- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 19, 2004

SUDAN

Government pulls troops from Darfur

ABUJA, Nigeria — The African Union yesterday said Sudan has started withdrawing troops from Darfur ahead of an evening deadline to end fighting there, but Khartoum said the pullout was conditional on the rebels halting their attacks.

Darfur rebels denied Sudan was pulling back its troops.

Officials at AU-sponsored peace talks in Nigeria gave the two sides a 24-hour ultimatum on Friday to end cease-fire breaches after a massive military buildup in Sudan’s western Darfur region during the past two weeks.

ARGENTINA

2 diplomats fired over Cuban dissident

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine President Nestor Kirchner ordered that two diplomats be fired for letting a Cuban dissident enter the country’s embassy in Havana after Cuba had barred her from visiting family in Buenos Aires, newspapers reported yesterday.

Mr. Kirchner moved to dismiss Raul Taleb, the ambassador to Cuba, and senior Foreign Ministry aide Eduardo Valdes, the prominent newspapers Clarin and La Nacion reported.

The center-left president issued his order after the diplomats allowed Hilda Molina, a renowned Cuban neurosurgeon and dissident, to enter the Argentine Embassy with her elderly mother Wednesday and stay there overnight. Mrs. Molina denied she had intended to seek political asylum.

CHILE

Pinochet hospitalized ahead of ruling

SANTIAGO — Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was hospitalized yesterday after he suffered a stroke, ahead of an expected court ruling tomorrow on whether he should be tried in a human rights case.

Gen. Pinochet, 89, who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990, when more than 3,000 people died in political violence and more than 27,000 were tortured, is often admitted to hospital when Chile’s courts are about to rule in one of the dozens of human rights cases against him.

INDIA

Web site chief held over sex video sale

NEW DELHI — The head of a popular Indian online auction site owned by EBay was arrested in connection with the sale of a video showing a schoolgirl and boy involved in oral sex, police said yesterday.

Avnish Bajaj, country manager of Baazee.com, was arrested Friday and charged under the Indian Information Technology Act, which prohibits transmission and sale of obscene data electronically. If convicted, Mr. Bajaj, a U.S. citizen, could be jailed for up to five years or fined $2,300 or both.

Last week, Delhi police arrested a student at a top engineering college in eastern India on suspicion of selling the video on Baazee. Newspapers have said about seven or eight persons had bought copies of the video using the site.

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