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UNITED STATES

President Bush left Washington before dawn Sept. 1 on his second inspection trip to Florida and Louisiana since Hurricane Andrew did its damage in those two states. Bush had canceled a campaign trip to devote his attention to the natural disaster. About 18,000 federal and National Guard troops are now deployed in the relief operation. Some 85,000 families have lost their homes and are without shelter. The Army reports that it is putting up tent cities as rapidly as possible. Public-health officials are concerned about sanitation conditions and public health in the muddy, mosquito-infested area.... The government's Index of Leading Indicators registered a paltry 0.1 percent gain in July, signaling economic stagnation past the election and longer.... A strike by Detroit teachers forced the cancellation of the first day of class Sept. 1 for more than 168,000 city students. MIDDLE EAST

The first UN weapons inspectors in Baghdad since the West banned Iraqi military aircraft from southern Iraqi skies set off to work Sept. 1 with no reported incidents. EUROPE

Romania doubled the price of staple foods such as bread and cooking oil Sept. 1 by slashing subsidies in the latest stage of its drive to establish a free market system.... NATO may win a new lease on life if France votes against the Maastricht treaty in this month's referendum, Reuters reports from Brussels. A rejection would probably kill plans to create European defenses independent of the alliance.... Yugoslav Prime Minister Milan Panic geared himself for a major political fight to withstand a parlia mentary vote of no confidence introduced Aug. 31 by backers of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

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