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Posted inPolitics

Short week for Congress yields defense funding, railroad revival

The U.S. House of Representatives was out and the Senate had a shortened work week because of the Veterans Day holiday, but there was still plenty of activity in Congress. The Senate approved a final defense bill that authorizes billions of dollars in spending on weapon systems developed in Connecticut. The Federal Railroad Administration took a big step forward on an ambitious overhaul of the rail system in the Northeast Corridor.

Posted inPolitics

State Dept. official with West Hartford ties tasked to develop, sell Syria plan

WASHINGTON — Former West Hartford resident Brett McGurk is considered a leading expert at the State Department on the threats posed by the Islamic State and what the Obama administration is trying to do about them. But fighting international terrorism isn’t his only challenge. Now he’s been tasked to persuade skeptical lawmakers, including members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation, to back President Obama’s campaign against ISIS in Syria.