News In Brief
President Francesco Cossiga asked Prime Minister Bettino Craxi to form a new government yesterday, four days after he resigned as prime minister. Politicians expect him to resurrect the same coalition that fell apart over the Achille Lauro hijacking. Hopes for a solution to the latest of many government crises in postwar Italy apparently boosted prices on the Milan Stock Exchange. Shares regained two-thirds of the 6 percent they lost after Mr. Craxi's resignation.Skip to next paragraph
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The success of Craxi's effort appeared to depend largely on his talks with Defense Minister Giovanni Spadolini's Republican Party, which precipitated the collapse by withdrawing its three ministers from the Cabinet.
All previous partners but the Republicans have said they would join a new Craxi government. The Republicans set conditions that include closer consultation during times of crisis and clear definition of foreign policy, particularly on the US and the Mideast.
The Republicans quit over the decision to release PLO official Muhammad Abbas, whom the US accuses of masterminding the hijacking.
Mr. Cossiga's decision followed three days of consultations with leaders of the five political parties in the former coalition.
Craxi's aides said they expect the makeup of a new government to emerge by Thursday, when Craxi is to go to New York for a meeting of Western leaders called by President Reagan to discuss his November summit with the Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
Politicians saw the Republican Party's move as a face-saving gesture in response to widespread criticism by the other coalition partners of its decision to quit. Public opinion polls showed general approval of how the government handled the hijacking.
Antigovernment protesters fired on in downtown Manila
Police yesterday fired on antigovernment demonstrators in downtown Manila who resisted police efforts to disperse them. Hospitals said a 17-year-old demonstrator was killed, and the official news agency said 27 people were wounded. The clash came after 3,000 protesters, mostly from farm groups, demonstrated peacefully in front of the US Embassy and were moving toward a downtown plaza.
The march was organized to protest government economic policies and US support for President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Mr. Marcos ordered an immediate investigation of the violence, a palace news release said. The National Assembly will also investigating.
16 foes of apartheid plead not guilty in treason case
Sixteen leading opponents of South Africa's apartheid race laws pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of high treason, which can carry the death penalty. The accused, including senior leaders of the main internal anti-apartheid group, the United Democratic Front, also pleaded not guilty to alternative charges of furthering the aims of unlawful organizations, and terrorism.
Much of the evidence against them is based on speeches they made and songs they asked crowds to sing at meetings.
The trial formally opened in May, but defense lawyers have been battling for months to get more details from the government on how the accused were alleged to have acted treasonably.
Nicaraguan chief accuses US of `state terrorism'
Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega accused the United States yesterday of ``state terrorism'' and said the state of emergency in his country will be suspended when the US stops its ``policy of aggression.'' Nicaragua last week imposed new restrictions on freedom of speech, travel, and assembly, the right to strike, and protection of privacy in the home and the mails.