LOME, Togo, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe, under world pressure for his ascension to the country's leadership, promised new elections Wednesday.
"We wish that discussions started ... to the effect of amending the electoral framework by consensus lead as soon as possible, to the holding of free and fair elections, which would reflect the will of the people," he said in a 10-minute broadcast on national television and radio.
In his first address to the nation since assuming the presidency of the nation following the death of his father, President Gnassingbe Eyadema, last weekend, the new leader also offered talks with the country's exiled opposition.
Gnassingbe was elevated to the presidency despite the country's constitution mandating the speaker should be made president in the event of the leader's death. The army named him the successor, however, and the national assembly voted Sunday to modify the constitution.
The move prompted international condemnation, with the African Union threatening sanctions and the European Union calling the elevation a coup.
U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said Washington was working with regional allies to resolve the issue, noting the events were of "concern" to the United States.
U.S., Europe speak as one on Iran
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- President Bush says the United States and its European allies speak with one voice in pressing Iran to drop its nuclear weapons ambitions.
"Iran with a nuclear weapon would be a very destabilizing force in the world," he said during a Wednesday photo opportunity at the White House with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski.
"The Iranians just need to know that the free world is working together to send a very clear message: Don't develop a nuclear weapon," the president added.
Iran has admitted concealing some nuclear development programs and facilities, but insists they were for peaceful energy purposes and not enriching weapons-grade materials.
During recent talks with Britain, France and Germany, Iran agreed to temporarily halt its nuclear programs while negotiating with the international community on trade and other financial incentives for permanently stopping projects that could be used in weapons development.
Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, however, now says Iran would never completely forswear nuclear material enrichment capabilities.
The United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran and has approved European allies acting for it in the Iran matter.
The United States threatens to take Iran to the U.N. Security Council over its earlier disregard of international mandates on nuclear development, which could result in worldwide economic sanctions.
Porn tape drags up wife's abuse as child
DEVON, England, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A British man who brought home a pornographic tape was horrified to realize the female "star" was his wife at the age of 12, Sky News reported Wednesday.
The unidentified 34-year-old man told police he brought the tape home to "spice up" the couple's love life, and realized quickly it was a pedophile film featuring his wife, now 32, being abused in a pub.
Before contacting police, the devastated woman told her husband she had put the incident out of her mind in shame, and said she had no idea it had been filmed.
"One of the men gave me a Jack Daniels to drink and fed me pills," she said. "After I was sexually abused I didn't tell anyone because I was ashamed and dirty."
Devon and Cornwall police are hunting the men seen in the film "Cocktail Orgies" and asked anyone with a copy of the 1980s film to send it to them.
Idaho scalp remover suspect jailed
NAMPA, Idaho, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A 26-year-old woman was in a Boise, Idaho, jail Wednesday, charged with suspicion of scalping a teenage girl, the Idaho Press-Tribune reported.
Marianne Dahle, who surrendered to authorities, was wanted on a felony arrest warrant for aggravated battery in the Jan. 18 attack against a 16-year-old girl at Kirkham Hot Springs near Lowman.
The two and another mutual friend had gone to the site when Dahle apparently became angry with the victim, tied her up and then used a knife to cut off a six-inch by eight-inch piece of her scalp, Boise County Sheriff's officials said.
Dahle then drove the victim to a nearby hospital where surgeons used skin grafted from her thigh to cover her scalp. She spent two weeks in the hospital before being discharged.
"I just thought, why? Why would they do something like that to me? I thought they were my friends," the victim told KTVB-TV, Boise. "My face was covered in blood. My whole body was covered in blood. I just thought I was going to die."
The chief Boise County deputy described Dahle, who has a criminal record in two states, as a "sexual and psychological predator."
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