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Obama defends drone strikes as effective<p></p>


Obama defends drone strikes as effective

President Barack Obama on Monday defended the use of drones to strike suspected terrorists in Pakistan and elsewhere, saying the clandestine program was "kept on a very tight leash" and enabled the United States to use "pinpoint" targeting to avoid more intrusive military action. He said the strikes had not inflicted huge civilian casualties. He made the remarks in answer to questions posed by people during a live Web interview sponsored by Google Plus, the social media site of Google. Obama also spoke about the economy, laughed at a comedian's impersonation of him, and declined a woman's request to sing or do a dance.


KANEOHE BAY, Hawaii: A Marine accused of hazing a fellow Marine who killed himself in Afghanistan pleaded guilty Monday to assault. Lance Cpl. Jacob Jacoby admitted in a special court-martial that he punched and kicked Lance Cpl. Harry Lew. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors withdrew charges that Jacoby humiliated and threatened Lew. Two other Marines also are accused in the case.

East Haven, Conn.: Police Chief Leonard Gallo, 64, announced on Monday that he was retiring in the wake of the arrest of four officers last week on federal charges of harassing and intimidating Latinos in the city.

Times wires