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Does the USDA need night vision and drones to combat feral pigs?

A few items that caught our attention on Tuesday:

USDA wants night vision and possibly drones to fight feral pigs: The Department of Agriculture plans to buy thermal-imaging scopes, worth about $12,000 apiece on eBay, and is considering drones to help locate and kill feral swine that are spreading across the nation and causing an estimated $1.5 billion in damage to crops and livestock, according to a Reuters report.

Feral swine are causing damage to crops. (Reuters/USDA).

It’s SIGAR against the world right now: Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko may make more noise right now than anyone else in the inspectors general community as he battles waste and fraud in a fledgling nation supported in large part by U.S. taxpayers, according to a Washington Post profile.

White House mistakenly identifies CIA chief in Afghanistan: The White House inadvertently exposed the CIA’s top officer in Kabul by including his name on a list of senior U.S. officials participating in President Obama’s surprise visit with U.S. troops in Afghanistan, according to a Washington Post report.

Congressional committees reject proposed defense cuts: Members of the House and Senate armed services committees rejected many of President Obama’s proposed cost-saving measures for the Defense Department, including closing obsolete facilities, eliminating an attack-aircraft fleet and changes in pay, according to a Washington Post report.

VA officials in the hot seat: Three Department of Veterans Affairs officials are scheduled to testify Wednesday before the House Veterans Affairs Committee about what happened with destroyed documents related to the VA scheduling controversy, according to In the Loop’s round-up of notable hearings.

Advocates for homeless vets to meet in Washington: The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans conference takes place Wednesday, and participants say they are concerned that the budgets for their work may shrink because of increasing pressure to reduce federal spending, according to a Military Times article.

Follow Josh Hicks on TwitterFacebook or Google+. Connect by e-mail at  josh.hicks(at)washpost.comVisit The Federal Eye, and The Fed Page for more federal news. Submit news tips and suggestions to

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.



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Josh Hicks · May 27, 2014

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