World news

WASHINGTON - Maine Sen. Angus King told a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that he is worried about calls to provide arms to Ukraine to fight Russian-backed rebels in part of that country.

King said that might be just the reaction that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to see.

"Putin probably wouldn't mind a manageable little war in Ukraine right now to take the people's minds off the domestic problems," King said. "Margaret Thatcher's approval rating the day before the Falklands war was 23 percent, two weeks later it was 70 percent."

WASHINGTON - At a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Maine Sen. Angus King said leaving Afghanistan prematurely would be a major strategic mistake for the U.S.

"Given all the progress - and I don't think the American people realize the amount of progress that has been made in Afghanistan in terms of the lives of the people - it's fumbling the ball on the 5-yard line," King said.

WASHINGTON - Maine Sen. Angus King is calling on Congress to take action to deal with cybersecurity threats against the U.S.  Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, King, an independent, said the threat of cyber attacks is heading toward the U.S. like a freight train.

King said the frequency and scope of Internet attacks have increased, but Congress isn't doing much to deal with the issue.

By David Sharp, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - A court filing in Canada is the first step toward implementing a settlement fund for victims of an oil train disaster that killed 47 people.

Officials filed a motion Friday to extend a deadline to implement the settlement in the Canadian case, which could result in a larger settlement. The filing also provided details on how the money could be distributed.

By David Sharp, The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine - A proposed settlement fund to compensate victims of a fiery train derailment that claimed 47 lives in Canada is due to be filed next month with more than $200 million in commitments.

The trustee for the railroad that went bankrupt after the disaster tells The Associated Press his goal is to more than double the sum - reaching about $500 million - by the time judges in the U.S. and Canada sign off.