NEW JAPANESE CABINET HEAVY WITH LDP Tomiichi Murayama, Japan's first Socialist prime minister since 1948, named a Cabinet dominated by his old conservative foes yesterday, bringing to power a leadership with widely diverse views on how to run the nation. The coalition of left-leaning Socialists and conservative Liberal Democrats leaves both the Japanese public and Japan's allies wondering about Mr. Murayama's plans. New Cabinet ministers sought to assuage those concerns, pledging to maintain the policies of the previous government. Murayama won a parliamentary ballot Wednesday after the powerful Liberal Democrats threw their support behind him. By far the largest party, with 206 seats in Parliament's lower house to the Socialists' 74, the Liberal Democrats are bound to exercise heavy sway over Murayama, who has little experience. The Liberal Democrats had governed Japan for 38 years until ousted by a reformist coalition dominated by Socialists and LDP rebels-turned-reformist last August. Abortion protest ruling
The Supreme Court yesterday handed a major victory to abortion rights adocates, ruling that a judge can ban anti-abortion demonstrations near health clinics. In a second ruling the court threw out a Florida redistricting plan that boosted the number of Hispanic-dominated election districts for the state House of Representatives. Yemen cease-fire collapses
A new cease-fire around the secessionist stronghold of Aden in south Yemen reportedly collapsed after a few hours yesterday, the seventh truce to quickly fail in Yemen's two-month civil war. A senior official for the southern Yemenis charged that northern troops launched heavy attacks on the besieged port. The Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reported earlier that envoys from the north and south had tentatively agreed at talks in Moscow on a cease-fire. Bosnia cease-fire hopes
UN officials said yesterday they hope to extend a Bosnia cease-fire accord due to expire next week, even though persistent fighting has made a mockery of it. The month-long cease-fire, which runs out July 8, was supposed to create a favorable atmosphere for talks on an overall peace settlement. Instead, mediators have been meeting without the warring factions against a backdrop of increased fighting in northern Bosnia and attacks on UN peacekeepers. White House cleared
Whitewater special prosecutor Robert Fiske reported yesterday that Clinton administration officials committed no crimes when they discussed a politically sensitive savings-and-loan investigation. The news was cheered at the White House, where officials are preparing for a congressional hearings and trying to dispel the perception they meddled in the Whitewater-related S&L case. Fiske's first report to the public also reaffirmed the police view that Vince Foster killed himself. @EVENTEXT = Bangladesh protests
Police in Bangladesh fired tear gas and sprayed scalding water on Islamic fundamentalists yesterday in nationwide protests over a feminist author accused of blasphemy. Businesses were closed and streets were empty in a strike called to demand the execution of author Taslima Nasreen who has been in hiding since June 4, when a court ordered her arrest.