Politics

State Senate Dilemma
2:39 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Kevin Rennie, Rob Simmons at Odds Over State Sen. Andrew Maynard's Benefits

Columnist Kevin Rennie in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Republican columnist Kevin Rennie took issue with one of his own in his latest Hartford Courant column, scolding former Congressman Rob Simmons for suggesting that the injured Andrew Maynard be awarded a pension and health benefits should he be incapable of serving the term to which he’s just been elected.

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Pentagon
11:49 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Hagel Announces Billions In Upgrades To Nuclear Program

A Minuteman III missile engine is loaded into a truck for transport to another building for X-raying before being torn down and rebuilt. The Air Force's missile command-and-control structure has been the subject of several recent scandals.
Douglas C. Pizac AP

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 1:25 pm

Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said today that the Pentagon is aiming to invest about 10 percent more over the next five years to upgrade the nation's nuclear deterrent, following reviews that uncovered "systemic problems" in the system.

Hagel said the U.S. was "probably looking at a 10 percent increase" in spending, according to Reuters, which said internal and external reviews have made some 100 recommendations on improving the nuclear forces.

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State Budget
11:24 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Gov. Malloy Budget Chief Sticks to No Tax Hike Pledge

Ben Barnes, Gov. Malloy's secretary of the Office of Policy and Management.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's budget chief says he plans to adhere to his boss's campaign promise not to raise taxes in Connecticut's new two-year state budget.

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Immigration
4:16 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Obama Plans To Use Executive Action To Reshape Immigration

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Military Forces
12:50 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

U.S. Would Consider 'Modest' Force For Complex Iraq Operations

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies on Capitol Hill Thursday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 2:58 pm

Updated at 12:55 pm. EST

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military commander, told lawmakers today that the U.S. would consider sending some U.S. troops to fight alongside Iraqi forces in more complex missions against militants of the Islamic State.

He told the House Armed Services Committee that though Iraqi forces were tackling the militants, operations such as retaking the city of Mosul or restoring the border with Syria could need help.

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Curveball
10:33 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Hartford Files to Take Land By Eminent Domain for Baseball Stadium Project

A rendering of a planned baseball stadium near downtown Hartford.
City of Hartford

The City of Hartford said it's unable to reach an agreement to buy three acres of land it needs as part of its baseball stadium development project. So, instead of buying it, it's just going to take it

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 12, 2014

The Wheelhouse Has Election Withdrawal

Governor Dannel Malloy celebrates, and Republican challenger Tom Foley on Election Night last Tuesday.
Chion Wolf/Mara Lavitt WNPR

Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse has finally had a chance to breath after last week’s election that leaves the next four years looking a lot like the last four years in Connecticut. Our panel of reporters and analysts will close the books on the 2014 election and preview what’s to come in Governor Malloy's second term in office.

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Climate Change
7:30 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China And U.S., Titans Of Carbon Pollution, Move To Cut Gases

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama, seen here during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, announced pledges to reduce greenhouse gases.
HUANG JINGWEN Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:30 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.

The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.

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Civil Rights
6:48 am
Wed November 12, 2014

John Doar Remembered As A Civil Rights Pioneer

John Doar in Oxford, Miss., in 1966.
AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 10:59 am

The news of attorney John Doar's death at 92 on Tuesday sent a wave of solemnity through the country, prompting multiple obituaries detailing his extensive work fighting discrimination and working for racial equality during the 1960s and '70s.

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Foreign Policy
10:46 am
Tue November 11, 2014

In China, Dreaded Process Of Getting Visa To The U.S. May Get Easier

Chinese citizens wait to submit their visa applications at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in 2012. Wait times for interviews once could stretch to a month or more.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 6:41 pm

On Wednesday, the U.S. will begin offering Chinese tourists and business people multiple-entry visas valid for up to 10 years. The change, announced by President Obama in Beijing, is designed to help the American economy and build goodwill in China. China's Foreign Ministry says it will reciprocate.

The first impression most Chinese have of the U.S. government comes when they apply for a visa. For years, they've dreaded the process.

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Bush
3:33 am
Tue November 11, 2014

43 On 41: A President Traces The Life Of His Father

Former President George W. Bush (right) and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, wave as they leave a family wedding in Washington, D.C., in May 2006.
Normand Blouin-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 9:16 am

Only twice in American history has a son followed his father into the presidency. The first was John Quincy Adams. The second, George W. Bush, has now written a biography of his father, George H.W. Bush. It's called 41: A Portrait of My Father.

