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Morning Briefing: Saudi Arabia host to secret CIA drone base

The CIA thwarted an ambitious plot by al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen to destroy a U.S.-bound airliner using a bomb with a sophisticated new design around the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

AP

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Feb. 6, 2013

CIA operating drone base in Saudi Arabia

The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is operating a secret base for unmanned drones in Saudi Arabia that conducts deadly strikes against al-Qaeda militants inside Yemen. News of the airbase comes amid heightened controversy over the country's use of drone attacks.

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Tunisian opposition leader assassinated

A leading opposition leader in Tunisia who was a fierce critic of the Islamist-led government was shot to death today as he left his house. The political assassination of Chokri Belaid is likely to heighten tensions in the North African country, The Associated Press reports.

Iranian former prosecutor released

Two days after he was jailed, the notorious former Iranian prosecutor linked to the 2003 beating death of Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi has been released. The arrest and brief detention of Saeed Mortazavi is believed to be linked to a public power struggle involving his ally, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the speaker of parliament.

Ottawa eyes weakening dairy tariffs

Trade barriers that protect Canada's dairy industry will be a subject of free-trade talks today in Ottawa between International Trade Minister Ed Fast and his European Union counterpart . The Canadian government is considering making concessions on tariff-free cheese imports in return for greater access to European Union markets for Canada's beef and pork, The Globe's Steven Chase reports.

For more background on the talks for a free trade deal between Canada and Europe, read this piece by The Globe's Barrie McKenna and Greg Keenan.

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Deadly tsunami hits the Solomon Islands

A massive earthquake triggered a tsunami that killed at least five people in the Solomon Islands on Wednesday as countries across the South Pacific issued evacuation orders. Authorities said it was too early to fully assess the damage in the remote area.

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