Maine lies some 1,500 miles south of the Arctic Circle, but it has strong connections to the Arctic -- and is hoping to play a bigger role in the region.

Alaska Dispatch News
Putin's government, dissatisfied with the pace of work performed by state-owned Rosneft and Gazprom, is considering changing policy to open up the Arctic shelf to private companies. If that happens, Lukoil -- Russia's top private oil producer -- would benefit. Trude Pettersen, Barents Observer
Parliament's failure to take action on the indigenous-rights convention before the election was disappointing and a setback for the Sami people, the government's non-discrimination officer says. Thomas Nilsen, Barents Observer
Low iron-ore prices have caused financial hardship and cast doubts on future operations at the Sydvaranger Gruve mine in Kirkenes.Thomas Nilsen, Barents Observer
The Arctic Waterways Safety Committee, formed to develop the best practices for managing Arctic waterways, held its first formal meeting this month in Juneau, electing officers and meeting with the governor and Alaska's state committee on the Arctic.Carey Restino
The tiny beads, found in facial scrubs, body gels and toothpaste, are accumulating in northern waters and getting into the food chain.Marc Montgomery, Radio Canada International
There will be two Russian North Pole bases of operation this summer -- one a set of floating camps to be used by scientists, and the other a site for Russian soldiers to train on ice. Trude Pettersen, Barents Observer
Statoil’s Snøhvit liquefied natural gas project -- the world's northernmost LNG facility -- is responsible for most of northern Norway's expanding production of natural gas.  Atle Staalesen, Barents Observer
The exercises are being conducted mostly in Finnish airspace over the Bothnian Sea and in international airspace.YLE News
The Arkhangelsk is among the 12 new nuclear-powered submarines that the Russian navy plans to have in place by 2020. Trude Pettersen, Barents Observer