USA

As he prepared to go on a short vacation, President Bush said at a Thursday news conference that he'd signed legislation to spend $33.6 billion over the next three years to promote math and science skills and develop additional technology needed to compete in the global economy.

Rescuers continued drilling two narrow holes 1,500 feet straight down Thursday in hopes of getting air and food to six miners trapped in a cave-in that occurred Monday near Huntington, Utah. There has been no communication with the miners, and it could take at least seven days to actually reach them.

Investigators of the deadly collapse of Minneapolis's Interstate 35W bridge have preliminarily focused on potentially flawed gusset plates, which joined together the bridge's steel beams, safety and transportation officials said Wednesday.

Looking to assist Afghanistan in fighting its opium trade, the State Department said Thursday that the US will give provincial governors more money to fight poppy cultivation through law enforcement and education efforts. Ninety percent of the world's opium is grown in Afghanistan, where the drug trade and the insurgency are increasingly linked.

NASA said it found no evidence that astronauts had flown while drunk during the past 10 years, according to an agency report released Wednesday. The investigation ensued after a panel of health experts studying astronaut screening policies alleged that on at least two occasions astronauts were inebriated before a flight.

Google Inc., the leading computer search engine, has launched an experimental feature that allows any person mentioned in a news story to submit a written response, which is posted after its authenticity is verified.

Non-Hispanic whites are now in the minority in nearly 1 in 10 US counties, according to figures released Thursday by the Census Bureau. Statistics also show Hispanics are increasingly moving east and into suburban areas rather than locating in traditional urban immigrant strongholds.

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