April 8th, 2013
08:22 PM ET

Navy to deploy laser to destroy drones, small boats

By Chris Lawrence and Lindy Royce-Bartlett

The U.S. Navy plans to deploy a laser weapon aboard a warship for the first time, Navy leaders said on Monday.

The laser will be deployed on the USS Ponce in early 2014.

"The weapon's quick-reaction capability matches what we see as potential targets" in the Persian Gulf, a Defense Department official said.

The laser has been tested against and destroyed drones and fast-moving small boats, the official said.
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April 8th, 2013
07:51 PM ET

Who is bankrolling North Korea?

From missiles to methamphetamine, there is an intriguing list of items the North Korean government sells in order to stay afloat. CNN's Chris Lawrence takes a look at the money trail.


Filed under: Kim Jong-un • North Korea
April 8th, 2013
06:39 PM ET

Suspect in Syria case removed from 'no fly' list, now jailed in U.S.

By Carol Cratty

U.S. authorities had a former soldier they were investigating removed from a "no-fly" list and allowed him to travel from Turkey to the United States where he was promptly arrested on charges related to fighting alongside a terror group in Syria.

That unusual step, revealed on Monday by a federal prosecutor in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, allowed authorities to get Eric Harroun back in the United States without having to ask Turkish authorities to arrest him.

Harroun, 30, of Phoenix, was not in FBI custody during the flight, but agents were aboard and observed him, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Carter Burwell.

He did not say when Harroun had been placed on the "no-fly" list or whether he was aware of it.

The FBI interviewed Harroun three times in March in Istanbul about his alleged activities in Syria.
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Filed under: al Nusra • Legal • Military • Security Brief • Syria • Terrorism
After sex assault case, Hagel seeks changes to military legal process
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
April 8th, 2013
06:11 PM ET

After sex assault case, Hagel seeks changes to military legal process

By Jim Kavanagh

In response to an Air Force colonel's overturned sexual assault conviction, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is asking Congress to limit military commanders' authority to toss out court-martial verdicts.

"These changes would increase the confidence of service members and the public that the military justice system will do justice in every case," Hagel said in a statement Monday announcing the initiative.

Hagel also wants to require commanders who change court-martial sentences to explain their decisions in writing.

The effort comes in response to the case of Air Force Col. James Wilkerson. The F-16 pilot was freed last year from a Navy brig four months after a court-martial convicted him of sexually assaulting a woman at his home outside Aviano Air Base in Italy.

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Filed under: Legal • Military • Security Brief