Politics

Political news from WNPR

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The effort to reduce the amount of money municipalities spend on public notices printed in newspapers is back at the state legislature.

Updated at 8:21 a.m. ET

After a string of polls that showed a dead heat in the U.K. general elections, last night's contest turned out to be far less surprising.

The Conservatives — led by Prime Minister David Cameron — sailed to an easy victory. According to the BBC, Cameron secured his premiership and his party will govern with a slender majority.

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The legislature is considering a bill that would regulate how homeowners display their house numbers.

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The state legislature has approved a bill aiming to protect the online privacy of employees and job applicants, but state analysts expect the law to impact fewer than ten people per year.

The National Security Agency's practice of collecting data about Americans' telephone calls in bulk goes beyond what Congress intended when it wrote Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday.

The three-judge panel was asked to consider whether the program violated the Constitution. Instead, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel punted on the constitutional claim, deciding the program was simply not authorized by federal law.

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For over a decade now, when we've heard about military drones, we've likely been hearing about the Predator-- that peculiar, pilotless aircraft, patrolling the deserts and preying on its targets below. Indeed the iconic image of this modern day killer and tales of its near-autonomous deeds have been featured in the news, magazines and even Hollywood movies.

When it comes to energizing Latino voters, a group of young people who can't even vote plays an outsized role.

They are known as DREAMers — undocumented immigrants, brought to the country by their parents when they were kids.They were so named for meeting the requirements under the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act proposal that would have created a pathway to citizenship for them. Now they're a political force.

The United States issued licenses for ferry service between the United States and Cuba for the first time in five decades.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports the Treasury Department issued at least four licenses to companies that want to establish ferry service to Cuba from Key West, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and perhaps even Tampa.

The paper reports:

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A bill that would prevent local police officers from crossing into another Connecticut community to enforce their town's ordinances has cleared the House of Representatives. 

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Text messages between members of Gov. Dannel Malloy's staff pulled back the curtain on the controversial firing of the longtime labor-relations chief. This comes as New Jersey's "bridgegate" scandal is back in the news, which also featured text messages and emails that were made public. Why do state officials leave paper trails at all?

This hour on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse we discuss that story, plus a recent amendment to a bill has transparency advocates scratching their heads. Also, grants from the National Science Foundation to the University of Connecticut have been frozen after it was discovered professors used the money to purchase equipment from a company they had a stake in.

Finally, have you met August Wolf? This Stamford Republican is ready to take on Sen. Richard Blumenthal in the 2016 election.

It's been a tough week for New Jersey Gov. and possible Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie.

One of his former allies pleaded guilty and two others were indicted for allegedly creating a traffic jam at the George Washington Bridge as political retribution.

Now, New Jersey's highest court is set to hear arguments over one of Christie's signature accomplishments: his pension reform deal.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee announced Tuesday that he is seeking the Republican presidential nomination.

"It seems perfectly fitting that it would be here that I announce that I am a candidate for president of the United States of America," he told a crowd of supporters in his hometown of Hope, Ark., which is also Bill Clinton's hometown.

Huckabee, who previously ran for the presidency in 2008, hosted a television program on Fox News until January, when he ended the eponymous show to consider his political future.

(Updated at 12:09 p.m. ET.)

President Obama has nominated Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr. as the country's next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Speaking at the White House, Obama praised Dunford as one of the most admired officers in the military.

Dunford, 59, is currently the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps. Previously, he served as the commander of the allied forces in Afghanistan and he commanded the 5th Marine Regiment during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The self-declared Islamic State is taking credit for a thwarted attack on a contest to draw the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas.

This post was updated at 11:40 a.m. ET.

Meet Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor. Forget about Mike Huckabee, Fox News host.

That's the message the GOP presidential hopeful is already conveying as he makes another bid for the presidency.

Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard, says she will seek the Republican nomination for the 2016 presidential contest.

Fiorina made the announcement on ABC's Good Morning America and later via a simple tweet.

"I am running for president," Fiorina tweeted.

The presidential hopefuls haven't spent much time so far with voters. Instead, they've committed many days to courting the millionaires and billionaires who can fuel a White House bid. And at the same time, activists on the left and right are seeking to redefine political corruption, which they believe this is.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced today that she was lifting a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew in the city imposed nearly a week ago amid civil unrest over the death of Freddie Gray from injuries sustained in police custody.

"I want to thank the people of Baltimore for their patience," she said.

The emergency curfew was put in place after riots that took place in West Baltimore on Monday.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

Hundreds in Baltimore began a "victory rally" to celebrate a decision by the city's top prosecutor to charge six officers in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, the young black man who died from a spinal injury he sustained in police custody.

The rally began at 2 p.m. in the West Baltimore neighborhood where Gray lived and was making its way to City Hall.

Updated at 4:34 p.m.

David Wildstein, a former official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of conspiracy in connection with lane closures on the George Washington Bridge in 2013. The case could have implications for his former friend New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a likely Republican presidential candidate.

Indictments in April against two other officials linked to the scandal were unsealed today.

The Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Mitchell Chester, is in Holyoke today.  It is his first visit since a state education board voted earlier this week to put the city’s public schools under state control.

There was no good news for the state from its latest revenue numbers. The Malloy administration’s previous estimates for tax receipts proved optimistic, and an April reality check saw the budget office now projecting a deficit of almost $162 million.

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Each year, for-profit corporations spend billions of dollars on reported lobbying expenditures. It’s a significant investment that’s placed American businesses among the most powerful forces in Washington, and in state houses like the one in Hartford.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said he was racially profiled by police "countless times" as a youth and young man in Rhode Island's capital city.

"It's just part of growing up in the city -- which is very unfortunate and sad," Elorza, a son of Guatemalan immigrants, said Thursday during a taping of Rhode Island Public Radio's Political Roundtable. "I've been pulled over a number of times, so I'm sensitive to that."

Sen. Bernie Sanders made it official Thursday. He will seek the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Sanders made his announcement with an early morning email and then spoke to reporters just outside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. He plans a formal campaign kickoff in Vermont at the end of the month.

It's really hard to catch up with Nick Mosby.

The young Baltimore Democrat walks fast, which I discovered when I finally managed to catch up with him. It was early Wednesday afternoon, and Mosby was in the lunchroom of Carver Vocational-Technical High School in West Baltimore, fresh from a TV hit on CNN.

The unrest in Baltimore and other cities regarding alleged police misconduct has prompted new calls for law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. Such recordings could provide accountability and transparency in potentially controversial circumstances.

At least, that's the idea.

Former Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General that accused him of spending taxpayer money for personal travel and purchases.

      Dobelle has agreed to pay the state $185,000.  He would also withdraw a lawsuit he filed against the university claiming breach of contract and demanding payment of his legal bills. 

        In the settlement, which is still subject to approval by a state judge, Dobelle would admit no wrongdoing.  

DoNo Hartford LLC

There's a new legislative proposal to get state money to the city of Hartford for its baseball stadium development project.

The Baltimore Police Department says the van transporting Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who suffered a serious spine injury while in police custody and later died, made one more stop than previously thought.

Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said the stop was made at the corner of Fremont Avenue and Mosher Street. A private camera helped make the discovery, he said.

The stop was one of four made by the van that was transporting Gray who suffered a spine injury at some point after his April 12 arrest on a weapons charge.

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