

An IKONOS satellite image of a facility near Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 17, 2003, shows what is reportedly the largest CIA covert prison in Afghanistan, code-named the Salt Pit.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 7:27 pm

The CIA "provided inaccurate information to the White House, Congress, the Justice Department, the CIA inspector general, the media and the American public" about the "brutal" interrogation techniques it used on terrorism suspects, a long-held Senate intelligence committee report finds.

The report provides the most comprehensive public accounting of the interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Refugee Resettlement in Connecticut

Farha Mohamed
Chion Wolf

Refugee resettlement is arguably one of our country’s noblest examples of foreign policy. It gives forcibly displaced people from around the world a chance to escape danger and rebuild a life for themselves in a safe environment.

Refugees run from war and persecution, often losing or leaving behind family and loved ones in the process. Many refugees then spend months and sometimes years in rundown, makeshift refugee camps. Less than 1% of all refugees get the chance to leave a camp and resettle in the U.S. or a handful of other countries who accept them.

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Middle East
6:44 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Chuck Hagel Lands In Iraq To Meet With Officials

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel greets U.S. troops upon his arrival at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, on Monday.
Mark Wilson AP

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel landed in Iraq this morning. Hagel is scheduled to meet with Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders about the U.S.-led war against the so-called Islamic State.

This visit is of note because Hagel is the first secretary of defense to visit the country since President Obama ended American combat involvement in Iraq in 2011.

Since then, the U.S. has beefed up its military presence in Iraq to combat ISIS, which started an assault on the country over the summer.

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Safe Passage
10:17 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

New Entry Program Reunites Some Immigrants With Their Children

Wilfredo Díaz left Honduras 16 years ago before his third child was born, and he hopes to bring his children to the U.S. under the State Department's new program.
Alexandra Starr

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 10:49 am

The State Department launched a program this month that creates a safe passage to the United States from Central America. It would give some U.S.-based Latino parents the chance to bring over children they left in their home countries.

More than 57,000 child migrants made the trip across the U.S.-Mexican border this year. Many report being physically and sexually abused along the harrowing journey.

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Middle East
4:58 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Facing Threats From ISIS And Iran, Gulf States Set To Join Forces

A member of the Saudi border guards mans a machine gun at the border with Iraq in July. Since the so-called Islamic State launched its offensive this summer in Iraq, Saudi Arabia has sent thousands of troops to the region.
Faisal Nasser Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:17 am

Alarmed over rising threats in the Middle East and North Africa, the Gulf Cooperation Council is set to launch an unprecedented joint military command, according to regional officials and military analysts.

"At the moment, we are witnessing a new spirit," says Abdulaziz Sager, head of the Gulf Research Center, a think tank that focuses on the GCC, a six-member group of Arab monarchies.

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White House
4:12 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Obama Administration Unveils New Limits On Racial Profiling

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:44 pm

The Obama administration released new guidelines today to ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement officers. The guidelines replace ones adopted by the Bush administration in 2003.

The new rules prohibit profiling based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion or sexual orientation and apply to federal officers, such as the FBI and Secret Service and any local law enforcement that work with them on task forces.

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White House
2:17 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

A Fleeting Peek At The Prince And The President

The White House said the president was looking forward to "thanking The Duke of Cambridge for the hospitality shown to him by the Royal Family during the President's recent visits to the United Kingdom."
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:08 pm

The visit of Britain's Prince William to Washington, D.C. has been greeted with the excitement reserved for celebrities in a town starved of real famous people (I mean, spotting Sen. Chuck Schumer at a restaurant can lead to breathless "spotted" tweeting). Folks are disappointed that his wife, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, didn't make the trip down from New York City with him. But, this is D.C., and we'll take what we can get on an otherwise slow news morning.

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Cities
12:53 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Democratic Mayors Back Obama's Immigration Plan, Citing Economic Benefits

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is hosting mayors from across the country to support President Obama's executive actions on immigration.
Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:50 pm

Short on the heels of a nonbinding House vote to block President Obama's executive action on immigration, some 20 Democratic U.S. mayors are meeting today in New York City to send a different message:

They want to help implement the president's plan.

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Polish Stories Project
10:36 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Polish Conference at Yale Focuses on Global Security, Ukraine

Thomas Sherlock, West Point Political Science Professor; Boguslaw Winid, Poland's Ambassador to the United Nations; Artur Novak-Far, Poland's Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Catie Talarski

The American Polish Advisory Council held its annual conference at Yale University this weekend. The group discussed issues ranging from U.S.-Polish relations to the crisis in nearby Ukraine. 

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Capitol Hill
2:46 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Congress Clashes Over Release Of CIA 'Torture Report'

Senate intelligence committee chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is again defending her report on CIA torture methods, which was set to be released this week.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 9:06 am

Leaders on Capitol Hill are at odds regarding a report on CIA methods — including torture — used to extract information in the so-called war on terror.

Chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has been fighting for the release of her 480-page executive summary of the report since April of this year, and it finally was scheduled for a reveal this week.

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White House
11:20 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Obama Taps Ashton Carter As Defense Secretary Nominee

President Obama announced Friday that Ashton Carter is his nominee to succeed Chuck Hagel as defense secretary.
Larry Downing Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 11:21 am

Updated at 11:19 a.m.

President Obama named Ashton Carter, a former No. 2 Pentagon official, as his pick to succeed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Obama described Carter today as one of the "nation's foremost national security leaders."

