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The average US price for regular gasoline hit a record $3.47 a gallon April 18, according to the latest Lundberg gas station survey. Since the beginning of the year, the price has risen 53.47 cents per gallon.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates urged the Air Force to do more to help the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan during a Monday visit to Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. He said "old ways of doing business" were preventing more surveillance and reconnaissance.

Southeastern Illinois was the epicenter early Monday for a magnitude 4.5 temblor that was the second-strongest aftershock to the magnitude 5.2 earthquake that rattled the region Friday.

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Mayor Mark Begich (D) of Anchor-age, Alaska, said Sunday he will challenge Sen. Ted Stevens (R), who has held his seat nearly 40 years, in this fall's election. Democrats think Stevens could be vulnerable because of questions raised when the FBI and IRS raided his home as part of a wider probe into corruption in Alaska politics.

In one of its largest-ever charitable efforts, AT&T Inc. said it would donate $100 million to combat the nation's high school dropout problem. Funding will support nonprofit groups that help students stay in school and 100 community summits. The company will also conduct a job-shadowing program for 100,000 mostly at-risk students.

Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa became the first LPGA Tour player since Mickey Wright in 1963 to win four tournaments in consecutive weeks Sunday, when she came from behind to win the Ginn Open in Reunion, Fla., by three strokes.

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