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>(a cursory examination of lparser.c (search for TK_GLOBAL) suggests 
>it doesn't attempt to handle global statements)

"global" remains a reserved word in Lua 5.0 (alpha) until we can determine that
the new "globals" scheme is sufficient and "global" is no longer needed. In
other words, "global" is reserved but no semantics is implemented for it
and you get parse (not lex) errors when you use it.