Politics

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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White House
7:09 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Obama To Ask For $263 Million For Police Body Cameras, Training

Officers wearing riot gear walk through a park in downtown St. Louis on Sunday.
Tom Gannam AP

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 8:00 pm

After a day spent meeting with his Cabinet, civil rights leaders and other officials about the mistrust of police in communities of color, President Obama will ask Congress for $263 million in part to equip local police with body cameras.

Update at 6:55 p.m. ET: Other Possible Changes

As the president confirmed his plans at the White House, Attorney General Eric Holder announced he will soon release new guidelines to limit racial profiling by authorities.

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Europe
3:35 am
Mon December 1, 2014

German Government May Say 'Nein' To After Work Emails

German Chancellor Angela Merkel uses a mobile phone during a meeting of the German federal parliament in Berlin, on Nov. 28, 2013. The country's labor minister supports a call that would prohibit employers from sending emails to employees after normal business hours.
Michael Sohn AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

All of us are familiar with the sound a smartphone makes when an email or text has arrived. Our somewhat Pavlovian response is to pick up the device, see who the message is from and read it.

In Germany, a growing number of these emails come from the boss contacting employees after work. That's not healthy, say experts on work-related stress, including psychologist Gerdamarie Schmitz in Berlin, who is feeling the technological encroachment herself.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 26, 2014

The Wheelhouse: After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision, What's Next?

Memorial to Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Jamelle Bouie Creative Commons

As the nation tries to better understand the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss what comes next. With widespread calls for change in the judicial system, how does that happen?

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Baseball in Hartford
2:03 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Hartford Stadium Critic Files Suit, Alleges Procedural Error

A rendering of a planned baseball stadium in Hartford.
City of Hartford

The New Britain Rock Cats want to play baseball in Hartford in April 2016, so when it comes to building their new stadium, every day matters. Now a new lawsuit says the city, in its haste, didn’t follow the law

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Civil Rights
11:35 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Federal Ferguson Investigation Will Remain Independent, Holder Insists

Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson, Mo., in August, where he met with elected and police officials and community members.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 8:15 am

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Attorney General Eric Holder says "far more must be done to create enduring trust" between police and communities they serve, even as his Justice Department continues to investigate possible discriminatory police actions in Ferguson, Mo.

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New York Casinos
8:57 am
Tue November 25, 2014

NY Casino Decision Expected December 17

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 4:09 pm

A decision on where up to four casinos will be located in upstate New York is expected to be announced December 17, the date a board reviewing casino applications is expected to meet for the final time.

New York State Gaming Commission Executive Director Robert Williams announced plans for the meeting Monday during a meeting of the commission.

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White House
11:45 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Will Step Down, Once Successor Is Confirmed

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 1:34 pm

(This post was last updated at 11:41 a.m. ET.)

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, the highest-profile Republican on President Obama's Cabinet, will step down, once his successor is confirmed by the Senate.

Calling Hagel an "exemplary defense secretary," Obama made the announcement in the State Dining Room of the White House on Monday.

Hagel, a two-term Republican senator, came to the post in February of 2013, the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Department of Defense.

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State Budget
10:52 am
Mon November 24, 2014

Despite Improving Economy, State Could Face Billion-Dollar Deficit

Credit moodboard / Thinkstock

Despite an improving economy, Connecticut could be facing budget deficits of more than a billion dollars over the next three years. 

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Hartford Corruption
4:30 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Insurance Agent Earl O'Garro Indicted, Pleads Not Guilty

Earl O'Garro.
Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes under30ceo.com

Earl O'Garro, the troubled insurance agent who was the target of a federal grand jury that brought an unwelcome spotlight on Hartford City Hall last year, was charged Friday in federal court with one count of wire fraud. He pleaded not guilty.

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ISIS
3:35 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Joe Courtney: Recent Events in Middle East Give "Validation" to Support of Rebels

Rep. Joe Courtney discusses his support of Syrian rebels and other priorities for the coming session.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Rep. Joe Courtney from Connecticut's second congressional district was the only member of the delegation to vote in favor of arming and training Syrian rebels in the fight against the so-called Islamic State.

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