Scotland independence vote
4:25 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

USM Professor in Scotland to Witness Historic Independence Vote

USM English Professor Nancy Gish.
Credit Courtesy University of Southern Maine

Tomorrow is an historic today for Great Britain, as the Scots vote on whether to become completely independent from the United Kingdom, ending a union that goes back more than 300 years. It's a debate which ought to be of particular interest to Mainers, says University of Southern Maine English Professor Nancy Gish, because as compared to other states, Maine has the highest percentage of inhabitants who claim Scottish ancestry. Gish is a devotee of Scottish literature, and has gone to Scotland to witness events.

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8:30 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Mitchell Calls for US to Mediate Peace Agreement in Middle East

As special U.S. Envoy to the Middle East, Sen. George Mitchell, left, meets with then-Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud Barak at Hakirya, Tel Aviv, April 23, 2010.
Credit David Azagury / U.S. Embassy, via Creative Commons

Former Maine Sen. George Mitchell has made a new, public appeal for Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate a peace agreement, and for the U.S. to play a mediator role. It came in a series of three Boston Globe essays published last week.  Mitchell says settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is part of a broader, political solution to the problem of radical Islamists, like those who've declared an "Islamic State" on land in Syria and Iraq.  And he says it's possible the current Mid East leaders could be the ones to strike a deal.

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10:14 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Asia: The Three Nots

Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow, Asian Studies Center at The Heritage Foundation
Credit The Heritage Foundation

Dean Cheng brings detailed knowledge of China’s military and space capabilities to bear as The Heritage Foundation’s research fellow on Chinese political and security affairs. He specializes in China’s military and foreign policy, in particular its relationship with the rest of Asia and with the United States.

Cheng has written extensively on China’s military doctrine, technological implications of its space program and “dual use” issues associated with the communist nation’s industrial and scientific infrastructure.

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The Two-Way
7:50 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Judge In Pistorius Trial Rules Out Murder

South African athlete Oscar Pistorius cries while the verdict is being read during his murder trial in Pretoria, South Africa, on Thursday.
Kim Ludbrook/Pool EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 9:35 am

Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee Olympian accused in the shooting death of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp, has been acquitted of the most serious charge of premeditated murder.

But South African Judge Thokozile Masipa has yet to announce her final verdict in the jury-less trial, although she has hinted that culpable homicide would be a "competent verdict."

As tears streamed down Pistorius' face, Masipa told the court in Pretoria that the athlete did not plan to kill Steenkamp on the night he fatally shot her through a closed bathroom door.

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5:04 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Portland Kurds Closely Monitoring Clash with Islamic State

Mustafa Rostampour (from left), Reza Jalali and Ghomri Rostampour.
Tom Porter MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine — A small group of Kurdish immigrants in Maine is closely monitoring violence and upheaval happening more than 5,000 miles away.

Fighters from the Kurdish Peshmerga are playing a frontline role in the fight against militants from the armed group Islamic State. Ethnic Kurds can be found mostly in four countries: Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq, and it's in Iraq where they have the closest thing to their own country in the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, in northern Iraq.

And it's the KRG that's at the forefront of the war against the Islamic State.

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James Foley
2:58 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Mass to be Held in Remembrance of Slain Journalist

ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) _ A mass in remembrance of journalist James Foley has been scheduled for Sunday in Rochester, New Hampshire.

The Foley family said a Holy Mass of  "Healing, Hope and for Peace'' is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary on 189 North Main St.

A memorial Mass will be held at the church for Foley on Oct. 18, on what would have been his 41st birthday.

James Foley
5:33 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Executed New Hampshire Journalist was Steadfast in Face of Danger

James Foley in Aleppo, Syria in September of 2012.
Credit Photo:Manu Brabo /

ROCHESTER, New Hampshire - A New Hampshire photojournalist who was abducted by Islamic militants in Syria has been killed by his captors. James Foley disappeared two years ago while on assignment in Syria for the GlobalPost. Little information about him has surfaced since. On Tuesday, a video released by the Islamic State showed Foley being executed. Patty Wight has more on who James Foley was, and what happened to him.


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2:26 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Follies of U.S. Foreign Policy

John Mearsheimer
Credit University of Chicago

Speaking in Maine takes us next Northport and the Midcoast Forum on Foreign Relations for an address by University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer, speaking on “The Follies of US Foreign Policy.” Mearsheimer is the author of “The Tragedy of Great Power Politics”, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” and “Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics”

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Israeli Official: Chance Of A Ground Invasion Of Gaza 'Very High'

A picture taken from the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke billowing from the coastal Palestinian enclave following an Israeli airstrike Wednesday.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 5:48 pm

This post was updated at 3 p.m. ET.

Israel has agreed to a United Nations request for a temporary cease-fire in its shelling campaign of the Gaza Strip, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.

The five-hour bombing halt on Thursday will allow humanitarian aid to be delivered in Gaza.

But any semblance of peace will be fleeting.

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International Affairs
10:34 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Today's Foreign Policy Challenges

R. Nicholas Burns, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs
Credit Wikipedia and the U.S. Department of State

  R. Nicholas Burns is Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He spoke at the World Affairs Council of Maine's Annual Meeting about Foreign Policy Challenges facing the United States.

This discussion was recorded on June 18, 2014 at the The Portland Club.

More information about this event is located here:

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