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SEX EDUCATION 101 From Britain, which - statistics say - leads all of Europe in unwanted teenage pregnancies, comes word of an experiment to help reverse that status by making young people think twice about being promiscuous. At London's Maria Fidelis School, each female student finds a raw egg on her desk as she reports for the day's classes. It symbolizes a newborn baby, which she must "feed" and carry around with her - taking care never to drop or neglect. The goal is to increase awareness of what it's like to be responsible for an infant around the clock. No word on the effectiveness, but it is a novel idea.

TRICK QUESTIONS A German news-radio executive is in hot water because one of his reporters fooled Chancellor Gerhard Schrder into giving an ultra-candid interview, which was then broadcast. Under false pretenses, the reporter obtained Schrder's cell-phone number, posed as President Roman Herzog, and pried out comments that the chancellor might rather have kept private. And US politicians think they have problems with the press!

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Sun Belt counties hold lead in population growth for '98

The US counties with largest gains in residents during 1998 were in or near metropolitan areas of the South and West, according to estimates released earlier this month by the Census Bureau. Eight of the 10 counties with the biggest gains - Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, Harris, Maricopa, Clark, and Broward - also were among the 10 biggest gainers between 1990 and 1998. Counties with the greatest increases last year and the bureau's estimates of numerical gains for each:

County '98 population gain

1. Los Angeles 97,027

2. Maricopa, Ariz. 84,977

3. Orange, Calif. 58,140

4. San Diego 56,881

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5. Clark, Nev. 55,229

6. Harris, Texas 51,953

7. Riverside, Calif. 39,628

8. Broward, Fla. 30,480

9. Dallas 30,245

10. Tarrant, Texas 29,229

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