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Facing criticism, House delays border security bill

The bill would allocate $1 billion a year for equipment, technology and personnel to shut down illegal immigration and border smuggling. Critics came from both sides of the issue - some called it "extremist," while others said it was "timid" and "enforcement theater." ... Read more»2

Raytheon buys local drone maker Sensintel

Raytheon is adding a Tucson manufacturer of drones and surveillance gear to its Missile Systems division. The company announced Monday morning that it had acquired the privately held Sensintel, which has about 50 employees.... Read more»4

McCain bill would require oversight over border drones

A bill sponsored by U.S. Sens. McCain and Flake would create new oversight over the Department of Homeland Security's use of Predator drones along U.S. borders and coastlines, and block the agency from buying more drones.... Read more»

Audit: Border drones costly, infrequently flown

The drone program operated by Customs and Border Protection costs far more than the agency estimates, flies far fewer hours than it should, and helps in a fraction of apprehensions along the U.S-Mexico border, according to an audit of the program. In a report released on Christmas Eve, the DHS Inspector General found that after eight years, the program has not achieved results, flying for only about 20 percent of the time expected. ... Read more»2

Predator drone, dogs help BP agents seize nearly $2M in drugs

With help from a Predator drone, a National Guard helicopter, and a drug dog at a checkpoint, Tucson Sector Border Patrol seized more nearly $2 million in drugs in multiple seizures this week, including nearly $100,000 in cocaine and more than $252,000 in heroin, according to a release from the agency. ... Read more»1

Texas gov visits Nat'l Guard troops training for the border

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday portrayed the deployment of the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border as a critical security measure, saying troops “now are the tip of the spear protecting Americans from these cartels and gangs.”... Read more»1

Drones grounded in Saguaro National Park

As part of a nationwide policy, unmanned aircraft have been banned in Saguaro National Park, officials said. The National Park Service is conducting a review to address drone usage, but has barred flying drones, quadcopters, and model airplanes on an interim basis.... Read more»1

Analysis

So much for an 'Obama Doctrine'

Analysis: Everybody was expecting a major foreign policy revamp. But the president broke no new ground and struck a defensive pose in his West Point address.... Read more»

News drones over El Salvador

Illegal in the US, news-gathering drones are taking off in Latin American media.... Read more»

Some cool uses for drones instead of killing and spying

What about fighting forest fires instead of bombing wedding parties in Yemen?... Read more»

Panning Pentagon cuts, Barber vows fight for A-10

In the face of a proposal to retire the entire A-10 fleet, Rep. Ron Barber said he would fight to keep the Warthog flying, calling the aircraft "crucial to our community, to Davis-Monthan, and to the country." While the Pentagon said cutting the plane would save $3.5 billion over five years, Barber said it would only save $700,000 "after having already spent $1 billion to upgrade" the attack aircraft. (with video) ... Read more»

Analysis

The 12 (rocky) months of U.S. foreign policy

It’s been quite a year for U.S. foreign policy, with plenty of undertakings both naughty and nice.... Read more»

18 reasons this was Obama's worst year yet

US President Barack Obama gave an end-of-year press conference Friday, and it likely — much like his entire year — didn't go as he planned. After brief opening remarks, the president's very first question came from Julie Pace of the Associated Press. "Has this been the worst year of your presidency?" she asked. It all went downhill from there.... Read more»

Here's what we still don't know about drones

Nearly six months ago, President Obama promised more transparency and tighter policies around targeted killings. In a speech, Obama vowed that the U.S. would only use force against a “continuing and imminent threat to the American people.” It would fire only when there was “near-certainty” civilians would not be killed or injured, and when capture was not feasible.... Read more»

21 Tucson Air Guardsmen indicted; $1M fraud alleged by 'Black Sheep'

The former commander and 20 other members of a Tucson Air National Guard unit have been indicted for allegedly defrauding the government of more than $1 million. Members of the 214th Reconnaissance Group, which operates drones over Iraq and Afghanistan, falsified military records to bump their pay, Attorney General Tom Horne said Monday. The announcement comes four years after an Air Force investigation into the allegations led to discipline.... Read more»3

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