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In brief: Japan elections favor ruling party

From Wire Reports

TOKYO – Japan’s ruling coalition won a solid victory in lower house elections Sunday, giving Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democrats up to four more years to pursue a wide range of economic and political reforms.

The conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled for most of the post-World War II era, locked up a solid majority of 291 seats and with its coalition partner, the Buddhist-backed Komei party, will hold more than two-thirds of the House of Representatives, national broadcaster NHK reported.

Abe said his top priority was the economy, which fell back into recession after a tax hike in April. “Economy first,” he told NHK, adding that he would also tackle other major issues, including national security.

Haitian premier quits amid unrest

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe announced early Sunday that he was resigning along with several ministers in the wake of violent anti-government protests and a commission’s call for him to step down.

In a speech that was delayed past midnight, Lamothe said he was leaving “with a sense of accomplishment,” adding: “This country has undergone a deep and dynamic transformation and a real change in benefit of its people.”

President Michel Martelly said earlier he accepted the findings of the commission that had recommended Lamothe’s replacement.

Martelly appointed Lamothe as prime minister in 2012, and some political analysts believe Lamothe might seek the presidency in upcoming elections.

Rescue crews find capsized boat

PUERTO CABEZAS, Nicaragua – Rescue crews in Nicaragua have found a fishing boat that capsized in the Caribbean last week with 50 people aboard and are searching for 18 crew members who remain missing, authorities said Sunday.

The MN Wayward Wind was overturned by a huge wave five days ago about 35 nautical miles southeast of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, survivors said. Thirty-two of those on board either were rescued or managed to reach shore on their own. One survivor later died from sunburn and dehydration.

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