AP: President Barack Obama on Thursday defended America’s controversial drone attacks as legal, effective and a necessary linchpin in an evolving U.S. counterterrorism policy. But he acknowledged the targeted strikes are no “cure-all” and said he is haunted by the civilians unintentionally killed.
“For the first time, the U.S. government has acknowledged killing four American citizens in lethal drone strikes far outside traditional battlefields, confirming information that had been widely known but has only recently been unclassified under orders of the president,” writes NPR’s Carrie Johnson. “Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday explaining that only one of the four dead U.S. citizens was explicitly targeted.”
President Barack Obama addressed the nation Thursday afternoon to discuss these drone deaths and a revised counterterrorism policy.
Obama “believes that we need to be as transparent about a matter like this as we can, understanding that there are national security implications to this issue and to the broader issues involved in counterterrorism policy,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday.
Today’s Question: What should be the U.S. policy on drone use overseas?
The new Yardarm Technologies LLC system would trigger an alarm on an owner’s cellphone if a gun is moved, and the owner could then hit a button to activate the safety and disable the weapon. New guns would come with a microchip on the body and antennas winding around the grip. It would add about $50 to the cost of a gun, and about $12 a year for the service.
The Yardarm system is one of several recently introduced high-tech offerings: the iGun only fires if it recognizes a ring on a finger, the Intelligun uses a fingerprint locking system and TriggerSmart uses radio frequency identification.
Today’s Question: Would smarter guns make us safer?
Scotty Magnuson literally running last bill to House. #mnleg now Adjourned twitter.com/Stowydad/statu… — Brian Bakst (@Stowydad) May 21, 2013 In addition to legalizing same-sex marriage, lawmakers raised taxes by $2 billion and passed a bill that will let some child and home care workers vote to unionize. Session highlights from the last 48 hours: Legislature Read more →
A significant achievement gap exists between white students and students of color: 70 percent of white students graduate in four years, but for African-American and Latino students it’s less than 37 percent. Only a quarter of American Indian students graduate on time. “In the latest effort to boost student performance, the Minneapolis school district wants Read more →
MPR Video/Tom Scheck “Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders have announced a deal on an overall tax bill that would increase roughly $2 billion in new taxes,” writes MPR News reporter Tom Scheck. “The plan would create a new fourth tier income tax rate of 9.85 percent on couples with an after-tax income of $250,000 Read more →
“The Federal Aviation Administration has granted a special permit for the Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department and the University of North Dakota to fly drones in 16 North Dakota counties, where they are training officers to use the drones,” reports Dan Gunderson for MPR News. Small drones could save police time and money, but privacy advocates Read more →
“Stadium builders have unveiled their vision for Minnesota’s new NFL stadium: it’s part fluoroplastic, part Viking sailing ship and an angular nod to other Minneapolis landmarks like the Walker Art Center and the Guthrie Theater,” writes Tim Nelson on Stadium Watch. ”And the roof won’t be opening. That said, the south half of the roof will be Read more →
Gov. Mark Dayton will sign legislation that legalizes same-sex marriage in Minnesota. The bill signing comes after two years of debate, at times polarizing, across the state. Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, said he expects life to return to normal soon after Aug. 1 when the new law will take effect. “Hopefully, when we pass this Read more →