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Married couples with children made up only 26 percent of US households last year, down from 45 percent in 1972, a study by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago found. The report says the most common living arrangement in 1998 - un- married people without children - accounted for one-third of all households, twice as many as in 1972. The survey director attributed the trend to more women entering the work force and to relaxation of social mores that discourage cohabitation and having children outside marriage.

Ending months of speculation, Hillary Rodham Clinton declared herself in the race for the Senate from New York. Mrs. Clinton said she plans to make a formal announcement after the first of the year, to scale back her White House activities, and to move into the house she and President Clinton purchased in Chappaqua, N.Y. She'd be the first sitting first lady to run for elective office.

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Meanwhile, a new poll found Americans split on whether it's proper for Mrs. Clinton to campaign for a Senate seat while serving as first lady. Forty-eight percent said it is; 49 percent said it's not. In the CNN/USA Today/Gallup survey, 62 percent said she's qualified to serve in the Senate; 32 percent said she isn't. Recent polls indicate Clinton trails New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, her presumed opponent, by as many as 11 points or at best is in a statistical dead heat with him.

US airlines were expecting a record 19.8 million passengers in the week and a half surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday - 10 percent more than last year. The American Automobile Association predicted almost 28 million people would drive 100 miles or more. Thanksgiving is the nation's busiest travel period.

Americans are becoming increasingly less concerned about potential year-2000 computer glitches, a new poll for the National Science Foundation and USA Today found. Only 3 percent of respondents said they expect major problems - down from 7 percent in August. The latest survey found a slight rise in those planning to stock up on gasoline and food (40 percent, up from 36 percent). But 55 percent said they would avoid traveling on or around Jan. 1, a 12 percent gain.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson asked the US Civil Rights Commission to investigate whether the Decatur, Ill., school board violated the rights of six black students who were expelled for a brawl at a football game. Jackson said the board did not consider the expulsions individually and did not call witnesses or allow cross-examination. The students were expelled for two years for the Sept. 17 incident. However, after Jackson and Gov. George Ryan (R) intervened, the punishment was reduced to one year. The students now attend alternative schools.

The Coast Guard was searching for 14 Cubans after a man and a woman came ashore at Key Biscayne, Fla., on remnants of makeshift rafts and reported that others were missing. They said seven men, six women, and a 5-year-old child had left Matanzas, Cuba, with them Sunday on three rafts - but that the vessels had broken apart in rough seas Monday. The two survivors said they used inner tubes to reach Key Biscayne.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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