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Report: German Military Set To Purchase Armed Drones



BERLIN - The German military looks eager to get in the drone business.

According to Der Spiegel Germany’s coalition government is planning to rapidly equip the country’s defense forces with armed combat drones, saying they would provide a “credible deterrent” to enemies and thus offer greater security. The government is considering buying the Predator drones used by the U.S. armed forces.

The news that Germany’s federal defense forces are planning to purchase armed combat drones for use in foreign military missions was made against a backdrop of billions in euros in budget cuts faced by the Ministry of Defense.

As reported by Süddeutsche Zeitung, German Minister of Defense Thomas de Maiziere is going to have to run his department on substantially less in 2014.

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Photo U.S. Airforce

So far, Germany has used only unarmed drones. In Afghanistan, it deploys three Israeli-made Heron I surveillance and reconnaissance drones it is leasing through 2014.

Der Spiegelquotes Left politician Andrej Hunko as saying that he “vehemently opposes” the armed drone strategy and is also critical of the purchase of more reconnaissance drones. He even worries that the drones could be deployed by authorities inside Germany.

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How WeChat Is Helping Bhutan's Disappearing Languages Find A New Voice

Phd candidate Tashi Dema, from the University of New England, discusses how social media apps, particularly WeChat, are helping to preserve local Bhutanese languages without a written alphabet. Dema argues that preservation of these languages has far-reaching benefits for the small Himalayan country's rich culture and tradition.

A monk in red performing while a sillouhet of a monk is being illuminated by their phone.

Monk performing while a sillouheted monk is on their phone

Source: Caterina Sanders/Unsplash
Tashi Dema

THIMPHU — Dechen, 40, grew up in Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. Her native language was Mangdip, also known as Nyenkha, as her parents are originally from central Bhutan. She went to schools in the city, where the curriculum was predominantly taught in Dzongkha, the national language, and English.

In Dechen’s house, everyone spoke Dzongkha. She only spoke her mother tongue when she had guests from her village, who could not understand Dzongkha and during her occasional visits to her village nestled in the mountains. Her mother tongue knowledge was limited.

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However, things have now changed.

With 90% of Bhutanese people using social media and social media penetrating all remotes areas in Bhutan, Dechen’s relatives in remote villages are connected on WeChat.

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