August 11 – 17: “Do you have a favorite, lesser known source for international news?”

thriller-roundtable-logo5This week we join ITW Members A. J. Kerns, Charlie Flowers, Whitley Strieber, and C.E. Lawrence to discuss international news. Do you have a favorite, lesser known source for international news?


Battle Come Down  by Charlie FlowersCharlie Flowers was born in Eastern Europe sometime in the late Sixties and arrived with his family in Britain in 1975. After training as a journalist in London he had a varied career as reporter, roadie, truck driver and record label boss. In the late Nineties he formed two cult bands, and is currently an adviser on terrorism and extremism to certain departments and think tanks. Charlie Flowers is published by Endeavour Press, and is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association and International Thriller Writers, Inc. He is author of the “Riz” quartet – “Hard Kill”, “Danger Close”, “Kill Order”, and “Battle Come Down”.

africaArthur Kerns is a retired FBI supervisory special agent and past president of the Arizona chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). His award-winning short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies. He is a book reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. In March 2013 Diversion Books, Inc. published his espionage thriller, The Riviera Contract and in May 2014 the sequel, The African Contract.


Alien Hunter--the Underworld by Whitley StrieberWhitley Strieber is the author of many thrillers, among them classics such as the Wolfen and the Hunger, and more recent books like the Grays, which is in development as a movie, and the Alien Hunter series, which is in development as a TV series. His movies are the Wolfen, the Hunger, Communion and the Day After Tomorrow, based on his book Superstorm. His latest thriller, Alien Hunter: Underworld is the second in the Alien Hunter series. It’s not a sequel, but a stand alone book continuing the character of Flynn Carroll, a police officer who works with an alien police force to apprehend alien criminals on earth.

Silent_slaughterCarole Bugge (C. E. Lawrence) is the author of nine published novels, award-winning plays, musicals, poetry and short fiction. A two time Pushcart Poetry Prize nominee, her most recent Lee Campbell thrillers are Silent Slaughter and Silent Stalker, under the pen name C. E. Lawrence. Her short stories were selected for the two most recent Mystery Writers of America anthologies. Her Sherlock Holmes novels, The Star of India and The Haunting of Torre Abbey, have recently been reissued, along with her Claire Rawlings mystery series.


  1. I love to listen to the BBC World News when I’m upstate in Woodstock. It comes on WAMC at 11 pm, and I always feel like I’m getting a broader view of the world than I would from NPR in general. They cover a lot of stories in places like Africa and India in depth. Plus, you have their charming accents. ( :

    1. Have to agree about the BBC. I pick it up while driving here in Arizona on the PBS radio channel. They have a different take on events happening in Africa and the Middle East. On the same vein as The Economist. Also, enjoy those clipped BBC accents.

  2. My favorite source of international news is The Wall Street Journal. Although mainly a financial journal the newspaper has excellent foreign coverage of the Middle East, Europe, and Africa, all locations that are central to my novels. Some of the stories take the reader not only to “far away places with strange sounding names,” but also provide insight into the political machinations and social problems of countries in these regions.
    Of course, the web is a continual source of good international news, especially small, English language websites based in foreign countries. There are a number of good ones coming out of France.

  3. Due to the subject matter of my books, I spend a lot of time looking at military/intelligence-slanted sites, like the Army Rumour Service, SOFREP, and Strategy Page.

  4. I also listen to shows on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) which have some pretty adorable stories about the moose population in Saskatchewan. I guess that’s not exactly international news.

    I also find that if you listen to news on the internet, you can tune into some great stations. I keep meaning to tune into Al Jazeera. And now pretty sure I have an FBI file on me because of that comment.

  5. I served 20(+) years with Uncle Sam in the Middle East, Russia, Asia, and Africa; I have great respect for most journalists. Not so much for the media, though. In the USA, the media is a big business and also a political platform. Abroad, it’s all that, plus too often a platform for government propaganda. I’ve found that some of the most honest – often brutally so – reporting is found on individual blogs. Most bloggers have a bias…some strive for objectivity…but all offer insights into “the street” more valuable than the pap offered by the broadcast corporations and the cable companies.

  6. I need good news sources not only for my books, which are very news-driven, but also for my website,, which provides daily news of the edge of science. Because the site has such a wide readership, we are fortunate to have developed our own sources in many different countries–but how reliable is a source? It’s always a question.

    I also follow quite a few scientific resources, websites, journals, blogs, etc. It’s amazing how much remarkable and newsworthy material appears in such places but is overlooked by the general media simply because it’s too technical.

    As an example, we recently found a report from the University of Stockholm that one of their scientific teams has discovered methane outgassing in the Arctic Ocean, apparently due to the melting of methane hydrates. This process, if it increases, could dramatically accelerate climate change. There has been very little coverage of this story.

    For my books, where I get into esoteric subjects like UFOs, aliens and exotic weapons, I dig into some very weird corners of the internet, finding mostly rubbish. But not always. One discovers gems in the most improbable places.

  7. I’ve recently been doing research on Iran, and I’ve found a whole world of Iranian Twitter users who are an invaluable resource, especially as many of them are blogging as well. Most of their posts are in Farsi, but Google translate gives me the gist.

    This method works, of course, for any country or group of any kind that is on Twitter. I’m finding that it’s among my most useful resources.

  8. Thanks! We’ve been doing it since 2000. My wife Anne started it and is editor in chief. It is really enormous at this point. Practically anything you put in the search engine is going to turn up some little surprise or other.

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