Its not pausing on purpose. It's supposed to pause (actually slow down to 1 sec) only with detection of ufo, and perhaps a few other stuff. But when your at your base, and nothing is going on on the geoscape, you can let the time go. After all, if you play with human controlled aliens, game might get quite huge slowdowns because someone is just looking through his stuff in the base. Its just something to get used to. You can control time acceleration from base view with your numerical keyboard btw. 1- slowest, 6- fastest. Tactical works partially. Well, everything works just parially, and its filled with bugs. You can test tactical if you play as xcom, setup a base somewhere in europe and let time pass untill you detect ufo. and just fly and start a mission.
EDIT: About that bug, there is a test ufo in europe. If you don't deal with it fast, it will head home after few days, but there is no ufo base for it, and it might be the reason it crashes. Try fighting the ufo first. Anyways, game is still filled with bugs which for now i dont have the time to deal with. So true beta testing will be for later.