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November 27, 1995
Web posted at: 12:00 p.m. EST (1700 GMT) strikers

France: Nationwide strike could grow

PARIS (CNN) -- For a fourth straight day, France had almost no train service as employees of the government-run railroad system extended a strike to protest economic reforms planned by Prime Minister Alain Juppe. Most commuter lines in the Paris region and other major cities weren't operating. But subway service within Paris itself was reported to be normal. Two of the countries largest public sector labor unions have called for another stoppage on Tuesday and striking students demanding more funds are due to protest on Thursday.

New talks between the state-run railway and the unions failed to end a deadlock over the government's five-year plan to reduce the railway's debt, expected to reach more than 2 billion dollars this year alone. The reforms will also affect state pensions, with civil servants having to work for 40 years to qualify for full benefits instead of the current 37 and a half years.

Information on the French railroad system:


Police on Okinawa investigate new rape report

OKINAWA, Japan (CNN) -- Police on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa are investigating a woman's claim that she was raped last week by an assailant she described as an American. The claim comes amid national uproar in Japan over the September rape of an Okinawan girl, 12, by at least one U.S. serviceman. In the most recent incident, the woman initially reported the rape to U.S. military police on Okinawa. The case was turned over to local authorities because the alleged incident did not occur at a military facility.

In the September rape, Seaman Marcus Gill, of Woodville, Texas, has confessed. Two other servicemen admitted helping abduct the girl. Of the 45,000-plus U.S. troops stationed throughout Japan, some 27,000 are deployed on Okinawa. Tokyo and Washington are discussing redistributing some of the troops to other parts of Japan.


Yeltsin moves to sanatorium to continue medical care

MOSCOW (CNN) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin was transferred Monday from a hospital to a sanatorium to continue his recovery from heart trouble, his spokesman said. But it was unclear whether Yeltsin would be fit to campaign for Russia's December 17 parliamentary elections. Asked if Yeltsin would still be in the sanatorium on polling day, the spokesman replied: "That's a question you have to ask the doctors."

Yeltsin, 64, had moved to Barvikha sanatorium, in a wooded area some 20 km (15 miles) west of Moscow and will stay there "until he is completely well," the spokesman said. Yeltsin was hospitalized on October 26 after a second episode of heart trouble in less than four months. Since then he has appeared on television several times. On the first occasion he looked frail and slurred his words in a heavily edited appearance, but on more recent broadcasts he has appeared in better shape.

Spider scare hits Japan

OSAKA, Japan (CNN) -- Japan is in the midst of a spider scare. The potentially deadly redback spider, native to Australia and India, started appearing in the city of Osaka about two months ago. Since then, more than one thousand of the spiders have been spotted in the region, in western Japan.

Redback spiders, commonly found in tropical and subtropical areas and named for the distinctive mark on their backs, were first found in Japan by a member of Osaka's municipal natural history museum. They were believed to have entered Japan by ship and could have been in the country for as long as three years, according to the museum. Their bite is extremely painful and causes swelling and nausea, with paralysis and death possible in the worst cases. No deaths have been reported in Japan but fear of the Redback spider caused the stock of an insecticide company (Fumakilla Ltd.) to jump more than 11 percent in value Monday.


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