Tuesday, February 19, 2013

US city bans use of drones

Unmanned aircraft, or drones, are widely used by the US against foreign targets. But their use inside the United States is more controversial. Privacy advocates worry that drones in America's skies will result in a surveillance society. That has led the city of Charlottesville to ban the use of drones in its airspace. Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett reports from the city.

Wealthy backers fund right-wing agenda in secret

Democracy Now!:

Since 1999, the nonprofit charity Donors Trust has handed out nearly $400 million in private donations to more than 1,000 right-wing and libertarian groups. The fact it has been able to quietly do so appears to explain why it exists: Wealthy donors can back the right-wing causes they want without attracting public scrutiny. The most detailed accounting to date shows Donors Trust funds a wish list of right-wing causes, prompting Mother Jones magazine to label it "the dark-money ATM of the right." We’re joined by John Dunbar, politics editor at the Center for Public Integrity and co-author of the group’s months-long investigation into Donors Trust. "They’re essentially a pass through," Dunbar says of Donors Trust. "They act as a kind of a middleman between what are very large, well-known private foundations created mostly by corporate executives, like the Kochs, for example, and they direct the money of those contributions to a very large network of right-leaning, free-market think tanks across the country."

Drones - web press grills Obama

"President Barack Obama touched on a slew of issues in his second Google Hangout, repeating the major points from Tuesday's State of the Union speech but also directly addressing the viability of the penny, the Benghazi hearings, drone strikes on American citizens, his daughters' math and science skills, and the GOP blocking a confirmation vote on Chuck Hagel's nomination as secretary of defense."*

In a recent Google Hangout, President Obama took questions from a handful of bloggers. The questions were tough, and they grilled the president on his drone policy, much more than any mainstream press have ever. Why were these bloggers and the daily show the only ones to pose these critical questions? Cenk Uygur breaks it down