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Rwandan Hospitals in Need of Blood Get New Lifeline: Drones

US company Zipline begins deliveries

(Newser) - A US-based drone startup has found a humanitarian market for its services: hospitals in remote areas of Rwanda. The startup, Zipline, has begun making deliveries of blood and other medical supplies via the air, a much faster method than navigating the hilly country's network of slow and windy roads,... More »

The Pentagon Is Worried About ISIS' New Weapon

Off-the-shelf drones are being turned into bombs

(Newser) - In a development that some security experts say the Pentagon should have seen coming, ISIS is now using drones to kill people on the battlefield. The Guardian reports that according to French media, two Kurdish peshmerga fighters were killed and two French special forces soldiers were badly injured in Iraq... More »

'One in a Million': Chance Drone Pic Saves Trapped Man

Texas' Craig Williams just happened to see photo online of brother's flooded home in NC

(Newser) - A drone photo, a Twitter hashtag, and a concerned brother more than a thousand miles away all helped save a North Carolina veteran trapped in his home by Hurricane Matthew flooding. Craig Williams, who lives in Austin, Texas, was worried about his twin, Chris, who had fled Saturday night to... More »

You'll Soon Be Able to Buy a Data Plan for Your Drone

Verizon is launching the service in 2017

(Newser) - Starting next year, Verizon will be selling data plans for drones, the Wall Street Journal reports. But what seems semi-ridiculous at first glance may actually be a useful tool. In an announcement Thursday, Verizon says companies could use drones connected to its LTE wireless network to monitor things like wildfires... More »

Prediction: 600K Commercial Drones in US by End of Year

After new safety rules put into place

(Newser) - Federal aviation officials estimate there will be 600,000 commercial drone aircraft operating in the US within the year as the result of new safety rules that opened the skies to them on Monday, the AP reports. Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, said at a news conference... More »

Church's Drones Will Drop Bibles on ISIS Territory

Swedish church wants to convert Syrians

(Newser) - What people living in ISIS-controlled areas really need is Christianity delivered by drone, an evangelical church in Sweden has decided. The Uppsala-based Word of Life church says it plans to use military drones to drop thousands of Bibles over parts of Syria in the hope of converting Muslims, CNET reports.... More »

US Releases First Estimate of Civilian Deaths in Drone Strikes

At least 64 since 2009, a figure lower than independent estimates

(Newser) - After years of pressure, the White House has released details about the number of civilians accidentally killed by US drone strikes—though the information comes with plenty of asterisks. The official estimate is that between 64 and 116 civilians have been killed in such strikes since 2009, reports USA Today... More »

Medieval 'Knight' Knocks Out Drone With a Spear

Nice shot, sire

(Newser) - We now know what would happen if a drone traveled back in time to the Middle Ages. A talented knight—more precisely, a talented medieval reenactor—at Russia's Rusborg festival managed to down a drone with a throw of his spear. The drone was recording the event from about... More »

Drone May Have Hit Plane Landing at Heathrow

British Airways plane landed safely; London police investigating

(Newser) - In what the UK's Civil Aviation Authority says would be "a totally unacceptable" first, a British Airways plane landing at Heathrow appears to have been hit by a drone on Sunday, the BBC reports. The Airbus A320 coming into London from Geneva had 132 passengers and five crew... More »

What It's Like to Be on America's 'Kill List'

Malik Jalal describes his life, being hunted by drones

(Newser) - Malik Jalal has been targeted by drones four times, resulting in the death of many innocent bystanders and members of Jalal's own family being killed and seriously injured. He's on the "Kill List" of America and its allies, he explains in an essay for the Independent , and... More »

Drone Catches Hooker, Elderly Client in the Act

Amanda Zolicoffer pleads guilty to public lewdness

(Newser) - A camera-equipped drone has apparently caught a prostitute and her john having sex in the front seat of his truck. It all began in March 2015, when self-proclaimed "video vigilante" Brian Bates saw Douglas Blansett, 76, appear to pick up 27-year-old prostitute Amanda Zolicoffer in Oklahoma City, the Smoking... More »

US First: Drone Delivers Package to Residential Area

We're now 'closer to the day that drones make regular deliveries to your front doorstep'

(Newser) - A drone has successfully delivered a package to a residential location in a small Nevada town in what its maker and the governor of the state said Friday was the first fully autonomous urban drone delivery in the US. Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney said the six-rotor drone flew about a... More »

Drone Comes Within 200 Feet of Plane Near LAX

Police are looking for its owner

(Newser) - Officials say a drone came within about 200 feet of a commercial airliner as it approached Los Angeles International Airport on Friday, the AP reports. An FAA spokesperson says the pilot of the Lufthansa A380 reported that the drone had flown closely over it when the plane was about 5,... More »

Coming Soon: Official Death Toll of US Drone Strikes

But it won't cover those in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria

(Newser) - The White House has for the first time promised to release the death toll of civilian and non-civilian casualties from US drone strikes going back to 2009, reports the Guardian . Or at least some drone strikes: The disclosure won't cover those in areas of "active hostilities" such as... More »

Eagles Are Being Trained to Take Down Drones

It's not yet clear if the process is safe for the birds

(Newser) - Dutch police have come up with a pretty crazy way of taking out drones: eagles. Law enforcement in the Netherlands is teaming up with a raptor training company to train the birds of prey to "intercept" quadcopters, the Verge reports, citing local media and a video report . Wired reports... More »

Kickstarter Digs Deep Into Case of Doomed Drone

Was Europe's largest Kickstarter ever a scam?

(Newser) - It had all the makings of fraud, or at least some level of incompetence: a Kickstarter product that raised a ton of cash, didn't ship on time to backers, didn't work properly, and sent the manufacturer into bankruptcy. Not only that—it was the largest project out of... More »

Shots Fired After S. Korea Spots Pyongyang Drone

The drone got away, Seoul says

(Newser) - South Korea on Wednesday fired 20 machine gun warning shots after a North Korean drone briefly crossed the rivals' border, South Korean military officials say. It's the first time shots have been fired in what has so far been a Cold War-style standoff between the Koreas in the wake... More »

China's New Drone May Be Based On Stolen US Blueprints

'Basically a clone of the Reaper'

(Newser) - China is closing the drone-gap with the US military, and it may be thanks to stolen designs. The Asia Times reports China's newly unveiled UAV—the Caihong-4—bears a striking resemblance to the US military's MQ-9 Reaper, especially it its size, landing gear, engine, and tail. The Caihong-4—... More »

Drone Gets Too Close to Obama Motorcade

The Secret Service stepped in

(Newser) - A drone nearly crashing into a champion skier is one thing; one coming perilously close to President Obama's motorcade—definitely not cool. That's what the Secret Service is miffed about after an incident in Hawaii Monday, in which a drone cruised next to the convoy— CNN says the... More »

World Cup Skier Nearly Taken Out —by Drone

Austrian Marcel Hirscher: 'This can never happen again'

(Newser) - A four-time defending ski champ competing in the World Cup finals in Italy nearly saw his attempt derailed when a camera drone crashed on the slope perilously close to where he was skiing, the BBC reports. Austria's Marcel Hirscher was doing his second run in a slalom race in... More »

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