USA

Consumer spending, after adjusted for inflation, fell 0.2 percent in June as shoppers were hit with the biggest increase in prices in nearly three decades, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Higher gasoline prices helped to drive up an inflation gauge tied to consumer spending by 0.8 percent, the biggest increase since a 1 percent jump in February 1981.

The State Department said further sanctions against Iran will be pursued by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany after the countries participated in a high-level phone call Monday. Iran failed to meet a weekend deadline related to its suspect nuclear program.

Tropical storm Edouard gained speed in the Gulf of Mexico Monday and was expected to strengthen to a near-hurricane before making landfall somewhere in Texas or southwest Louisiana Tuesday morning.

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Looking to build Democratic unity, Barack Obama has called for restoration of full voting rights for convention delegates from the key swing states of Florida and Michigan. Obama had previously opposed full votes for these delegates, whose states defiantly held their primary elections too early.

DNA evidence played a key role in tracking the 2001 anthrax attacks and leading investigators to Bruce Ivins, who oversaw a highly specific type of toxin in an Army biological weapons lab at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md., a government scientist said Sunday. Researchers looked at DNA samples from the bodies of five people killed and saw a link to Ivins's specialty. He killed himself last week as prosecutors prepared to indict him on murder charges.

The FBI is investigating two firebombings targeting scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as the latest in a spate of attacks against biomedical researchers who experiment on animals, authorities said.

Kraft Foods has announced a partnership with TerraCycle, a New Jersey company that converts hard-to-recycle materials into consumer goods. Brigades will collect used Kraft food wrappers and drink pouches so they can be turned into backpacks, umbrellas, shower curtains, and other products.

A wave of 24 porpoise deaths in northern California since May has puzzled scientists. More of the dead mammals may wash onto beaches this month, animal researchers said Sunday.

The Green Bay Packers reluctantly embraced the return of quarterback Brett Favre, whose decision to come out of retirement so disrupted the team's plans it sought to pay him $20 million not to play. The bizarre situation prompted National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell to apply pressure to reinstate the three-time league MVP.

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