Nation/World Briefly: Generation gap largest since 1960s, poll finds

WASHINGTON — American adults from young to old disagree increasingly today on a number of social values, creating the largest generation gap since divisions 40 years ago over Vietnam, civil rights and women’s liberation, says a survey being released today by the Pew Research Center.

Almost eight in 10 people believe there is a major difference in the point of view of younger people and older people today, according to the independent public opinion research group. That is the highest spread since 1969, when about 74 percent reported major differences in an era of generational conflicts over the Vietnam War and civil and women’s rights.

In contrast, just 60 percent in 1979 saw a generation gap.

Asked to identify where older and younger people differ most, 47 percent said social values and morality. People age 18 to 29 were more likely to report disagreements over lifestyle, views on family, relationships and dating, while older people cited differences in a sense of entitlement.

Religion is a far bigger part of the lives of older adults. About two-thirds of people 65 and older said religion is very important to them, compared with just over half of those 30 to 49, and 44 percent of people 18 to 29.

White House indicates it’s open to tax on health benefits

The Obama White House left open the possibility Sunday that the president would break a campaign promise and raise taxes on people earning less than $250,000 to support his health care overhaul agenda. White House adviser David Axelrod said the administration wouldn’t rule out taxing some employees’ benefits to fund a health care agenda that has yet to take final form. The move would be a compromise with fellow Democrats, who are pushing the proposal as a way to pay for the massive undertaking without ballooning the federal deficit.

Massachusetts: 6-year-old escapes would-be rapist

A 6-year-old Hanover girl riding her bicycle was kidnapped by a neighbor who tried to rape her, but she managed to escape from his apartment despite being in leg shackles, a state prosecutor said Sunday. The girl’s mother reported her missing about a half-hour after she had left her home at an apartment complex to ride her bike, authorities said. Officers found the girl outside during a door-to-door search, and she led them to the apartment where she was taken, a district attorney said. Police then entered the apartment and arrested Justin Shine, 26.

Boy beaten on Father’s Day dies

A 7-year-old boy who authorities say was severely beaten by his dad on Father’s Day has died in Massachusetts. Nathaniel Turner was declared brain dead Tuesday after his father allegedly slammed the boy’s head against a wall in his Worcester home so hard that it left a dent. Leslie Schuler and his live-in girlfriend are charged with assault, but authorities have said they are now conducting a murder investigation. Nathaniel had been living with his father since Memorial Day.

California: Gas prices flat

The price of a gallon of gasoline held steady over the past two weeks, at $2.66 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That’s according to the national Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday in Camarillo. Wichita, Kan., had the lowest price, $2.40 for a gallon for regular. San Francisco was the highest at $3.02.

South Carolina: Governor says he thought about quitting

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said Sunday that he gave thought to quitting, retreating from public scrutiny to rebuild his life as the scandal of his extramarital affair with an Argentinian woman came out last week. Close spiritual and political associates urged him to instead fight to restore his constituents’ — and his family’s — trust and finish out the 18 months left in his last term, he said. Later Sunday, 41-year-old former television reporter Maria Belen Chapur acknowledged in a statement that she had been having a relationship with the governor.

New York.: Stonewall anniversary

Decades after a riot at a Greenwich Village bar sparked a movement for equal rights, gay New Yorkers celebrated their gains at Sunday’s gay pride parade. The annual march down Fifth Avenue commemorated the Stonewall rebellion of 40 years ago, when patrons at a gay bar resisted the police. The several days of disturbances that followed the uprising became one of the defining moments of the gay rights movement. Parade organizers claimed as many as 500,000 participants. That number was difficult to verify, but many thousands marched or lined Fifth Avenue to watch.

Mexico: 93 police detained

Mexican prosecutors announced Sunday they have put 93 police officers and investigators in Hidalgo state under house arrest on suspicion of aiding the Zetas, a gang of hit men tied to the Gulf drug cartel. Corruption scandals have long plagued Mexican law enforcement, but the detentions represented one of the biggest single roundups of suspected officers in recent years. The Attorney General’s Office said in a statement that investigations suggested the detainees were on the Zetas’ payroll.

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