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PANAMA CITY BEACH Florida (Reuters) - President Barack Obama went swimming off the coast of Florida on Saturday and declared the Gulf area's beaches "open for business," trying to show by example that a region hit by the BP oil spill was safe for tourists to enjoy.

Obama, on his fifth visit to the region since BP Plc's deep-sea well in the Gulf of Mexico ruptured in April, pledged to restore the economy and the environment in the aftermath of the world's worst offshore oil spill.

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