KIDS HOME ALONE: Twenty percent of children ages 6 to 12 are regularly left alone after school ends and before their parents return home from work, according to an Urban Institute survey of parents. Researchers report that the trend toward leaving children without adult supervision cuts across income and racial lines. "Self-care among school-age children is clearly a fact of life for millions of working families," said study co-author Gina Adams. THE EURO: Self-care may be on its way out for the European Union's new currency, though. With the euro falling to under 86 cents in value for the first time last week, the EU raised the prospect of central bank intervention to prop up the currency. Europe's transnational central bank could artificially raise the value of the currency by buying euros in the financial markets. The euro's decline has raised fears of inflation throughout the continent.