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At first glance it seems like a fairly routine military tech project: DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is developing a miniature unmanned air vehicle that can be carried into the field in a rucksack and sent out to a remote urban location, where it will find a spot from which to perch and transmit surveillance video.

The technology for this vulture-like "Perch and Stare" device is within reach, but DARPA has taken a rather extraordinary approach to getting the concept into production.

Rather than contracting out with domestic research institutions or defense industry companies, DARPA has extended a welcome mat to everyone around the world through an elaborately crowd-sourced competition called UAVForge, which launched last May.

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The National Lawyers Guild confirms to TPM that one of its legal observers was injured and arrested in an incident involving a NYPD motor scooter that was captured on video Friday morning during the Occupy Wall Street protests.

Gideon Oliver, who is on the executive committee of the New York City chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, confirmed to TPM that the man in the video is one of their legal observers. Oliver wouldn't give the man's name or confirm the extent of his injuries, but he did say the man is currently in the emergency room receiving medical attention -- and that he is under arrest.

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News that the Obama administration is sending combat troops to Uganda hit many in the US as a surprise. The soldiers are heading there with the Ugandan government's approval in order to help combat the Lord's Resistance Army.

That fact will make it less of a shock to Africans hearing this news. They know the LRA as a feared and brutal insurgency.

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has lost his seat on a local committee in his home state, the Washington Post reports. Cantor was automatically removed from the committee rolls after his endorsement of Del. Bill Janis — a Republican who’s running for Henrico County attorney as an independent.

“Any Republican who supports a non-Republican in a contested race will be automatically removed,” reports the Post.

President Obama is sending a total of 100 troops into central Africa to help a resistance movement fight the Lord's Resistance Army, a rebel group known for committing atrocities across the continent.

The first troops left Wednesday and in the next month additional forces are set to deploy, including a second combat-equipped team, as well as communications and logistics personnel, Obama informed Congressional leaders in a letter sent Friday afternoon. The mission's goal is to remove LRA leader Joseph Kony and his top commanders from the battlefield, according to the letter.

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by Lois Beckett ProPublica

By the end of this year, the State Department will decide whether to give a Canadian company permission to construct a 1,700-mile, $7 billion pipeline that would transport crude oil from Canada to refineries in Texas.

The project has sparked major environmental concerns, particularly in Nebraska, where the pipeline would pass over an aquifer that provides drinking water and irrigation to much of the Midwest. It has also drawn scrutiny because of the company's political connections and conflicts of interest. A key lobbyist for TransCanada, which would build the pipeline, also worked for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her presidential campaign. And the company that conducted the project's environmental impact report had financial ties to TransCanada.

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Rick Perry wants to all-but-eliminate the EPA (at the very least, he wants to severely hobble it.) And the people trying to keep President Obama in the White House are not going to let that stand.

Although Obama has been in some high-profile tussles with the environmentalist community lately, his campaign and its allies made it clear today they're willing to defend their environmental record and contrast it with the universally-accepted view among the GOP candidates that environmental protection goes too far.

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The White House is holding fast to its claim that Republicans are running a do-nothing Congress, and, unlike President Obama, have yet to put forth a jobs bill -- or at least a real one.

Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) press office Thursday evening pointedly released a summary of a private phone call he and Obama had earlier that day, in which Boehner took serious issue with Obama's claims during that morning's press conference that he has yet to see a GOP plan for job creation. (Obama had called Boehner to congratulate him on the passage of trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama).

Boehner reminded Obama that House Republicans put forth a "Plan for America's Job Creators" in May, and noted that he and other members of the GOP leadership team have spoken with the President and his staff about the plan and referenced it on numerous occasions, in letters and elsewhere.

The GOP plan consists of repealing government regulations on businesses, reducing taxes on individuals to 25 percent, allowing businesses to reinvest their overseas profits in the U.S. without having to pay a tax penalty, passing the three trade agreements, maximizing U.S. energy production and paying down the debt by slashing government spending.

But the White House argues that most of those policies -- minus the trade agreements (which he strongly supported) -- won't do anything to create jobs immediately, and so Obama and his team don't consider the proposal a real Jobs plan and they haven't been shy about saying so.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Friday was asked whether Obama was miffed by Boehner's decision to release the contents of his private conversation with the President. Carney's response: we must have hit a nerve.

"What I think it points out [is] that Republicans are coming under pressure from their constituents to do something on jobs and the economy, because again, one of the reasons they're coming under pressure, we're not just saying this is essential, their constituents are saying it," Carney said. "The Republicans' so-called plan for jobs creators, while it might have some good ideas in it, free trade agreements, passage of patent reform and some other issues, those same outside analysts are saying will have no significant impact on the economy or jobs in the near term," he continued.

In Boehner's account of the phone call, he told Obama that Republicans have given his jobs plan serious consideration and even released a detailed memo outlining specific areas where they believe common ground can be found.

Boehner also pointed out that the House has already acted on several items in the White House jobs package, including a veterans hiring bill, trade agreements, and a 3 percent withholding bill, which the Ways & Means Committee approved Thursday and will be voted on the House floor this month.

"They also discussed transportation and infrastructure, and the Speaker expressed his desire to do something on the issue, but to do it in a fiscally-responsible way," Boehner's release noted.

Correction: original report misquoted Carney as saying NAFTA reform, instead of patent reform.

Updated: Oct. 14, 2:35PM

A federal appeals court on Friday blocked parts of a controversial Alabama immigration law.

The provisions that were enjoined -- section 10 and section 28 -- make it a crime for illegal immigrants to not have proper documentation and also make Alabama schools track the immigration status of their students.

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