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October 10, 1995
Web posted at: 6:15 p.m. EDT (2215 GMT)

American wins 1995 Nobel Economics Prize

Lucas STOCKHOLM, Sweden (CNN) -- A 58-year-old University of Chicago professor has taken home the 1995 Nobel Economics Prize. American Robert Lucas won for "having transformed macroeconomic analysis and deepened our understanding of economic policy," according to the Royal Academy of Sciences citation.

The academy commended Lucas for influence on high-level economic decision making and hailed his "hypothesis of rational expectations." With the latter, Lucas demonstrated the role future expectations play on decisions by consumers, businesses and governments.

Lucas praised the current condition of the American economy in a post-award news conference. "The U.S. economy is in excellent shape," he said. "Inflation is low and the government is not trying to do things with economic policy that it isn't capable of doing."

Born in Yakima, Washington, Lucas graduated from the University of Chicago in 1964. With this award, he becomes the eighth Chicago professor to win an economics Nobel.

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'Black Tuesday' strikes stop France in its tracks

picketersPARIS (CNN) -- Five million public sector employees went on strike Tuesday in France, sidetracking trains, stopping buses, closing schools and shutting down postal service.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators joined protests against the French government's refusal to approve a civil service wage hike for the coming year. Millions of beleaguered Parisians were forced to travel by foot or sit in traffic jams. Dozens of French flights were canceled. Still, 57 percent of French people supported the strikes, according to a poll in the French paper Le Parisien.

"Today is a warning shot," Nicole Notat, leader of France's biggest union, said at an enormous Paris rally. She said protests of Prime Minister Alain Juppe's other controversial policies would come in the days ahead.

Palestinian prisoners free to go, but won't

NABLUS, West Bank (CNN) -- Under the freshly minted Mideast accord, Israel is freeing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, if they'd only leave.

Many of the inmates have refused to exit the jails in a show of solidarity for five women allegedly involved in the murders of Jewish people. The agreement between Israel and the Palestinian authority calls for the release of all female Arab prisoners, but Israelis have objected to freeing those who shed Israeli blood.

PLO leader Yasser Arafat is asking the Israeli Supreme Court to order the women's release.

Guatemalan defense minister resigns after massacre

Attack victim

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (CNN) -- Guatemalan Defense Minister General Mario Enriquez has resigned following last week's massacre of 11 peasants by the army in a remote northern town. A patrol of soldiers opened fire last Thursday on a group of Indian refugees on a farm. The army has said it acted in self-defense after refugees forced the soldiers into the farm and started to hit them. Massacre survivors say the soldiers opened fire without provocation. President Ramiro de Leon Carpio has vowed to punish the soldiers responsible for the killings.

Japan's justice minister resigns over loan deal

TOKYO (CNN) -- Japan's justice minister resigned Monday over a loan controversy. Tomoharu Tazawa's resignation was expected to clear the way for passage of a bill in parliament tightening control over religious institutions such as the Supreme Truth cult, which is charged with the deadly gas attack on Tokyo subways last March. Tazawa said he resigned so that the controversy over his ties to another religious group would not get in the way of the bill's passage. He has said he failed to report a $2 million loan he accepted from a Buddhist group.


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