JAPANESE PARLIAMENT TERM EXTENDED Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa's coalition pushed through a 45-day extension of parliament yesterday, keeping alive hopes of enacting a package of crucial political reforms by year's end. The opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), except for a few rebels, boycotted the plenary session where the vote took place, parliamentary officials said. When he came to power in August, Mr. Hosokawa vowed he would take political responsibility if the year-end deadline was not met, meaning he would either step down or call snap elections. The forced vote gave precious time to Hosokawa but was sure to bring on a prolonged LDP boycott of debate on the reforms package, coalition officials said. The LDP opposed the extension, arguing that the government should concentrate on drafting next year's state budget in order to allay fears that there was nothing in the works to check the slumping economy. Haiti sanctions discussed
France, the US, Canada, and Venezuela agreed Tuesday to put more pressure on Haiti's military leaders, including tougher sanctions, if they fail to restore democracy to the Caribbean nation. The group said that, barring a return to democracy, the UN could meet to extend the current embargo on oil and arms to trade and noncommercial flights. Hong Kong controversy
Election reforms from Hong Kong's British governor, Chris Patten, went before the Hong Kong legislature yesterday, splitting the colony's two major political parties and drawing a sharp rebuff from China. Beijing accused the British of fomenting disorder on the road to Hong Kong's 1997 switch to Chinese sovereignty. The bill abolishes appointed seats on municipal councils and lowers the voting age from 21 to 18. Most controversial to China, it creates one-vote, one-member constituencies for elected legislative seats. US production up
Output at US factories, mines, and utilities shot up 0.9 percent in November, the sixth straight gain and the largest in a year, the Federal Reserve said yesterday. It was the latest evidence the economy continues to strengthen. The increase, which bested expectations, was led by auto manufacturing. Pan Am sues Libya
Pan American World Airways is seeking $300 million in damages from Libya for sabotaging one of its jumbo jets flying over Scotland in 1988 with the loss of 270 lives, its lawyers said yesterday. The Pan Am move comes only six days before the five-year time limit for claims expires under Scottish law. Libya refuses to surrender two key suspects for trial in Scotland or the US. Tough new sanctions have been imposed by the UN over the refusal. Algeria attacks
Attackers in Algeria killed 12 Christians from former Yugoslavia, security forces said yesterday, bringing to 23 the number of foreigners believed killed by Muslim fundamentalist insurgents since September. The 12 were technicians for the Hydro-electra company. The attack Tuesday came as Algerian security forces deployed armored cars in the capital to bolster security. Canada on Tuesday joined other countries in sending their diplomats' families home amid the escalating violence. More uninsured in '92
More than 38 million Americans under age 65 went without health insurance at some point in 1992, an increase of more than 2 million from 1991, according to a new study by the private Employee Benefit Research Institute. Declines in coverage for people who work for small companies accounted for a large part of the increase, it said. Myrna Loy, actress
Actress Myrna Loy, who as the charming sophisticate Nora Charles made marriage look like a lark in the ``Thin Man'' movies of the 1930s and 1940s, died Tuesday. On screen, she came across as charming, witty, and unflappable. Off screen, she supported a variety of liberal causes. She was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1991.