WASHINGTON – As bad as President Donald Trump describes U.S.-Pakistani ties today, they can get far worse. Over 16 years that included hundreds of deadly U.S. drone strikes, Osama bin Laden's killing on Pakistani soil and accusations Pakistan helps insurgents that kill Americans, the reluctant allies never reached one point of no return: Pakistan closing the air routes to Afghanistan. It's an action that could all but cripple the U.S.-backed military fight against the Taliban. It could also be tantamount to Pakistan going to war with the United States. Even if such a step is seen as unlikely by most officials and observers, Pakistan's ability to shape the destiny of America's longest war is a reminder of how much leverage the country maintains at a time Trump is suspending hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance.
MOSCOW – The Russian military has urged its Turkish counterparts to tighten monitoring of opposition in northern Syria in the wake of a drone attack on Russian military bases in the country. Russia's Defense Ministry said its forces repelled a series of drone attacks Saturday, adding that out of the 13 drones involved, seven were shot down and six were forced to land without causing any damage. The official military daily Krasnaya Zvezda said the ministry sent letters to the Turkish military, asking it to deploy observers to Syria's northern province of Idlib to ensure that rebels don't launch more attacks. Russia has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad while Turkey has supported his foes, but they struck a deal last year to set up de-escalation zones in Syria, helping reduce fighting.
The aim is for a SMET robot to be able to carry 1,000 pounds across more than 60 miles in 72 hours. Whether you're interested in trucks, tanks, motorcycles, armored vehicles or ATVs, 2017 was a great year, with lots of incredible machines. And it was a year in which lots of out-of-the-box advances – some might even say shocking – were revealed. Where do we find these insider machines? I also meet with military and private sector innovators to closely evaluate the vehicles and put them through their paces.
JOHANNESBURG – A group that monitors extremist organizations says the Islamic State group has posted what is thought to be the first video from IS-affiliated fighters in Somalia. The video posted online Monday calls on supporters to "hunt down" what it calls nonbelievers and attack churches and markets. The SITE Intelligence Group says the video urges supporters to take advantage of people's "drunkenness" over the holiday season to attack. The United States last month launched its first drone strikes against Islamic State group-affiliated fighters in Somalia. The Horn of Africa nation has a small but growing presence of the fighters, many of them defectors from the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group.
File photo - An airplane flies over a drone during the Polar Bear Plunge on Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York Jan. 1, 2015. While it seems unlikely that everyday drone hobbyists would want to make a beeline for their nearest nuclear facility to grab some aerial shots, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has nevertheless announced a ban on drone flights over such locations in the U.S., namely: As you can see, they're mainly labs, while the Hanford Site, for example, is a mostly decommissioned nuclear production complex. Another of those listed, the Pantex Site, is an active nuclear weapons assembly and dismantlement plant. The restrictions, which come into force on December 29, have been put in place "to address concerns about unauthorized drone operations over seven Department of Energy (DOE) facilities," the FAA confirmed on its website. It added that "operators who violate the airspace restrictions may be subject to enforcement action, including potential civil penalties and criminal charges."
WASHINGTON – Federal investigators say a recreational drone operator was at fault in the first confirmed midair collision in the U.S. between a drone and a manned aircraft. That's according to a National Transportation Safety Board report. The report says the operator was unaware the Federal Aviation Administration had temporarily banned drone flights in New York when his drone collided with an Army Blackhawk helicopter on Sept. 21. The U.N. General Assembly was meeting at the time. The helicopter suffered minor damage while the drone was destroyed.
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan – Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. drone strike has hit a militant compound near the Afghan border, killing three militants. Two officials say the unmanned drone fired two missiles at the Ghazni compound of the militant Haqqani network's commander Abdur Rasheed early in the morning on Thursday. The network is affiliated with the Taliban. They said it's unclear if Rasheed was at the compound located on the Pesho Ghar mountain in the Kurram tribal region's Ghuzgari area. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A police officer credits his training for allowing him to quickly stop the man responsible for a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University a year ago, according to a video released Monday. That training "kept my whole world from collapsing in on me" during the moments during which he shot and killed the attacker, Ohio State Officer Alan Horujko said in the 14-minute video produced and released by the university. Horujko has declined interview requests. The university said he agreed to share his experiences through the video as the attack's one-year anniversary approached on Tuesday. The school plans a commemorative event Tuesday on campus.
Four4Four Science: 'Titanic iceberg' photo; doctors' hologram house calls, canine DNA, insect naming rights It was famously described as unsinkable, but in April 1912 the mighty Titanic struck an iceberg and disappeared beneath the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. It was many decades until it would be discovered in 1985, and even longer before we knew the true story behind what led to its discovery. Filmmaker James Cameron's epic Titanic blockbuster was released 20 years ago this year, but at the time it was scarcely known that RMS Titanic's discovery was largely the result of a secret Cold War military expedition. Details of the story had trickled out, but it wasn't until the past decade that the United States navy became comfortable to reveal the finer details of the search, according to Robert Ballard, the oceanographer who discovered RMS Titanic. He met with the navy in 1982 to request funding to develop the robotic submersible technology he needed to find the sunken vessel, National Geographic reported.
The Libyan National Army has been battling ISIS in the cities of Sirte and Benghazi. The U.S. military has launched airstrikes this month in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Friday, for the first time since September, in Libya. According to a defense official, the drone strike in the desert of central Libya Friday killed "several" ISIS militants in a sign the Pentagon may be ramping up pressure on terror groups in Africa. The most recent strike comes a year after the military launched nearly 500 airstrikes against ISIS in the coastal city of Sirte, located halfway between Tripoli and Benghazi. The September strike killed 17 ISIS fighters.