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If you vote in Massachusetts, you’ve probably had a least one debate with a friend this year about whether the state should allow marijuana for recreational use.

But have you looked at the mechanics of the legal marijuana industry that ballot Question 4 would create? We’ve summarized key elements, in case you don’t have time to read all 24 pages of the proposed act before voting on Nov. 8.

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Oct 4, 2016
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What have you always wondered about? WNPR is taking your questions.

The Supreme Court gets down to work on Tuesday, hearing the first arguments of a new term.

Technically, the court term began on the traditional first Monday in October, but because it fell on the same day as the Jewish New Year, the court's three Jewish justices were absent and the remaining justices conducted only administrative business.

The office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a "Notice of Violation" to the Donald J. Trump Foundation and ordered the foundation to cease and desist from soliciting contributions in New York.

The notice states that the Trump Foundation failed to register with the Charities Bureau before soliciting contributions or engaging in fundraising activities.

It's been nearly eight months since Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died unexpectedly, leaving the nation's highest court short-handed, and evenly divided on some of the most important legal issues of the day.

While Democrats had expected to exploit GOP stonewalling on a replacement, Republicans have played the issue shrewdly.

Courtesy of Sen. Blumenthal's office

Congress voted to reject President Barack Obama's veto of a bill that would allow the families of September 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. 

Updated at 3:22 p.m. ET with House vote

Congress approved the first successful override of a presidential veto from President Obama on Wednesday when the House joined the Senate in voting against Obama's objection to a bill that would allow family members to sue Saudi Arabia over the Sept. 11 attacks.

States that have legalized marijuana are contending with a new criminal tactic — smugglers who grow and process it for export to states where it’s illegal and worth a lot more.

Zeroing in on Zero Tolerance

Sep 22, 2016
Victor Björkund / Creative Commons

Zero tolerance policies send a strong message to students but at what cost?

This hour, we examine how over time, these policies have led to suspensions and expulsions for minor issues -- and can have drastic effects on a student’s future.

Two months after former Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson accused Fox News' then-Chairman Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, the network's parent company has agreed to pay Carlson $20 million and make a "highly unusual public apology," NPR's David Folkenflik reports.

ConnPIRG

A Connecticut advocacy group is calling for better federal regulation of predatory lending, to help states crack down on the worst practices. ConnPIRG just released its latest analysis of data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, we discuss Governor Malloy's Second Chance 2.0 legislation and find out why it failed to pass during the 2016 session. We also look at what some Connecticut communities are doing to support re-entry. And we talk to a local restaurant owner about his decision to hire ex-offenders

The Justice Department is suing to block two proposed mergers between major health insurance companies, saying the deals violate antitrust laws and would lead to higher health care costs for Americans.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch explained the decision at a press conference:

NorwichBulletin.com

The ability of other countries to block the deportation of convicted criminals in the United States was the subject of a federal hearing Thursday. 

United States Air Force / Creative Commons

As it is in many election cycles, immigration is a big topic in presidential campaign speeches. Donald Trump has made it one of his top issues and has drawn lots of attention for his plan to build a wall along the Mexican border. But off the campaign trail, what does the immigration climate look like? 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Most of us know the Miranda rights -- our "right to remain silent" -- even if we've never been arrested. But do you know the full history behind them? This hour, we talk to a local public defender about the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona.

The long-running drama over Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server during her time as secretary of state came to some resolution today as FBI Director James Comey announced that while Clinton was "extremely careless" in handling classified information, she should not face charges.

YouTube

Drones and what these small, unmanned aircraft can carry will be at issue before a federal judge in New Haven on Wednesday, in a case centering around two videos posted to YouTube.

Months after he was granted a new hearing because of new evidence, Adnan Syed, whose 2000 murder conviction was a key focus of the hit podcast Serial, has been granted a new trial, according to his attorneys.

Baltimore City Circuit Judge Martin Welch vacated Syed's conviction, saying in a memorandum that his attorney "fell below the standard of reasonable professional judgment" in handling his case.

Announcing the news Thursday, attorney Justin Brown tweeted in all-caps: "WE WON A NEW TRIAL FOR ADNAN SYED!!!"

CGP Grey / Creative Commons

President Obama just signed into law a new and long awaited Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Officially called the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, it’s expected to radically change how the federal government oversees thousands of chemicals used in products and in the workplace.

Updated 3:20 a.m. ET: House approves $1.1 billion in Zika funding and adjourns

Despite a sit-in by House Democrats that has lasted 15 hours, Republicans passed a funding measure for Zika and left for the July 4 recess. The House will convene in a pro forma session Friday morning but no business will be conducted until July 5.

A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration's regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands.

In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight.

By refusing to hear an appeals, the Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that left in place assault weapons bans in New York and Connecticut.

The high court declined to hear an appeal of a case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET with Senate votes

To virtually no one's surprise, the Senate failed to advance any of the four gun control proposals — two offered by Democrats, and two by Republicans — that came in response to last week's mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Here are the results:

When 20-year-old Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary — the same school he attended as a child — he was carrying a few guns, but his main one was a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle.

In a span of a few minutes, 20 students and six educators were dead. In one classroom, police recovered 80 expended bullet casings from the gun. In another, 49.

YouTube / Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats called for action on gun control legislation Thursday following a 15-hour filibuster led by Democratic Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy.

C-Span

Three days after 49 people were killed in a mass shooting inside an Orlando, Florida nightclub, Senator Chris Murphy held the floor of the U.S. Senate for nearly 15 hours to talk about gun violence.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Congressman Jim Himes is done holding back. He's a Democrat from Connecticut, and after the massacre in Orlando, Himes figured that eventually there would be a moment of silence on the House floor.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Emily Corwin / NHPR

A new kind of water contamination has shown up all over the U.S., including New England.

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