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The US offered aid and dispatched a search-and-rescue team to Turkey after a severe earthquake killed hundreds of people there. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Turkish people," said David Leavy, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.

A new poll indicated about half of young US adults think racial separation is OK "as long as everyone has equal opportunity." The survey, cosponsored by the NAACP and Zogby International, was released in Washington by Hamilton College of Clinton, N.Y. It found 50.3 percent of respondents saying they

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strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: "It's OK if the races are basically separate from one another as long as everyone has equal opportunities." Of the 1,001 respondents, 47.3 percent strongly or somewhat disagreed.

Two Senators called for easing the US embargo on trade with Cuba after a visit to the island that included talks with President Fidel Castro. Senate minority leader Tom Daschle (D) of South Dakota, is the

highest-ranking elected US official to visit Cuba in years. He and Sen. Byron Dorgan (D) of North Dakota, who accompanied Daschle (above) on the trip, urged the House to approve a bill that would allow US firms to sell food and medicine to Cuba. Their three-day visit began Friday, nine days after the Senate voted to allow essentially unrestricted food and drug sales to the island.

The main US inflation gauge bounced up in July after flat readings the previous two months. The Labor Department's consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent last month - boosted by higher costs for gasoline, airline fares, and tobacco. The core index, which excludes the volatile food and energy sectors, rose by 0.2 percent in July after a 0.1 percent gain in June.

A federal study of pollution in the Gulf of Mexico has concluded that the most cost-effective way to restore its "dead zone" is to reduce fertilizer use by 20 percent in areas of the Midwest and restore 5 million acres of wetlands to trap nutrients before they reach the Mississippi and its tributaries. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which conducted the study, is to issue recommendations this fall. An almost 8,000-square-mile area of the gulf becomes depleted of oxygen annually because of nitrogen and other nutrients flowing out of the Mississippi.

Up to $1 billion in public funds and international aid to Bosnia has been stolen by Muslim, Croatian, and Serbian nationalist leaders, The New York Times reported. According to a US-led antifraud unit, corruption in Bosnia is so rampant that relief agencies and embassies downplay the thefts for fear of discouraging international donors, the article said.

Public-service announcements urging parents to talk to their children about violence are to begin today on major broadcast and cable-TV networks. The ads are privately funded by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, an independent health-care philanthropy, and Children Now, an independent advocacy group for children, both in California. The announcement includes a number to call for a free booklet on how to talk to children about weapons and gang violence. Similar radio ads are to begin airing later this month.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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