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September 17, 1996
Web posted at: 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT)

Japan's prime minister praises Okinawa


GINOWAN, Japan (CNN) -- In an effort to ease ill-feelings towards a U.S. military presence in Okinawa, Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto is praising the southern island for maintaining Japan's "stability and peace" with Asia.

In a speech Tuesday, Hashimoto said Japan has not made "enough efforts to understand the historic burden and feelings" of Okinawans, who play host to 30,000 American soldiers. The issue over U.S. troops flared when three servicemen beat and raped a 12-year-old Okinawan girl a year ago.

Gov. Masahide Ota, acting on a vote by Okinawans nine days ago, was lobbying to end forced leasing of private land to the American military, but yielded on the issue when Hashimoto promised $45 million to study a proposal that would make Okinawa a free-trade zone and a center for learning and tourism.

Mother Teresa recovers from head injury

Mother Teresa

CALCUTTA, India (CNN) -- Mother Teresa reportedly slept well Monday night and spoke with doctors Tuesday after suffering a minor head injury that forced her to spend the night in an intensive care unit at Calcutta's Woodlands Nursing Home.

The 86-year-old Nobel Peace laureate fell and bumped her head Monday while trying to rise from a chair. She suffered no cuts or bruises, but doctors performed CT scans on her Monday and Tuesday. The tests found no significant damage. Doctors will keep her for two more days of observation.

Mother Teresa was released from the nursing home on September 6 after being treated for malaria, a chest infection and cardiac problems.

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Dalai Lama visits Australia amid threats from China

Dali Lama

CANBERRA, Australia (CNN) -- Tibet's Dalai Lama continued his two-week visit of Australia Tuesday, while China warned the Australian government of possible damage to economic and trade relations if the Buddhist leader holds talks with the country's prime minister.

Despite the threats, Prime Minister John Howard said that when he returns from a two-country trip next week he might meet with the Nobel Peace Prize winner. The Australian government says it sees the Dalai Lama as a religious figure, not a political one.

China, which has ruled Tibet since 1950, regularly protests when other countries host the Dalai Lama. The Tibetan monk has lived in exile since 1959, asking for greater autonomy for his homeland.

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S. Korea charges hundreds with campus violence


SEOUL, South Korea (CNN) -- In a sweeping crackdown on campus activism, the South Korean government charged 438 students Tuesday for their alleged part in violent, anti-government demonstrations.

One police officer was killed and more than 1,000 people injured last month when, prosecutors say, the students threw firebombs and rocks and attacked police at Seoul's Yonsei University. The students were reportedly angry over the government's policy on the reunification with North Korea.

The government claims the students are allied with North Korea's communist regime, and that they were trying to undermine the Seoul government. Each student faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

Muslim militants hang on in Lebanon elections

BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Final election results Tuesday show Hezbollah guerrillas lost only one seat in parliamentary elections despite a government drive to weaken the Muslim militants.

The Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim guerrilla group claimed seven seats, only one less than the outgoing legislature, which ends its four-year term October 15. Hezbollah called the vote a victory against Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who campaigned to oust the militant group's representation in Parliament.

Chernobyl dome needs repairs

KIEV, Ukraine (CNN) -- The Chernobyl nuclear reactor that exploded 10 years ago is covered by a corroding shell, and a German engineering firm is working on plans to repair it to prevent another accident, Ukraine officials said Tuesday.

The concrete and steel covering, called a "sarcophagus," was placed over the still-bubbling reactor shortly after it sent a radioactive cloud over much of Europe on April 26, 1986. But harsh weather has weakened the structure and nuclear experts say it could collapse and cause another explosion of radioactive debris inside.

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