World Bulletin / News Desk
Germany's military will acquire armed drones its Defence Minster said on Friday, reigniting a heated debate in Germany over the ethics of using such aircraft.
Prior to the official announcement, German opposition lawmakers had already condemned the purchase of armed drones, with the head of the Greens parliamentary group Juergen Trittin saying they could lower the threshold for military engagement.
Critics of drone strikes argue that they end up killing high numbers of civilians and that they are frequently launched across sovereign states' borders - far more than conventional attacks by piloted aircraft.
The drones would protect soldiers in dangerous situations, and offer precision and speed, Thomas de Maiziere told the German government's YouTube channel in an interview.
The drones were identical in legal, ethical and technical terms to manned aircraft because someone would still have to decide whether to attack, he said.
Germany would develop the new generation drones in conjunction with France, he said. German armed forces are currently using unmanned drones for reconnaissance in Afghanistan.
"We have a gap in our capabilities which we want to close," de Maiziere said.
Most attacks with unmanned aerial vehicles have been by the United States. Britain and Israel have also used them, and dozens more states are believed to possess the technology.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby downplayed any disconnect with the White House and said U.S. officials were constantly reviewing Syria options
Kiir will be accompanied on his visit by a number of South Sudanese government ministers and officials.
Announcement follows unprecedented talks between Myanmar’s military, political leaders, major opposition parties
Tension has run high across the occupied West Bank since the Wednesday shooting of an extremist Jewish rabbi in Jerusalem
A perforation made in a subterranean water source during mining activities seemed to have caused the flooding
Al-Ahram said Egyptian authorities asked Moussa Ibrahim to leave the country at the request of the Libyan government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni
A fire broke out at France's public radio headquarters in Paris, forcing live programmes off the air as staff evacuated the vast Paris complex where major building work has been underway
Rula Ghani, spouse of Afghanistan's new president Ashraf Ghani, have already critised some Islamic norms welcomed by Afghan society.
At least 300 ISIL militants were killed and scores of vehicles captured in clashes
South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused sacked vice president Riek Machar of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Burkina Faso on Friday to press President Blaise Compaore to step down, a day after the army dissolved parliament and announced a transitional government in the face of violent mass protests.
Erekat's statement came during a meeting with foreign officials in the West Bank city of Jericho
Catalan head Artur Mas plans to hold the Nov. 9 ballot, marshalled by volunteers, in place of a non-binding referendum on independence declared illegal by the Constitutional Court.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's comments show how the threat posed by ISIL has pushed some Shi'ites and Sunnis to overcome their sectarian differences and face a common enemy
The fresh violence comes amid rising tension in the holy city after Israel closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound
The absence of the three Muslim leaders means that only the majority Orthodox Christian countries will be represented