1. GOING IN CIRCLES

    U.S. Freezes Drones Over Pakistan

    AFP/Getty

    The U.S. has agreed to an informal halt on the use of its drone program in Pakistan and says it will reserve drone-launched missile strikes only for Al Qaeda operational leaders. The pause began in late December. The agreement follows a November strike that killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud days before scheduled peace talks between Pakistan and the Taliban, which the latter ultimately canceled. Pakistan accused the U.S. of straining its diplomatic attempts, which led to the U.S. agreeing to this informal pause. However, a U.S. official did stress that this “doesn’t impact our list for core Al Qaeda,”

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