USA

The Producer Price Index, which measures inflation pressures before they reach the consumer, rose 0.2 percent in May, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The increase was smaller than expected despite gasoline prices that continue to climb. Overall, the slower pace was the best performance since a 1.3 percent drop in inflation in February.

As tropical storm Alberto approached Florida Tuesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it was prepared with buses and supplies in case the storm turned toward regions left vulnerable by hurricane Katrina, especially Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The agency did not stockpile supplies for Florida, which said it had the situation under control.

The Bush administration distanced itself from remarks by a US diplomat that the weekend suicides of three Arab detainees at the Guantánamo Bay military prison in Cuba were a "good PR move." "We have serious concerns anytime anybody takes their own life," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said in trying to defuse remarks previously made by Colleen Graffy, deputy assistant secretary of State for diplomacy. Graffy told the BBC that the deaths were a "tactic to further the jihadi cause."

A federal district court in New York ruled that the son and granddaughter of author John Steinbeck have the legal rights to 10 of his novels, including "The Grapes of Wrath" and "Of Mice and Men." Penguin Books had held the publishing rights since 1938. But the court determined that when Steinbeck began writing his first book in 1929 the "high stature" he'd attain could not be predicted.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said a sweeping regulatory plan to improve risk management for the nation's largest and most internationally active banks is important to making sure the US financial system remains sound. Speaking at Georgetown University of an evolution in risk management and banking supervision, the Fed chief said the proposal, dubbed Basel II, would instruct big banks to use complex new risk formulas to determine capital requirements.

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