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US gasoline prices rose 5.26 cents during the last two weeks to a record $3.3171 for a gallon of self-serve regular, according to the nationwide Lundberg survey. Prices will be "speeding up from here," survey editor Trilby Lundberg said.

Mark Penn, a controversial figure in Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential bid, stepped down under pressure as her chief campaign strategist Sunday. Clinton reportedly was upset that Penn is assisting in efforts to pass a free-trade agreement with Colombia, which she opposes but President Bush was expected to send to Congress Monday. Penn will stay on in a lesser role but will be replaced at the top by communications director Howard Wolfson and pollster Geoff Garin.

The US Army Corps of Engineers said it could decide Tuesday whether to open a spillway 30 miles north of New Orleans to ease the stress on levees along the rain-swollen Mississippi River. Water levels are higher than they've been in a decade.

Authorities said that, as of Sunday, they hadn't made any arrests at a polygamist compound in Eldorado, Texas, where a search continues for a teenage girl whose phone call last week prompted state troopers to raid the sect's 1,700-acre ranch. The unidentified teen allegedly was forced into an underage marriage and childbirth.

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