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Drone makers gather to defend their much-maligned machines

“I have some d-word difficulty,” said Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, a trade group for makers and enthusiasts of robots of air, land and sea. The d-word, of course, is drones.... Read more»

In big win for defense industry, Obama rolls back export limits

The United States is loosening controls over military exports, in a shift that former U.S. officials and human rights advocates say could increase the flow of American-made military parts to the world’s conflicts and make it harder to enforce arms sanctions.... Read more»

FBI has used drones in the U.S. since 2006, watchdog says

Though drones have become an essential tool for the CIA in battling militants in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, a new report reveals that the FBI has also relied on drones to fight domestic criminals since 2006.... Read more»

What we know (and don’t know) about the drone war

Drones, or “unmanned aerial vehicles” as the military prefers to call them, have been used to strike al Qaeda targets in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia as a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s national security protocol. But as ProPublica fellow Cora Currier has detailed in her reporting, much of the drone war remains shrouded in secrecy. ... Read more»

3 other places the U.S. military bombed in the past month

Not every bombing campaign is as well publicized as the one probably coming to Syria. Here's what else the U.S. military is up to.... Read more»

John C. Scott

J.C. Scott: President Obama reflects on 'The Dream'

President Barack Obama's speech on the anniversary of the March on Washington, along with financial advisor Shelly Fishman, Martha McSally, Community Food Bank CEO Bill Carnegie and event coordinator Kris French, plus Middle East expert Stephen Zunes... Read more»

Does the U.S. pay families when drones kill innocent Yemenis?

There have been nine drone strikes reported in Yemen in the past two weeks – an uptick apparently connected to the Al Qaeda threat that shut down U.S. embassies across the Middle East and Africa. As many as six civilian deaths have also been reported.... Read more»

The huge drone that could not be grounded

A major defense contractor used campaign donations and insider access on Capitol Hill to defy the Air Force and keep a troubled drone aloft at a cost to taxpayers of billions of dollars ... Read more»

Boy’s death in drone strike tests Obama’s transparency pledge

It’s the first prominent allegation of a civilian death since President Obama pledged in a major speech in May “to facilitate transparency and debate” about the U.S. war on al Qaida-linked militants beyond Afghanistan. He also said “there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured” in a strike.... Read more»

Swords to plowshares: Experts see farming as next big use for drones

Drones numbering in the tens of thousands will be in the skies by 2030, the FAA predicts. But where some may fear precision weapons or flying spy cameras, Steve Markofski sees flying tractors. ... Read more»

UAV degree: Colleges offering courses in drone design

The drone minor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott aims to prepare students to build and fly unmanned aerial vehicles – UAVs, or drones – for a commercial market that doesn’t yet exist.... Read more»

Drone business lifting off in Az, heightening concerns

After the high-profile shooting of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in 2010, Scott Rollefstad felt he had to do something to help keep other agents safe. So the Tucson resident headed to his garage and, after several months of tinkering, emerged with a backpack-sized surveillance drone. ... Read more»

Obama’s numbers (quarterly update)

There are insights that emerge from the first in a series of regular quarterly updates of key statistical indicators of the Obama presidency.... Read more»

New drone radar reveals Border Patrol 'gotaways' in high numbers

The Border Patrol has caught a fraction of the border crossers spotted by a sophisticated sensor mounted on unmanned spy aircraft and flown over remote stretches of desert, casting doubts on claims that the area is more secure than ever.... Read more»

Hearts, minds and dollars: condolence payments in the drone strike age

In February, during his confirmation process, CIA director John Brennan offered an unusually straightforward explanation: “Where possible, we also work with local governments to gather facts, and, if appropriate, provide condolence payments to families of those killed.”... Read more»

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