"He was at the table in the situation room. He was by my side navigating complex security challenges that we were confronting," Obama said. I relied on his expertise and I relied on his judgment."

Carter called the nomination an "honor and a privilege."

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Simsbury Politics
2:11 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Simsbury's First Selectman Calls Move By Republican Board of Selectmen "Illegal"

Mary Glassman in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Simsbury's First Selectman, Democrat Mary Glassman, said she was blind-sided by the Republican-controlled Board of Selectmen's decision last week to cut her salary by 35 percent effective in July. 

On Monday, Glassman announced her resignation, effective January 2. 

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Fair Compensation
8:16 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

In Hartford Eminent Domain Case, Property Owner Wants More Money

One of several properties being taken from a private landowner by the city of Hartford.
City of Hartford

The real estate investor who owns land the city wants to take for its $350 million baseball stadium development project said the city's $1.9 million offer is "wholly inadequate."

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Details
3:22 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

For Hartford Stadium Development, Another Do-Over

A rendering of a planned stadium in downtown Hartford.
Credit City of Hartford

If you like process, you'll love this story.

Earlier this week, we reported that the city of Hartford's Planning and Zoning Commission had to do a do-over and re-vote on part of the $350 million plan to build a baseball stadium and related development Why? Because it didn't follow state law and give proper notice on an important stadium zoning vote in late October. So, it's voting again.

Now, a second city board, the Hartford Redevelopment Agency, has to re-vote, too. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed December 3, 2014

The Wheelhouse: 'Tis the Season for Resignations, Deficits, and Hartford Politics

It's that time of year again in Connecticut.
Credit Ben Pollard / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Supreme Court will take up an issue that’s pitting privacy advocates against First Amendment proponents. Simsbury’s first selectman resigns after taking a big pay cut she says is illegal. Meanwhile, the City of Hartford has a race for mayor that's about to start.

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses these stories, plus the cuts in state spending were not enough to eliminate a budget deficit.

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Middle East
8:13 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Kerry: Coalition Offensive Against ISIS Having 'Significant Impact'

Secretary of State John Kerry, left, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, center, and Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari prior to a round table meeting of the global coalition to counter the Islamic State.
Virginia Mayo AP

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 1:00 pm

Meeting with representatives of nations that have joined the United States in its fight against the so-called Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry said the offensive was having "significant impact."

Reuters reports:

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Watchdogs
10:05 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Massachusetts Casino Opponents Consider Next Steps

Steve Abdow, a western Massachusetts organizer with Repeal the Casino Deal.

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 2:06 pm

After failing last month to repeal the state’s casino law, activists in Massachusetts may become watchdogs over the industry.

Steve Abdow, one of the leaders of the Repeal the Casino Deal campaign, said the effort to stop casinos from coming to Massachusetts ended with the crushing defeat on Election Day, but he and fellow activists are discussing other ways to stay involved.

"We  have concerns about the impacts casinos will have on our communities. That is what we all have in common and why we did our work."

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White House
12:44 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Reports: Ashton Carter Emerges As Obama's Top Pick For Secretary Of Defense

Ashton Carter answers a reporter's question during a March 2013 news conference at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, South Korea.
Lee Jin-man AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 3:06 pm

President Obama is likely to nominate Ashton Carter as his next secretary of defense, CNN, The Associated Press, The Washington Post and

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Politics
3:47 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

After Lawsuit Regarding Baseball Stadium, Hartford Changes Course

Credit Lenny Baker / Creative Commons

It's time for a do-over.

The city of Hartford will hold a second meeting on zoning changes related to its $350 million baseball stadium development, because its first meeting did not meet state public notice requirements. 

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Utilities
3:19 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut Regulators Propose Slashing CL&P Rate Increase

Credit Невідомий / Creative Commons

Connecticut regulators say that a power utility's request to raise consumer costs by more than $230 million should be cut nearly in half. 

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Internet Ire
3:15 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

GOP Staffer Resigns After Comments About Obama Daughters

President Obama, joined by his daughters Malia, right, and Sasha, center, speaks at the White House, in Washington during the presidential turkey pardon ceremony on Wednesday.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 2:58 pm

Elizabeth Lauten, the GOP staffer who criticized President Obama's daughters, has resigned, The Washington Post, NBC News and USA Today are reporting.

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Malloy Administration
1:50 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Gov. Malloy Appoints Natasha Pierre as State Victim Advocate

Natasha Pierre.
Credit University of Connecticut

Governor Dannel Malloy has appointed Natasha Pierre as Connecticut's new state victim advocate, an office that represents crime victims and helps ensure they get the services they need. 

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Congress
10:05 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Republicans Debate: Fight The President Now, Or Fight Him Later?

Republican Senator-elect Thom Tillis of North Carolina says he expects his party to challenge the president immediately on immigration, and that he hopes President Obama's Defense and Justice nominees will be acceptable to both parties.
Davis Turner Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 9:16 am

Congress returns for its final session of the year on Monday afternoon, and lawmakers have a big to-do list ahead before they can adjourn for the holidays.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 1, 2014

What It's Like to Be Detained in Russia; Public Confidence in Local Hospitals

Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise.
Apples and oranges Creative Commons

It’s been just over a year since Russian authorities arrested 30 activists aboard Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior III -- a ship protesting Russia’s controversial oil rig in the Arctic. Among those arrested was the ship’s captain, Peter Willcox, a Greenpeace veteran and resident of Norwalk, Connecticut. 

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