• Japan takes center stage

    Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will arrive in Washington next week on an official state visit — including the first address to a joint session of Congress by a Japanese leader in 150 years. President Obama is known for his aversion to such highly formal occasions; there have been very few state visits during his

  • Obesity epidemic threatens newborns

    Want to get pregnant? First, step on a scale. America is experiencing an ongoing obesity epidemic, a public health reality that seriously jeopardizes not only the health of those who are overweight — now two of every three adults — but their offspring. The unfortunate scenario is that more than one-third of American women are

  • “A good deal”

    The words above were used by President Barack Obama to characterize the recent draft nuclear agreement with Iran. He’s right, but the future of the agreement is far from assured. A first thing to appreciate is just how hard it was to get to this point. After more than a year of intense diplomatic effort,

  • The roots of Russian conflict

    In case you missed it, early this week Kremlin authorities produced a large public celebration, replete with fireworks, on the first anniversary of Russia’s takeover of Crimea. It was accompanied by a fawning TV documentary featuring President Putin in which he reveals that he put Russian nuclear forces on highest alert during the takeover to

  • Snowpack: An abundance of riches

    By Tom Walsh Enough! It’s o-dawn-thirty Monday last and out every window in Downeast Maine the scene is the same: mounds of snow, some piled in drifts three or more feet high. And this in mid-March? The challenge here is picking your cliché: There’s a silver lining in every dark cloud, or when life deals

  • The Netanyahu speech

    A few days ago, Israel Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress at the invitation of the Speaker of the House — without informing the White House. Since the President, by tradition and Constitutional authority, has the lead in foreign policy, this was obviously an unusual — and in fact unprecedented —