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PORTLAND, Maine - Canada's new consul general in Boston, David Alward, is no stranger to Maine - living, as he does, just across the border from Houlton. He was in Portland yesterday, along with new honorary consul of Canada in Maine, Brenda Garrand. Alward says much of his work will involve nurturing the strong trade ties between New England and Canada.  Alward and Garrand talked with MPBN Morning Edition host Irwin Gratz.

WASHINGTON - Early Tuesday, President Obama released a 150-page agreement that curtails Iran's nuclear program, in exchange for easing economic sanctions.

Mid-Coast Forum

Speaking in Maine takes us next to Northport and the Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations.

The speaker is Francis J. Ricciardone, Atlantic Council vice president and director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, who will discuss the turmoil and solutions in the Middle East.

Ricciardone was a career Foreign Service officer in Washington, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, including an assignment as ambassador to Turkey.

A Canadian judge has not yet decided whether to approve a $345 million settlement being offered to victims of the 2013 Lac Megantic rail disaster.

The money — some of which would also go to the Canadian government to pay for environmental cleanup costs — is being offered by most of the companies accused of responsibility for the tragedy, which claimed 48 lives.

A Superior Court judge in Quebec was expected to decide on Wednesday, but according to Portland attorney Robert Keach — who's acting as a trustee in the case — he took the matter under advisement.

WASHINGTON - Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree met with the prime minister of Somalia and other officials from the east African nation, to discuss issues affecting Somali communities in the U.S.

Pingree, a Democrat, says there were about 12 other members of Congress at the meeting, all of whom represent areas with significant Somali populations.

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