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Military Contractors

BUSINESS
February 13, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
With a growing fleet of combat drones in its arsenal, the Pentagon is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to open U.S. airspace to its robotic aircraft. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, the military says the drones that it has spent the last decade accruing need to return to the United States. When the nation first went to war after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the military had around 50 drones. Now it owns nearly 7,500. These flying robots need to be shipped home at some point, and the military then hopes to station them at various military bases and use them for many purposes.
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ENTERTAINMENT
August 20, 2010 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Jonathan Franzen begins his fourth novel, "Freedom," with an extended set piece introducing Walter and Patty Berglund, urban homesteaders who, back in the 1980s, moved to the crumbling core of St. Paul, Minn., and became "the young pioneers of Ramsey Hill. " It's an interesting choice since, as Franzen makes clear from the book's first sentence, the Berglunds have abandoned the Twin Cities for Washington, D.C., and "mean nothing to St. Paul now. " Still, their memory, or their influence, lingers like an afterimage: the perfect couple that somehow wasn't, whose love was shattered by some ineradicable taint.
NATIONAL
July 4, 2007 | T. Christian Miller, Times Staff Writer
The number of U.S.-paid private contractors in Iraq now exceeds that of American combat troops, newly released figures show, raising fresh questions about the privatization of the war effort and the government's capacity to carry out military and rebuilding campaigns. More than 180,000 civilians -- including Americans, foreigners and Iraqis -- are working in Iraq under U.S. contracts, according to State and Defense department figures obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
BUSINESS
January 24, 2003 | From Reuters
Lockheed Martin Corp. topped the list of the biggest U.S. military contractors in fiscal 2002, followed by Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp. Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed, long the industry leader, rolled up $17 billion in prime contract awards in the year ended Sept. 30, up from $14.7 billion the year before.
BUSINESS
July 1, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Despite concerns about U.S.-made drones ending up in enemy hands, American military contractors are lobbying the government to loosen export restrictions and open up foreign markets to the unmanned aircraft that have reshaped modern warfare. Companies such as Northrop Grumman Corp.and other arms makers are eager to tap a growing foreign appetite for high-tech - and relatively cheap - drones, already being sold on the world market by countries such as Israel and China. "Export restrictions are hurting this industry in America without making us any safer," Wesley G. Bush, Northrop's chief executive, said at a defense conference this year.
WORLD
February 10, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe ruled out exchanging prisoners with his country's largest rebel group, which holds dozens of hostages. Those held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, are "good citizens" who cannot be exchanged for jailed guerrillas, Uribe said during a visit to the European Union office in Brussels. "The Colombian government cannot enter into negotiations that strengthen terrorism," Uribe said at a news conference. The hostages include three U.S.
NATIONAL
October 15, 2007 | Julian E. Barnes, Times Staff Writer
As the Bush administration deals with the fallout from the recent killings of civilians by private security firms in Iraq, some officials are asking whether the contractors could be considered unlawful combatants under international agreements. The question is an outgrowth of federal reviews of the shootings, in part because the U.S. officials want to determine whether the administration could be accused of treaty violations that could fuel an international outcry.
NATIONAL
June 17, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The lobbying firm enmeshed in a federal investigation of Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-Redlands), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is breaking up because of publicity surrounding the probe, the company said. The firm, Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White, has been a major player in Washington, particularly in winning narrow appropriations, known as "earmarks," for military contractors, municipalities and others.
WORLD
October 21, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Colombian troops have killed a guerrilla commander accused of kidnapping three U.S. military contractors and carrying out a string of assassinations and bombings, the army said. Edgar Gustavo Navarro of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia was among 11 rebels killed during a gunfight Sunday, said Gen. Hector Martinez. Martinez said Navarro was behind the capture of Tom Howes, Marc Gonsalves and Keith Stansell after their single-engine plane crash-landed Feb. 13.
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