USA

The American Medical Association endorsed the cloning of human embryos for research purposes, saying it is medically ethical. But doctors who oppose the practice would be free to refuse to perform it, the AMA policymaking delegates decided. The proposal received wide support from doctors and medical groups and echoed recommendations by a National Academy of Sciences committee last year.

Consumer prices were flat in May as falling costs for energy products and clothing offset rising prices for medical care and lodging. The latest snapshot of the Consumer Price Index, the government's most closely watched inflation gauge, showed a pickup in consumer prices from April's 0.3 percent decline, the Labor Department reported. This suggests that the threat of an economically dangerous long-term slide in prices may not be materializing.

The Bush administration is not obliged to publicly identify the 762 foreigners it detained after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the US, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled. The three-judge panel's decision is a setback to more than 20 civil liberties and other groups that invoked the Freedom of Information Act, which allows for disclosure of certain government records, to challenge the policy of secret arrests.

Crime resumed its decline last year, despite a rise in the numbers of murders and rapes, the FBI reported. Its preliminary Uniform Crime Report found a 0.2 percent decrease in 2002 compared with 2001. That resumed a trend that began in 1991 and was broken only in 2001, when crime rose by 2.1 percent. The FBI said the number of reported rapes rose by 4 percent and the amount of murders grew by 0.8 percent.

The Roman Catholic bishop of Phoenix was charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident. After his arrest on Monday, Bishop Thomas O'Brien told police he thought he had hit a dog or a cat or that someone had thrown a rock at his vehicle. He was released from custody on $45,000 bond. A pedestrian was struck by two cars Saturday while crossing a street near the bishop's home. Neither driver stopped.

With flood watches in effect and the threat of additional rain looming, emergency officials in West Virginia braced for more rising waters following storms that overwhelmed streams and sewer systems Monday. Parts of Charleston and Kanawha County suburbs endured the worst of Monday's storms, with more than 50 homes heavily damaged or destroyed. County officials declared a state of emergency.

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