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.
Policemen used teargas to disperse the demonstrators, who responded with stones, the eyewitness said
Obama speaks with British, French, German and Italian counterparts to discuss Ukraine, Gaza, Libya and Iraq
Netanyahu said Israel has to be ready for a long war until the objectives of the current operation against Gaza are achieved. Hamas says Netanyahu's threats can do nothing to scare it or scare the Palestinian people
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for all sides in the conflict to be held accountable for 'this outrageous crime'
The United States said it was "profoundly disappointed" by former General Hugo Carvajal's release on drug trafficking charges
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Many current U.S. surveillance programs go well beyond what is necessary to ensure national security, the report said.
The displaced children took to the school's playground to catch a glimpse of holiday celebrations amid a relentless Israeli offensive
Morning attack by suspected militants kills 21 civilians – including 10 women – headed for Eid celebrations
Dozens of former officials, including a former prime minister, have been arrested on charges such as abuse of power and corruption since Saakashvili's party lost an election two years ago.
Two rival brigades of former rebels fighting for control of Tripoli International Airport have pounded each other's positions for two weeks, turning the south of the capital into a battlefield.
A female bomber blew herself up at a petrol station in northern Nigeria's biggest city of Kano
Minister says Malaysia’s main concern is returning citizens’ bodies to provide closure to grieving families.
"We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil," France's foreign and interior ministers said in a joint statement
Roadside bomb kills 1, injures 2 other girls and 2 army rangers the night before Eid holiday in Pattani province
Baghdad's morgues are filling up once again with victims of sectarian slayings, kidnappings are on the rise and the bloodshed is forcing families to flee