The 43rd president of the United States traces the life of the 41st from his youth in New England through his entry into the Texas oil business, combat during World War II, party politics, diplomacy, the White House, retirement — and skydiving.

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Bridgeport
12:20 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Ex-Worker at Bridgeport Housing Authority Sues, Claiming Fraud

Subsidized apartment housing in Bridgeport.
Credit City of Bridgeport

An ex-employee has sued the Bridgeport Housing Authority, claiming she was fired to cover up $2 million in fraud and mismanagement she discovered. 

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China
8:11 am
Mon November 10, 2014

In China, Obama Touts Visa Deal, Progress On Free-Trade Pact

President Obama arrives at the Beijing airport Monday. Speaking at the APEC summit, the president unveiled a new deal to ease visa restrictions between the U.S. and China.
Lintao Zhang Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 10:25 am

The U.S. and China are easing visa rules for each other's citizens, in a reciprocal agreement that President Obama says will "benefit everyone from students, to tourists, to businesses large and small." Starting his eight-day visit to East Asia, the president also said "good progress" has recently been made for a free-trade agreement among Pacific Rim countries.

Obama and other leaders are visiting China for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, where the president announced the U.S. and China have agreed to expand their visas beyond the current one-year term.

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Germany
12:42 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Germany's Merkel: Fall Of Berlin Wall Shows Dreams Come True

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, 3rd from left, place candles to commemorate the victims of the Wall at the Berlin Wall memorial site at Bernauer Strasse in Berlin, Germany, on Sunday.
Markus Schreiber AP

Originally published on Sun November 9, 2014 4:41 pm

A quarter-century after the Berlin Wall that split East and West Germany came down, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said its destruction shows that dreams can come true and "nothing has to stay as it is."

The Wall was built in 1961, closing off access to West Germany to stop people from the communist East from fleeing. The roughly finished concrete and barbed-wire structure became a potent Cold War symbol of what former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once described as an "Iron Curtain" dividing Europe.

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White House
12:08 pm
Sat November 8, 2014

Obama Nominates Loretta Lynch For Attorney General Post

Loretta Lynch has handled or supervised a wide range of cases including New York police brutality against a Haitian immigrant, a $45 million cybertheft involving ATMs and the ongoing fraud prosecution of Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of New York.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Sat November 8, 2014 3:33 pm

Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET

President Obama today officially announced his nomination of Loretta Lynch, a two-time United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder.

"It's pretty hard to be more qualified for this job than Loretta Lynch," the president said at a news conference today after praising the work of Attorney General Eric Holder.

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World
10:53 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Two Americans Held In North Korea Are Back On U.S. Soil

Matthew Miller, who had been held in North Korea since April, 2014, is greeted by two unidentified women after arriving Saturday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Sun November 9, 2014 5:11 am

Updated at 4:45 a.m. ET Sunday

Americans Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, held for months in North Korea, received a joyful homecoming Saturday as their plane set down at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle.

Bae, 45, a Korean-American missionary and tour guide from Lynnwood, Wash., thanked family and supporters for not forgetting about him during his detention.

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Europe
4:03 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Catalonia's President Makes His Case For Independence From Spain

Catalonia's President Artur Mas is presiding over the region's nonbinding independence vote on Sunday. Spain opposes the ballot and insists that the Catalonia will remain part of Spain.
David Ramos Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:33 pm

When the international press corps descend on the Catalan capital Barcelona, as they are this weekend to cover the region's symbolic independence vote, Catalan President Artur Mas often holds a news conference. Here's how he usually begins:

"I'll try to answer your questions in whatever language you ask them," Mas says. "Catalan, Spanish, French, English — I'll try my best in Italian too," he says, and settles in for up to two hours, until all questions are exhausted.

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Casinos
1:01 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Massachusetts Gambling Regulators Approve MGM, Wynn Casino Licenses

MGM has started to prepare the future casino site in Springfield for a spring 2015 groundbreaking and expects to open the casino in 2017

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 12:28 pm

The introduction of Las Vegas-style gambling to Massachusetts will proceed at a more rapid pace now that a major hurdle has been cleared.  Voters soundly defeated a ballot question to repeal the 2011 casino law.  

   With the cloud of uncertainty caused by the repeal vote lifted, The Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting in Boston Thursday voted unanimously to formally award licenses to build and operate full-scale destination casinos to MGM Resorts for the company’s Springfield project and to Wynn Resorts in greater Boston.  

