BY Wire reports
Saturday, February 23, 2013
2/23/13 at 3:04 AM
U.S. troops in Niger to set up surveillance drone base
WASHINGTON - About 100 American troops have been deployed to the African nation of Niger, where a U.S. defense official said they would be setting up a drone base for surveillance missions. The aide spoke on condition of anonymity.
President Barack Obama announced the deployment Friday in a letter to Congress, saying that the forces "will provide support for intelligence collection and will also facilitate intelligence sharing with French forces conducting operations in Mali, and with other partners in the region."
French troops have been fighting Islamic militants in Mali, which neighbors Niger. The drone base will allow the U.S. to give France more intelligence on the militants. It could extend the reach not only of American intelligence-gathering but also U.S. special operations missions
GOP panel chairman will consider gun bills
WASHINGTON - The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said Friday that he's interested in writing legislation this year improving background checks for gun buyers and cracking down on illegal firearms sales.
In an interview, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., provided little detail about his plans. But he said the federal background check system should be fixed to make sure more people with serious mental illnesses don't get firearms.
Criminals and people with significant mental problems are among those barred by federal law from buying guns. States are supposed to supply the federal background check system with purchasers' mental health records, but often they do not because of privacy rules and other barriers.
"We want to improve that system to try to screen out people who should not be able to possess firearms," Goodlatte said.
White House to give data on Benghazi to senators
WASHINGTON - The White House has agreed to give the Senate Intelligence Committee documents related to the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, a congressional aide said Friday.
Republicans had demanded the documents as a condition of voting on the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director.
The documents include emails between top national security officials showing the debate within the administration over how to describe the attack and other documents the committee had been asking for, the aide said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Drew Peterson enters prison after murder case
CHICAGO (AP) - Less than 24 hours after screaming out his innocence in court, Drew Peterson was transferred to an Illinois prison to begin serving his 38-year sentence for the murder of his third wife.
The former suburban Chicago police officer, whose case attracted widespread media attention and inspired a TV movie, entered the maximum-security Stateville prison outside Joliet early Friday. He was later transferred to a prison in Pontiac.