By David Alexander RAWALPINDI, Pakistan (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel discussed the use of U.S. drones against militants in remote areas of Pakistan on Monday during the first visit by a Pentagon chief to the South Asian ally in almost four years. The United States has a complicated relationship with Pakistan and ties have been further soured by a dispute over unmanned military aircraft the United States uses to target militants in Pakistan's tribal areas on the Afghan border. Protests by anti-drone activists prompted the United States to suspend ground shipments of NATO cargo leaving Afghanistan via Pakistan last week. "The prime minister ... conveyed Pakistan's deep concern over continuing U.S. drone strikes, stressing that drone strikes were counter-productive to our efforts to combat terrorism and extremism on an enduring basis," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
Washington's elite defied a winter ice storm to give standing ovations to the latest recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors, the nation's highest laurel for a living performing artist. Latino rock pioneer Carlos Santana, opera star Martina Arroyo, jazz icon Herbie Hancock, actress Shirley MacLaine and pop legend Billy Joel were honored with song and dance performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, on Sunday. "The diverse group of extraordinary individuals we honor today haven't just proven themselves to be the best of the best," President Barack Obama told a White House reception prior to the event in the Kennedy Center's 2,000-seat opera house.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel arrived in Pakistan Monday for meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the nation's new army chief, hoping to further repair a strained and sputtering relationship between Washington and Islamabad.