WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama announced in May 2013 that no lethal strike against a terrorist would be authorized without “near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.”
But amid unconfirmed reports of civilian casualties, the White House said this week that U.S. bombing in Iraq and Syria is not being held to the near-certainty standard. And the Pentagon, hamstrung by limitations in intelligence gathering, has been unable to determine in many cases whether the casualty reports are true. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to announce Thursday that it is granting permits to seven movie and television production companies to fly drones, an important step toward greater use of the technology by commercial operators, said attorneys and a company official familiar with the decision.
The FAA has been working on regulations that would permit commercial drone flights in U.S. skies for more than 10 years, but the agency is still at least months and possibly years away from issuing final rules to permit flights by small drones. Regulations for flights by larger drones are even farther away. Continue reading
What happens when a drone crashes into one of the world’s largest hot springs? The aircraft might potentially damage the spring, but trying to remove it might cause even more damage.
What was first designed to be a predator of war may soon be your new mailman – that is, if Amazon gets its way. Continue reading
Despite years of research, the Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t figured out what kind of technology unmanned aircraft should use to avoid crashing into other planes and to prevent lost links with ground control stations, Matthew Hampton, the Transportation Department’s assistant inspector general for aviation, said in a report. Continue reading
The U.S. is now flying armed drones over Baghdad to protect U.S. civilians and military forces in the Iraqi capital, the Pentagon confirmed. Also, Human Rights Watch released a report alleging that ISIL conducted mass executions of more than 160 men in Tikrit. Lindsey Hilsum of Independent Television News reports from Baghdad on the growing unease among civilians. Continue reading
WASHINGTON — The U.S. has armed drones flying over Baghdad to protect U.S. troops that recently arrived to assess Iraq’s deteriorating security, the Pentagon said Friday.
The military for more than a week has been flying manned and unmanned aircraft over Iraq, averaging a few dozen sorties daily for reconnaissance. The decision to arm some of the drones follows the deployment to Baghdad of troops who will advise and assist Iraqi counterterrorism forces. Continue reading
Jonathan Jarvis, the park service’s director, told The Associated Press he doesn’t want drones flushing birds from their nests, hovering over rock climbers as they cling to the sides of cliffs or buzzing across the face of Mount Rushmore.
Jarvis said he would sign a policy memorandum on Friday directing superintendents of the service’s 401 parks to write rules prohibiting the launching, landing or operation of unmanned aircraft in their parks. Continue reading