Political news from WNPR

This post was updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

House Republicans have voted to elect Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan as the party's nominee to serve as the next speaker of the House.

"This begins a new day in the House of Representatives," Ryan said, speaking briefly to reporters after Wednesday's vote. "Tomorrow, we are turning the page. We are not going to have a House that looked like it looked the last few years. ... Our party has lost its vision and we're going to replace it with a vision."

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has fired Senior Deputy Ben Fields over the white deputy's violent arrest of a black student at a South Carolina high school, which was filmed by several students. Lott said Fields broke department policy in the arrest.

"It's not what I expect from my deputies, and it's not what I tolerate from my deputies," Lott said.

The sheriff said he's glad students documented the arrest with videos, which he said were helpful in reviewing the case.

We've updated our earlier post with the news.

Updated at 12:10 pm ET.

Republicans are set to take the stage Wednesday night for their third presidential debate. This one is focused on the economy, but you can bet there will be plenty more topics explored.

For many candidates, who have been touting their business background and job creation experience, it gives them an opportunity to try to flex their muscles. Others will need to seize the chance to show they can handle economic concerns, which remain atop voters' minds.

Ryan Stavely flickr.com/photos/rstavely / Creative Commons

A mandate to install new safety equipment on railroads, called Positive Train Control, may be delayed by three to five years if a vote passes in the Senate. The House approved a bill delaying the measure.

David / Creative Commons

This week, legislative leaders met with Governor Dannel Malloy to talk about the state's budget deficit. This hour, we review those talks with a panel of Capitol reporters.

Ben Carson has surged into a lead in Iowa and is climbing nationally thanks to his appeal to evangelicals. But could his own beliefs as a Seventh-day Adventist make him anathema to many of those same voters?

Donald Trump seemed to question the Republican neurosurgeon's faith over the weekend.

"I'm Presbyterian," Trump said at a Saturday rally in Florida. "Boy, that's down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don't know about. I just don't know about."

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says the U.S. will begin to increase the tempo of an air campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq.

"We won't hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground," Carter said during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Steven Depolo / Creative Commons

Women have come a long way in the fight for equality, but the battle is not over yet. This hour, we take a look at how women’s funds are helping to advance women’s rights and break down gender barriers.

Adavyd / Creative Commons

State legislators and Governor Dannel Malloy said they still need to agree on the size of Connecticut's current budget deficit before bipartisan talks can produce a plan to balance the state's books. 

This could be a pivotal week as officials in Springfield, Massachusetts determine how they will respond to the proposed downsizing of the casino planned by MGM Resorts.  The City Council is holding a special meeting this evening. City officials have invited top MGM officials to a meeting later in the week to explain the proposed changes.

sipo / Creative Commons

The Iranian government has criticized the decision by a U.S. court to sentence an engineer with dual citizenship to more than eight years in prison for trying to send sensitive military documents to Iran. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State elections officials and Democrats are preparing to face off in court in a dispute over whether the party illegally spent money on Governor Dannel Malloy's successful re-election bid last year. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The developers of the $350 million stadium and related retail, housing, and grocery store in downtown Hartford now want to include a hotel, the city and the developer said Friday. 

Former governor Lincoln Chafee announced his departure from the presidential race Friday morning, six months after he launched what proved to be a quixotic bid for the nation's top office.

"As you know I have been campaigning on a platform of Prosperity Through Peace," Chafee said, in prepared remarks for an address to a group of Democratic women in Washington. "But after much thought I have decided to end my campaign for president today.  I would like to take this opportunity one last time to advocate for a chance be given to peace."

During his decades in public office, Bernie Sanders has characterized himself as both a “socialist” and a “Democratic socialist,” terms that don’t necessarily mean the same thing.

Bernie Sanders' presidential run has inspired countless profiles, send-ups and songs about the Vermont senator. This past weekend, the Democratic candidate was lampooned on Saturday Night Live. There’s Bernie Sanders tote bags and Bernie Sanders bar soap.

Now there's even a comic book biography of the senator and presidential hopeful.

Back9Network flickr.com/back9network / Creative Commons

Hartford’s Ethics Commission has begun a search for disparities between state and city rules that restrict the use of public office for personal gain.

According to a Gallup survey released Thursday, 58 percent of Americans view the National Rifle Association favorably, despite a mass shooting in Oregon this month that prompted criticism of the gun lobby and strong words from the president.

Thursday was one of the most important days of Hillary Clinton's political career. The Democratic presidential candidate faced grilling for more than eight hours over the 2012 terror attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The questions from the 12 House Select Committee members — seven Republicans and five Democrats — split mostly along partisan lines.

Springfield City Council Reacts to MGM Changes

Oct 22, 2015
Karen Brown / NEPR

Most members of Springfield’s city council are expressing grave doubts about the credibility of MGM-Springfield, following the company’s decision to shrink its casino project by 14 percent.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The developer building Hartford’s new $56 million minor league baseball stadium is now saying that a groundbreaking on the second phase of the revitalization project will be delayed until the spring. 

Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will not be a candidate for president in 2016, sparing Democrats from a shake-up in the race for the White House and removing a potential stumbling block for Hillary Clinton.

The vice president's decision comes after a long, and very public, struggle with whether or not to make a third run for the White House. Overcome with grief after the death of his eldest son, Beau, in May from brain cancer, at many times Biden seemed far from ready for the rigors of the campaign trail.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

After weeks of dismissing the idea of a special session, more bad budget news is pushing Governor Dannel Malloy in that direction. On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss this and all the week's news, including an update on a plan by the state's Board of Regents that has professors fighting mad.

In his first known international trip since civil war began in Syria, President Bashar Assad has just returned from a quick visit in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Assad reportedly briefed Putin on Syria's current and future military operations.

Assad's trip was kept secret until after Tuesday's meeting — and after the Syrian leader's safe return home.

Updated 10:40 a.m. EST

Paul Ryan made it all but official Tuesday night.

He told his fellow Republicans he had returned from a 10-day recess visit home to Wisconsin with a new attitude toward being speaker of the House.

After weeks of being ostensibly uninterested and even hostile to the idea, Ryan had found a reason to seek the most powerful post in Congress and the second spot in the presidential succession (after vice president).

Updated at 1:30 p.m.

Jim Webb ended his Democratic campaign for president on Tuesday, leaving open the possibility he could still run as an independent.

Decrying how far both parties had moved from the center, the former Virginia senator acknowledged that there was no path forward for him in the current 2016 field.

Edward flickr.com/photos/glasgows / Creative Commons

A state gun rights group said it will appeal this week’s federal ruling upholding stricter firearms laws passed in Connecticut and New York, after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The House is back for its first business day after a 10-day break, and the first item of business is a big one: finding a leader.

Speaker John Boehner has said he is resigning at month's end. The Republican conference met to choose a successor, but Boehner ended the session when his No. 2, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, withdrew as a candidate.

CT Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

A federal appellate court has upheld gun laws in Connecticut and New York that were passed after the 2012 shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. 

Canada's Liberal Party won a decisive majority of parliamentary seats Monday, ending nearly a decade of Conservative Party rule. Voters gave Liberals nearly 40 percent of the overall vote compared to the Conservatives' 32 percent. The left-leaning New Democrats had just over 19 percent of the vote.

Justin Trudeau, a 43-year-old former high school teacher and son of the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, assumes the office his father held from 1968 through 1984 with a short interruption.