Businessman freed in sex video case
The American head of an Indian Internet firm caught up in a video scandal involving teen sex was released on bail Tuesday as police interrogated the private school student who filmed the lewd clip with a cell phone camera.
A Delhi High Court judge ordered the release of Avnish Bajaj, head of the eBay-owned Baazee.com, who still faces charges that he allowed the sale of pornographic material on the Web site.
Bajaj was arrested Friday and initially held in Delhi’s high-security Tihar prison after a video clip of two private school students engaged in a sexual act was posted for sale on Baazee.com, India’s biggest Internet auction site.
The 17-year-old boy who shot the video on his cell phone also was arrested. A juvenile court allowed police to question him Tuesday in the presence of a social worker and his father. He was being held in a juvenile home until early next month.
Sudan rebels pledge no new Darfur attacks
Sudan rebels pledged Tuesday not to launch any attacks in the Darfur region as long as government soldiers kept their promise of a cease-fire, while African Union mediators ended peace talks in Abuja that reached a stalemate after 11 days.
The cease-fire pledge came as the British aid group Save the Children UK said it was pulling out of Darfur because four of its workers have been killed there since October. Two Sudanese workers died Dec. 12 when their convoy came under fire in South Darfur.
The U.N. Security Council and Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed concern at the deteriorating situation in Darfur, and the council warned it would consider “a full range of options” if fighting did not stop. The United Nations has called the situation in Darfur the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Political visit strains Japan, China relations
An aging politician’s desire to visit his alma mater has turned into a diplomatic confrontation between Japan and China, adding one more irritant to an already strained relationship between Asia’s biggest powers.
On Tuesday, Tokyo granted a 15-day tourist visa to former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, 81, who plans to arrive in Japan on Dec. 27 with his wife, daughter and granddaughter for what officials here describe as a private holiday.
Lee was one of four Chinese students given a scholarship to attend Kyoto University during Japan’s 1895-1945 occupation of Taiwan, and he is expected to visit the school during a vacation scheduled to last until Jan. 2.
But Japan’s decision to allow Taiwan’s feisty former president into the country has angered Beijing. China opposes any move to bestow international legitimacy on Lee, who has remained a prominent advocate of Taiwanese independence from China since leaving office four years ago.
Ruling party candidate wins presidency
Ruling party candidate Armando Guebuza was declared the winner Tuesday of Mozambique’s presidential election — a poll marred by such voter apathy that it raised questions about the health of an emerging democracy in one of the world’s poorest countries.
Mozambique’s Electoral Commission said Guebuza received 64 percent of the vote in Dec. 1-2 elections, and his ruling Frelimo party took control of Parliament by winning 161 of 251 seats.
The leader of the opposition Renamo party, Afonso Dhlakama, finished second in the presidential race for the third consecutive time after receiving 29 percent of the vote. His party won the remaining 90 seats in Parliament, the commission said.
No more than 40 percent of Mozambique’s eligible voters cast ballots in what was predicted to be a close election to choose a successor to popular, longtime President Joaquim Chissano.