Alaska will take center stage now that the U.S. has taken the helm of the eight-nation Arctic Council, with Secretary of State John Kerry calling Friday for reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions and Alaska leaders highlighting economic development opportunities. 

Alex DeMarban
Growing numbers of Chinese tourists are expected to visit Finnish Lapland, and there are new ties between Finland and China's Sichuan province. YLE News
The tiny bits of plastic, from common household products, are flushed into the sea in large quantities. Marine creatures can easily mistake them for food. Radio Sweden
The U.S. will take over chairmanship of the Arctic Council on Friday, a change that will put Alaska at center stage for the council's focus on such things as climate change and Arctic infrastructure. Alex DeMarban
A survey of 10,000 people in the eight Arctic nations finds that only a minority know about the Arctic Council and its makeup. Still, survey respondents say they want the Arctic players -- even Russia -- to keep cooperating and to do so peacefully. Yereth Rosen
An Ontario company says isolated Arctic communities could get cheap power from floating and mobile nuclear stations. Marc Montgomery, Radio Canada International
Norway is demanding an explanation after a controversial Russian official -- one of the people targeted by EU and Norwegian sanctions -- made an uninvited visit to Svalbard. Thomas Nilsen, Barents Observer
A newly analyzed object from the University of Colorado-led Cape Espenberg dig is providing more evidence of prehistoric trade or contacts between the residents of Northwest Alaska and their neighbors across the Bering Strait.Yereth Rosen
Local Inuit hope to overturn federal approval of a plan to use noisy airguns to conduct seismic tests off Baffin Island. The seismic tests are scheduled for this summer.   Marc Montgomery, Radio Canada International
Development of the Northern Sea Route, with adjacent bases and infrastructure, tops the Arctic wish list of Russia's Barents regional governors. Atle Staalesen, Barents Observer