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President Bush said he is "open to any ideas" for dealing with high gasoline prices Tuesday during a White House new conference, while chastising Congress for blocking his proposals. He said he favors encouraging new US oil production and the construction of new refineries, but is willing to consider a proposal backed by presidential candidates John McCain and Hillary Rodham Clinton to lift an 18.4-cents-per-gallon tax during the summer travel season.

Texas child welfare officials said Monday that they'd found a "distinctive" pattern of underage sexual activity among girls taken into state custody from a polygamist compound in Eldorado, Texas. Of the 53 girls between the ages of 14 and 17, 31 either have children or are pregnant.

General Motors said Monday itwill make 50,000 fewer SUVs and 88,000 fewer pickups this year and cut 3,550 workers at four plants that make them.

US cocaine use has fallen recently as South American drug traffickers confront stricter control by Colombia and Mexico of routes to the US, White House drug policy director John Walters said Monday. Traffickers have been shifting their attention to Europe and Africa, he said, citing government figures that indicate most cocaine seized in the Western Hemisphere for these markets came from Venezuela last year.


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