The United States on Tuesday defended drone strikes targeting al-Qaida operatives and others it deems enemies, rejecting reports by two human-rights groups questioning the legality of strikes they asserted have killed or wounded scores of civilians in Yemen and Pakistan.
President Barack Obama has directed the Justice Department to give Congress' intelligence committees access to classified legal advice providing the government's rationale for drone strikes against American citizens working with al-Qaida abroad, a senior administration official said Wednesday.
A two-day conference in Grand Forks this week is focusing on military and commercial uses for unmanned aerial systems, commonly known as drones. The theme of the conference Tuesday and Wednesday at the Alerus Center is "From Battle Field to Farm Field."
The foam-and-balsa-wood gizmo sitting idle in the offices of Otter Tail County isn’t exactly the spitting image of the sleek unmanned warplanes the word “drone” brings to mind. Its mission is to photograph drainage ditches, not enemy targets. At 6 pounds, it would be hard-pressed to take down a cow, let alone blow up a building.
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