Politics

Political news from WNPR

Seinfeld / NBC

It's time to air your grievances about the news of 2015. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will convene for the first time ever on the Costanza-invented holiday of Festivus! We have lots of grievances, but what do you want to speak up about? Who should participate in the feats of strength?

Marriage licenses in Kentucky will no longer need to be printed with the name of the county clerk who issues them.

The state's new governor, Matthew Bevin, issued a executive order yesterday saying he was changing protocol in order to "ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored."

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford city Treasurer Adam Cloud has just gotten a $20,000 raise, but not one member of the city council remembers approving it.

U.S. Senate Democrats

New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton and more than a dozen officers traveled to the halls of the U.S. Senate recently to speak up for a program that is universally supported at home. 

MGM Springfield / Courtesy The Springfield Republican photo desk

The Springfield City Council voted Monday to approve a zoning ordinance outlining the footprint of MGM’s casino. The vote is another procedural step in bringing the project to fruition. 

Iraq's military has launched an offensive to wrest control of the city of Ramadi from Islamic State militants.

NPR's Alison Meuse told our Newscast unit that the operation is backed by U.S.-led airstrikes. Here's more from Alison:

"A 72-hour government deadline for civilians to leave Ramadi is over. Now, U.S. airstrikes are targeting ISIS positions, and Iraqi troops are pushing into the city center from three sides. The troops are working alongside Sunni tribal fighters and militiamen — against the Sunni extremists of Islamic State.

Democrats' third debate focused on foreign policy and national security, all staking out positions different from and critical of their Republican counterparts.

Not many minutes had passed in Saturday night's Democratic presidential debate before the issue that was expected to supply some drama had been raised, addressed and dismissed.

President Obama wrapped up 2015 by taking another round of questions from the press.

At the traditional end-of-year news conference Friday afternoon, Obama began with a list of achievements, including the legalization of same-sex marriage across America and progress made toward addressing global climate change.

MGM Springfield

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission unanimously approved a plan on Thursday that will allow MGM Springfield to begin construction on its proposed $950 million casino in the city's downtown.

Donkey Hotey / Flickr

Republican presidential hopefuls debate for the first time since the Paris attacks and San Bernardino shootings and national security is on the forefront of national discussion. This hour on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss the latest debate in the long road to the White House. There was more of a clear divide between some candidates, especially surrounding military spending and intelligence gathering.

Republicans took the gloves off for their fifth presidential debate in Las Vegas. Focusing almost entirely on foreign policy and national security, the candidates revealed big divides in how they would handle the threat of terrorism and deal with foreign leaders.

Hillary Clinton outlined her plan to combat ISIS and radicalization in the U.S. on Tuesday, swiping at GOP candidates just hours before their debate that "shallow slogans don't add up to a strategy."

The political atmosphere has shifted considerably since the last Republican presidential debate a month ago, creating a different dynamic ahead of Tuesday evening's GOP face-off in Las Vegas.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held by the Taliban for five years after he left his base in Afghanistan in 2009, could receive life in prison.

Overriding the recommended punishment by an Army officer, head of Army Forces Command Gen. Robert B. Abrams ordered that Bergdahl, now the subject of the Serial podcast, face a court-martial for desertion.

In what supporters are calling a historic achievement, 196 nations attending the COP21 climate meetings outside Paris voted to adopt an agreement Saturday that covers both developed and developing countries. Their respective governments will now need to adopt the deal.

Bringing Syrian refugees to the U.S. has become an especially contentious issue. In Canada, however, they're being welcomed with open arms.

Roughly 600 Syrians from refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon will arrive by plane in Canada this evening. They're the first of 25,000 Syrians the new Canadian government wants to resettle by the end of February.

Michael Saechang / Creative Commons

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is proposing an executive order that would ban gun sales to people on federal no-fly watch lists. He said Thursday his policy would further limit the purchase of ammunition or guns already outlawed in the state. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford City Treasurer Adam Cloud took the stand in the federal criminal trial of former insurance executive Earl O’Garro Wednesday. Afterwards, Cloud said he had been betrayed by his former friend and maligned by the media. 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has apologized for the death of Laquan McDonald, the black 17-year-old shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer in 2014.

"That happened on my watch," Emanuel said in an emotional address to a special meeting of the Chicago City Council on Wednesday, NPR's David Schaper reports.

"I'm sorry," the mayor said, promising "complete and total reform of the system."

Michelle Lee flickr.com/photos/michellerlee/7610741336 / Creative Commons

The Connecticut General Assembly approved a $350 million plan to close the budget deficit in the current $20 billion state budget.

Ron Cogswell / Creative Commons

The national political conversation has shifted to a focus on security, guns, and terrorism. Our weekly political news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss the shift and the role Connecticut's congressional delegation has played in the national dialogue.

How does this resonate among Connecticut voters, and how might it affect next year's elections?

The South Korean labor leader holed up in a Buddhist temple to avoid arrest has turned himself in on charges of organizing illegal rallies, ending a 24-day standoff with police. Officers had planned to raid Seoul's top temple, Jogyesa, on Wednesday afternoon, but postponed a move to forcefully enter the temple after negotiations with the head of the Buddhist Jogye order.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz doesn't want to "get down in the mud and engage in personal insults and attacks" — one reason he has declined to criticize Donald Trump more directly in the wake of Trump's plan to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S.

In an interview Tuesday morning with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep at NPR's Washington headquarters, the GOP presidential candidate explained his own plan to slow immigration from some Muslim countries.

Jim Bowen / Creative Commons

Voters will have to wait to possibly change Connecticut's constitution to ensure transportation revenues are spent only on transportation projects.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Failed insurance executive Earl O’Garro took hundreds of thousands of dollars from the city of Hartford as part of an effort to enrich himself and buy a million-dollar beachfront condo in the Dominican Republic, prosecutors alleged during the first day of O’Garro’s federal trial Tuesday.

Alphaville / Flickr Creative Commons

Justin Lifflander wanted nothing more than to become a spy for the CIA. Growing up during the Cold War, he practiced spying on friends, family, and schoolmates in preparation for what he thought would be a career full of high-tech gadgetry and secret rendezvous. When Lifflander was finally assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1987, he thought his dream was coming true.

What followed was something Lifflander could never have predicted. He was a mechanic at the embassy, then an inspector of Soviet missile sights, and then a suspected American agent followed at every turn by the KGB. Lifflander found himself living in a world which very much resembled his childhood dream -- but he was never a spy.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is officially taking the reins as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

The latest pronouncement from the presidential campaign of Donald Trump calls for the U.S. to refuse to let any Muslim — from anywhere — into the United States.

It has prompted very strong criticism, including from some of his fellow Republican candidates and state party leaders.

The Philadelphia Daily News cover Tuesday morning labels Trump "The New Furor."

Trump's proposal came the day after President Obama's Sunday night televised address from the Oval Office in which the president urged Americans to reject discrimination against Muslim Americans.

President Obama's request that American Muslims help "root out" and confront extremist ideology in their communities is getting mixed reactions. Muslim leaders say they want to help, but some are not happy that they are being singled out.

Pages