Viral video: FAA investigates gun-firing 'drone' built by US teen
The Federal Aviation Administration, the United States' nodal agency on civil aviation, has said it was investigating a viral internet video created by an 18-year-old student Austin Haughwout, displaying a homemade "drone" firing a handgun in the Connecticut countryside.
The 14-second video called "Flying Gun", which has been viewed nearly two million times, has sparked fresh debate about the still largely unregulated world of civilian drones in the United States.
The footage shows a homemade multi-rotor hovering off the ground, buzzing furiously and firing a semiautomatic handgun four times at an unseen target.
Watch: The gun-mounted drone firing into a distance
It was posted on YouTube on July 10. The device was created by Austin Haughwout, a mechanical engineering student from Clinton, Connecticut.
"The FAA will investigate the operation of an unmanned aircraft system in a Connecticut park to determine if any Federal Aviation Regulations were violated," it said in a statement.
"The FAA will also work with its law enforcement partners to determine if there were any violations of criminal statutes."
Haughwout's father, Bret Haughwout, denied his son had built a drone.
"People have been playing with RC (remote-controlled) toys for many decades," he told AFP by telephone.
"The proper name for this is an RC quadcopter. The media keeps using the inappropriate word because it helps you to generate fear," he added.
Haughwout said the FAA had not been in touch.
"I don't understand why people are making such a big deal of it. It's not like it's anything new," he said.
"He's a mechanical engineering student. He builds all different kind of things."
The World Health Organization's director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has suggested that racism is behind a lack of international attention being paid to the plight of civilians in Ethiopia's war-shattered Tigray region. Calling it the "worst humanitarian crisis in the world", with 6 million people unable to access basic services, Tedros questioned in an emotional appeal why the situation is not getting the same attention as the Ukraine conflict.
More than 35,000 cases of monkeypox have now been reported from 92 countries and territories, with almost 7,500 cases being registered last week - a 20 per cent increase, said World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday. Ghebreyesus said there has been a total of 12 monkeypox-related deaths across the world so far.
A scorching heat wave, the worst in six decades, sweeping China has dried up rivers and reservoirs, threatened crop yields and forced industries to shut down and ration electricity. One of the regions hit badly by the heat wave is China's southwestern Sichuan province, which has shut down factories for six days to ease a crippling power shortage.
Liz Truss led Rishi Sunak by 32 points in the latest survey of UK Tory members by the ConservativeHome website, suggesting she remains on track to win the race to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister. Some 60% of the 961 Tory members polled by the influential website said they favored Truss to become the Conservative Party's new leader, while just 28% backed Sunak, ConservativeHome said on Wednesday.
Having made significant investments in the conflict-prone Pakistan-Afghanistan region as part of its hugely ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, China is planning to protect its interests in the two countries by stationing its own forces in specially created outposts, according to top diplomatic sources. Pakistan, where according to some estimates the Chinese investments have risen above USD 60 billion, is largely dependent on China not only for financial but also military and diplomatic support.