WASHINGTON -- They will look like two giant white blimps floating high above Interstate 95 in Maryland, perhaps en route to a football game somewhere along the bustling Eastern Seaboard. But their mission will have nothing to do with sports and everything to do with war.
The aerostats -- that is the term for lighter-than-air craft that are tethered to the ground -- are to be set aloft at Aberdeen Proving Ground, on Army-owned land about 45 miles northeast of Washington, for a three-year test slated to start in October. From a vantage of 10,000 feet, they will cast a vast radar net from Raleigh, N.C., to Boston and out to Lake Erie, with the goal of detecting cruise missiles or enemy aircraft so they could be intercepted before reaching the capital.
The prospect of military-grade tracking technology floating above one of the East Coast's busiest travel corridors has sparked privacy concerns at a time of rising worry about the growth of government eavesdropping in the dozen years since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Nuke force review ordered
WASHINGTON -- With public trust and safety at stake, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered immediate actions Thursday to define the depth of trouble inside the nation's nuclear force, which has been rocked by disclosures about security lapses, poor discipline, weak morale and other problems that raise questions about nuclear security.
It amounted to the most significant expression of high-level Pentagon concern about the nuclear force since 2008, when then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired the top uniformed and civilian officials in the Air Force following a series of mistakes that included an unauthorized flight of nuclear-armed cruise missiles across the country.
Clinton '16 bid fueled?
NEW YORK -- The largest liberal super-PAC in the country has begun raising money to elect Hillary Rodham Clinton president, formally aligning itself with Ms. Clinton's undeclared presidential ambitions more than two years away from the election.
The group, Priorities USA Action, which played a pivotal role in helping re-elect President Barack Obama, also named new directors to steer the organization, appointments that will cement the group's pro-Clinton tilt and thrust veterans of Mr. Obama's political and fundraising operation into the center of the post-Obama Democratic Party.
Detroit to lure immigrants
DETROIT -- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced a plan Thursday to ask the Obama administration to set aside thousands of work visas to entice talented immigrants to live and work in bankrupt Detroit.
The Republican governor said he is seeking 50,000 work visas solely for the city over five years. The type of visas involved are not currently allocated by region or state, but rather go to legal immigrants who have advanced degrees or show exceptional ability in certain fields.
Temple murder conviction
PHOENIX -- A jury on Thursday convicted a man charged in the 1991 killings of nine people at a Buddhist temple, including six Buddhist monks, bringing an end to a bizarre decades-long case that involved numerous trials and accusations of police misconduct.
Johnathan A. Doody, 39, sat impassively in court as a clerk read verdicts of a botched robbery gone bad nearly a quarter-century ago: nine counts of first-degree murder, nine counts of armed robbery and single counts of burglary and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.