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A new study indicated even lots of child care doesn't diminish the influence of family on young children. In the US Institute of Child Health and Human Development project, researchers found that the relationship between family factors and outcomes in children age 2 and 3 were the same whether they spend less than 10 hours or more than 30 hours a week in out-of-family child care. When both family and child care appear to influence outcomes in children, the impact of family was found to be at least twice as potent. The findings were similar in earlier research on children and preschools.

Coastal residents in Texas braced for Hurricane Bret, which was expected to come ashore yesterday evening with winds up to 110 miles an hour. The National Weather Service posted a hurricane warning for a 220-mile stretch of the Gulf of Mexico from La Pesca, Mexico, to Port O' Connor, Texas, which is between Corpus Christi and Houston.

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The nation's largest Lutheran group approved an alliance with the Episcopal Church under which they will exchange clergy, recognize each other's sacraments, and cooperate in missionary projects. Episcopalians are expected to approve the pact with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America next year. The accord, which needed approval of two-thirds of the delegates at a Lutheran convention in Denver, passed with 69 percent of the vote.

Most Lutheran opponents objected to following an ordination practice known as the historic episcopate, in which a bishop is installed by a laying-on of hands by three predecessor bishops from a line believed to extend back to Jesus' apostles.

In a new survey, almost three in five people said Texas Gov. George W. Bush shouldn't be asked questions about cocaine use. The CNN/Time opinion poll came after Bush effectively denied using drugs since 1974 (when he was 28), but then refused to say whether he had used them earlier. Eighty-four percent of respondents said that if Bush used cocaine in his 20s that should not disqualify him from the presidency.

The US military secretly tested the toxic herbicide Agent Orange in Panama during the 1960s and 1970s, the Dallas Morning News reported. The newspaper said US officials shipped hundreds of barrels of the defoliant to the Central American nation during the Vietnam War and sprayed jungle areas to simulate battle conditions in Southeast Asia.

It quoted an unnamed US veteran who served in Panama from 1968 to 1971 as saying he witnessed spraying close to the Panama Canal, to recreation areas, and to a lake from which Panama City's drinking water is drawn.

President Clinton and his family began a 16-day vacation that will be divided between Martha's Vineyard, Mass., and New York State. They're to spend the first nine days on Martha's Vineyard, before traveling to New York.

The Pew Charitable Trust said it would invest $50 million over the next five years to support American art and culture. Officials in Philadelphia said the funds will be spent on arts financing, zoning in historic areas, arts curricula for public schools, a database on all aspects of cultural life, and wider media coverage of the arts.

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(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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