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As presidential candidates crisscross the United States, they have to learn how to win in open primaries, closed primaries, and caucuses. If they want their party's nomination, they need support from average voters and the more high-profile superdelegates. Candidates also must navigate the unique and varying rules of each state's contest. We haven't even gotten to the general election and the electoral college rules!

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Just a few weeks ago, Connecticut started to write-off its importance in the presidential nomination process. But then Bernie Sanders picked up steam and Donald Trump's campaign faltered. With less than a week before Connecticut residents cast their ballots, the candidates are making public stops across the state. Trump was in Hartford last week, and Hillary Clinton and John Kasich have visits scheduled this week.

The fate of one of President Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration goes before the Supreme Court on Monday. The action would grant temporary, quasi-legal status and work permits to as many as 4 million parents who entered the U.S. illegally prior to 2010. The president's order applies only to parents of children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

Secretary of State John Kerry visited the Peace Memorial in Hiroshima on Monday, making him the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the site since the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb there at the end of World War II.

Kerry didn't apologize for the U.S. attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, as some Japanese activists have pushed for. He did honor those who died in the bombings, NPR's Elise Hu reports.

On the visit, Kerry toured the peace museum and laid a wreath at the monument to the attack, The Associated Press reports.

More than 50 world leaders are attending a nuclear security summit in Washington this week. But Vladimir Putin is a no-show. And, as if on cue, North Korea fired a ballistic missile on Friday.

These biannual nuclear summits, aimed at locking down fissile material worldwide that could be used for doomsday weapons, were proposed by President Obama back in 2009, barely two months into his presidency.

"We must insure that terrorists never acquire a nuclear weapon," he declared, calling such a scenario "the most immediate and extreme threat to global security."

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader doesn't like what he sees on the campaign trail this season, and said part of the problem is the media.

Capping a historic visit to Cuba, President Obama delivered a sweeping speech about American ideals and reconciliation at the Gran Teatro de la Havana.

"I have come here to bury the last remnant of the Cold War in the Americas," Obama said.

The speech was carried live by Cuban state television, giving Obama a chance to speak directly to the Cuban people. Cuban President Raúl Castro sat in the balcony of the theater, where he heard Obama issue a tough rebuke of the Cuban regime's crackdown on dissent.

After terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday morning that killed more than 30 people and wounded more than 200, American politicians took to social media and TV news programs to respond to the violence.

Several pointed to the attacks as a reason to focus America's fight against Islamic extremism.

We're compiling responses from elected officials and presidential candidates here:

"This is a new day — es un nuevo dia — between our two countries," President Obama said after meeting with Cuban President Raúl Castro in Havana.

The two leaders agreed that there are still deep fissures between the two countries and that a healthy relationship between them will take work.

That uneasiness was apparent as soon as journalists began asking questions. Obama and Castro were not supposed to take questions, but a last minute change made that possible and Obama called first on CNN's Jim Acosta, who is Cuban-American.

Just after President Obama and I concluded our interview — and after the microphones and cameras clicked off — he added a thought.

Senate Republicans' vow not to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, he said, could have profound consequences for the high court and the justices themselves.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that the United States has determined that the Islamic State is carrying out genocide against Christians and other religious groups in the Middle East.

It was not immediately clear whether the declaration would result in any change in U.S. policy, including the American bombing campaign against the radical Islamist group.

"In my judgment, [ISIS] is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control including Yazidis, Christians and Shiite Muslims," Kerry said at the State Department.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed again Wednesday to block President Obama's Supreme Court nomination, saying the American people should have a "voice" in the process.

President Obama's choice to serve as the newest Supreme Court justice is Merrick Garland, a moderate federal appeals court judge and former prosecutor with a reputation for collegiality and meticulous legal reasoning.

Garland, who has won past Republican support, has "more federal judicial experience than any other Supreme Court nominee in history," a White House official said. "No one is better suited to immediately serve on the Supreme Court."

Federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland is President Obama's pick to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

On the surface, Saturday's election results appeared divided. After all, on the GOP side Ted Cruz and Donald Trump each won two contests, while among Democrats it was Bernie Sanders who won two of the night's contests as Hillary Clinton netted one victory.

A day after he failed to crack 11 percent in any of the Super Tuesday presidential contests, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson appears to be effectively ending his campaign for president.

WNPR

The future of some presidential campaigns may be decided on Super Tuesday, further slimming the field of candidates by the time Connecticut votes next month. If you can't wait to vote, maybe you can pass the time by playing an electoral board game created by a Connecticut resident. Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses the results from the Democratic and Republican parties and previews what's to come. 

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Hillary Clinton flew in to western Massachusetts on Monday morning, one day ahead of the Super Tuesday voting in more than a dozen states, including Massachusetts and Vermont. 

For his part in an operation that rescued an American civilian who was being held hostage in Afghanistan, U.S. Navy SEAL Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Byers was presented with the Medal of Honor at the White House on Monday.

You can watch the event via White House video.

Frederick Gore for The Springfield Republican

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich picked Springfield, Massachusetts, for one of his final stops ahead of the Super Tuesday primary. 

The legal world has a new blogger: former constitutional law professor and current President Barack Obama.

The president took to SCOTUSblog, the leading online chronicle of the Supreme Court, on Wednesday to offer some "spoiler-free insights" into what he is seeking in a justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia.

Any doubt that Senate Republicans would hold the line behind their leader's decision to block President Obama's Supreme Court nominee has been erased.

"I can now confidently say the view shared by virtually everybody in my conference, is that the nomination should be made by the president the people elect in the election that's underway right now," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters.

Kathleen T. Rhem / Creative Commons

A military justice expert from Yale Law School said the president’s comments on closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay are a first step in an effort to get the American people behind him on the issue.

Obama To Visit Cuba Next Month

Feb 18, 2016

Building on the opening to Cuba he launched 14 months ago, President Obama will visit the island as part of a multi-nation Latin America trip planned for next month.

According to Thursday's formal announcement by the White House, the president and first lady will travel to Cuba on March 21-22. "In Cuba, the President will work to build on the progress we have made toward normalization of relations with Cuba — advancing commercial and people-to-people ties that can improve the well-being of the Cuban people, and expressing our support for human rights," the statement read.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Families affected by the epidemic of opiate addiction got a chance to share their stories with the Director of National Drug Control Policy Tuesday, at a forum in New London.

President Obama said Tuesday that despite Republican vows to block him, he will nominate a successor to Justice Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly on Saturday.

Obama spoke during a news conference after a summit with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Rancho Mirage, Calif., but the first questions from reporters were about filling the empty Supreme Court seat.

President Obama says he plans to pick a Supreme Court nominee following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, setting up a confrontation with Republicans who control the Senate.

Just 48 hours after his landslide win in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders was in Milwaukee, Wis., reminding everyone how far he had come in his quest for the presidency — and perhaps realizing how far he still has to go.

Rik Stevens / New Hampshire Public Radio

As the electoral circus leaves New Hampshire, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will recap the results and news from the first primary of 2016. This early in the process, the losers may be as interesting as the winners. Which candidates will call it quits after Tuesday?

President Obama unveils his 2017 budget proposal today. It's an aspirational blueprint that details how he would set priorities if he controlled the government's checkbook ... which he doesn't.

"This budget is not about looking back at the road we have traveled," Obama said. "It is about looking forward."

But congressional Republicans are looking past the president. House Speaker Paul Ryan dismissed the budget as "a progressive manual for growing the federal government at the expense of hardworking Americans."

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