Drones Flying the Friendly Skies
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Drone technology is improving and becoming more affordable. The commercial market could be huge. This week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is featuring new models that are very attractive to photographers and journalists, not to mention law enforcement. But there is already push-back from privacy advocates. Guest host Judy Muller considers the up- and downsides of drones. Also, President Obama is set to announce "Promise Zones" in five US cities, and a new memoir from former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates delivers some scathing criticism of the Obama Administration.
Banner image: Nicolas Halftermeyer
Obama to Announce 'Promise Zones' in Five US Cities ()
President Obama is set to make good on his promise to narrow the gap between the rich and poor in America, a pledge he first made in last year's State of the Union address. Tomorrow, he'll announce the creation of "promise zones" in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma – impoverished areas with high unemployment, poor schools and substandard housing. The announcement comes on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's pledge to wage a war on poverty. Mark Felsenthal is White House correspondent for Reuters.
Drones Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You ()
Unmanned aerial vehicles, known as UAV's or drones, are commonly associated with the military, but commercial drones are already here and are quickly becoming a hot commodity. This week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas features some small models that have hobbyists, photographers and journalist very excited, not to mention law enforcement. The FAA has selected six sites around the US for testing civilian versions of drones, with the goal of integrating them into national airspace by 2015. They could be used for search and rescue missions or monitoring pipelines for leaks. While no one disputes the FAA's regulatory role, some legal experts question whether it has authority over private drones that operate below 400 feet, and privacy advocates worry they could also be used for surveillance.
- Mario Mairena: Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, @auvsi
- Rachel Monroe: freelance writer, @rachmonroe
- Jay Stanley: American Civil Liberties Union, @JayCStanley
- Matthew Schroyer: Professional Society of Drone Journalists, @matthew_ryan
Today's Talking Point
Robert Gates Lets Loose in New Memoir ()
As Greg Jaffe reports in the Washington Post, Defense Secretary Robert Gates "left Washington in 2011 with a reputation as a steady, sober-minded member of the foreign policy establishment, who had served eight presidents and was admired equally by Republicans and Democrats. The next time Gates visits the capital," adds Jaffe, "his reception may not be quite so warm." Jaffe, who has covered the military for some time, says that Gates really cuts loose in Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.
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