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu November 6, 2014

A Voice for Connecticut's Homeless

Marc Brüneke Creative Commons

A report released by the National Coalition for the Homeless last month shows a growing number of U.S. cities are making it illegal to hand out food to the homeless. Since January 2013, 21 cities have passed legislation restricting food distribution. 

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Whaling City Politics
8:45 am
Thu November 6, 2014

In Reversal, New London Mayor Will Seek Second Term

Now that the 2014 elections are over, the race for New London mayor begins.
Credit Office of Mayor Finizio / Facebook

After previously saying he would not seek a second term, Democratic New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has changed his mind.

Finizio made his announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday. After announcing in April he would not run for re-election, "many New Londoners came to me, at my office, at my house, on the street, urging me to reconsider and run for re-election," Finizio wrote.

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Middle East
8:29 am
Thu November 6, 2014

NATO's New Secretary General Makes First Visit To Kabul

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on this way to Kabul.
NATO

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:39 am

The new secretary general of NATO and Pakistan's Army chief were in Kabul on Thursday to meet with newly-sworn-in President Ashraf Ghani.

As NPR's Sean Carberry reports the visits mark a continued honeymoon between the international community and Afghanistan's new government. Sean sent this report to our Newscast unit:

"Neither visit resulted in any new policies or initiatives. Rather, they appeared to be about marking a new chapter in Afghanistan's relations with NATO and Pakistan.

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Voting Problems
4:02 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Hartford Voter Registrars Under Fire

The Hartford Registrars of Voters office in City Hall.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Following a disastrous day in which voters across the city of Hartford were turned away from the early morning polls, there's a lot of talk about how to avoid this kind of mess in the future. 

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Connecticut Legislature
2:29 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Mixed Fortunes for Democrats in State Senate

Polling in Essex on Tuesday.
Credit Mara Lavitt / WNPR

Southeastern Connecticut saw some notable races in the state legislature, with one state senate seat changing hands, and another staying with the incumbent, despite the fact he's currently hospitalized. 

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Connecticut Governor
2:26 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Gov. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Wyman Declare Victory in Connecticut Race

The Connecticut State Capitol.
Jim Bowen Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman declared victory in the Connecticut governor's race on Wednesday at the state Capitol. 

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Close Race
1:46 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Tom Foley Concedes in Connecticut Governor's Race

Tom Foley admits that he probably lost, but did not concede, at the Hyatt in Greenwich. With him at left is his wife Leslie Fahrenkopf Foley, at right his running mate Heather Somers.
Mara Lavitt WNPR

Republican Tom Foley conceded the Connecticut governor's race on Wednesday afternoon to incumbent Governor Dannel Malloy.

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Massachusetts Results
12:10 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Baker Elected Massachusetts Governor In Tight Race

Voters elected Republican Charlie Baker to be the next governor of Massachusetts.

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 12:13 pm

Republican Charlie Baker will be the next governor of Massachusetts. He beat Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley. It was a close race down to the end.

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New York Results
11:41 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Cuomo Faces Potential Gridlock With State Senate Over Next Four Years

The once and future governors celebrate Andrew Cuomo's victory.

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 12:58 pm

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, won another four years in office, but the Republicans also recaptured the State Senate. That could lead to Washington-style gridlock on a number of issues that Cuomo pushed in the campaign.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:12 am
Wed November 5, 2014

What's Next for Republicans?

Senator Mitch McConnell
Credit Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

There are so many plots and subplots emanating from yesterday.

Republicans had a good night around the country. They extended their control in the U.S. House of Representatives and took control of the U.S. Senate. It was one of the worst blows dealt to a mid-term administration since World War II,  putting President Obama in the company of Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1994.

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Fourth Congressional District
9:43 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Democrat Jim Himes Keeps U.S. House Seat, Tops Dan Debicella

Rep. Jim Himes in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Democratic Rep. Jim Himes has defeated Republican Dan Debicella to claim a fourth term representing Connecticut's Gold Coast in Congress. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 5, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Who's the Next Governor of Connecticut?

If you haven't done so already, now you can throw out all those political mailers you probably received.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy claimed victory in the race for governor early Wednesday morning, but only by a razor-thin margin. Without final results, the best call he could make was, "We're going to win this thing."

Republican challenger Tom Foley, reluctant to concede, gave a speech announcing that yeah, he probably lost. Also still unclear: results of the races for secretary of the state, comptroller, and treasurer. 

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