TRNS News Notes is brought to you by Victoria Jones. Victoria Jones is the Chief White House correspondent and global analyst of the Washington DC based Talk Radio News Service, where her insight and analysis are made available to over 400 news talk radio stations around the country and internationally.


Two Hostages held by Qaeda Killed by Americans: Obama Apologizes
• Two hostages held by al Qaeda, including an American aid worker, Warren Weinstein, 73, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian, were accidentally killed in an American drone strike in Pakistan in Jan, prompting President Obama to come to the WH briefing room Thursday to offer an emotional apology and assume “full responsibility” for their deaths. Officials said they had no idea the hostages were being held in the Qaeda compound despite hundreds of hours of surveillance before the strike (NYT, WaPo)

First Evidence of Blunder in Strike
• The first sign that something had gone terribly wrong was when officers from the CIA saw that six bodies had been pulled from the rubble instead of four … Serious questions have emerged – about the intel leading up to the strike about when American officials knew that the hostages had been killed, and about why it took the WH so long to go public with the info (NYT)


Debate Over Use of Drone Strikes: Killing Americans
• The Obama admin said Thursday that two American al Qaeda operatives killed in Pakistan in January had not been “specifically targeted,” and officials added that the CIA had no idea the two men were hiding in compounds under surveillance by armed drones when orders were given to strike – of great legal significance because they were American (NYT) The drone strikes rules are being reviewed (WSJ)


Profiles of 4 Killed by Drones

• A look at the lives of 4 men – two Western hostages and two American terror suspects – who were killed by CIA drone strikes in Pakistan (AP)

Loretta Lynch Confirmed: AG
• The Senate voted 56-43 on Thursday to confirm veteran NY prosecutor Loretta Lynch as the next attorney general, five months after President Obama submitted her nomination to Congress. Her vote became mired in an anti-trafficking bill, which passed Wednesday. Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke against Lynch on the floor Thursday but didn’t vote (WaPo)


House Republicans Back Obama on Trade
• The House Ways and Means Committee Thursday approved a trade promotion (TPA) measure – 25-13 – with only two Democrats lending their support to the divisive bill. Reps Ron Kind (WI) and Earl Blumenauer (OR) backed the measure. The House Finance Committee has already backed its version, setting up floor votes next month (Hill)


New Offensive Cyberweapon Strategy
• SecDef Ashton Carter Thursday released a new strategy that for the first time explicitly discusses the circumstances under which cyberweapons could be used against an attacker, and naming the countries it says present the greatest threat: China, Russia, Iran and North Korea (NYT)

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