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Republican Brent Scowcroft, who was national security adviser in the first Bush administration, has emerged as a key defense adviser to President-elect Barack Obama. The 83-year-old Scowcroft, a close buddy of such GOP military and foreign policy lights as Defense Secretary Robert Gates and ex–Secretary of State Colin Powell, also has a tie to San Diego: he’s on the board of cell phone giant Qualcomm, Inc., where he gets $75,000 annually in director’s fees. Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs was a big giver to the Obama presidential campaign. … A Predator unmanned aerial vehicle made by La Jolla’s General Atomics crashed on November 17 while being test flown above El Mirage Dry Lake, near Adelanto in the Mojave Desert. According to a report in the Victorville Daily Press, the craft narrowly missed a couple of houses. No other details were released. Meanwhile, the Pentagon has concluded that an electrical short caused the June 2 crash of a $4 million Predator at Balad air base in Iraq.

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