No serious traffic delays occurred Monday as many commuters in the Bay Area took advantage of free transportation after a tanker-truck accident caused a heavily traveled section of highway near Oakland to collapse Sunday. The governor's office said it is seeking federal aid to rebuild the interchange. The license of the driver, who is suspected of speeding, appeared to be in order despite his criminal record, state police indicated.

A loophole that allowed Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho to pass a weapons background check despite having mental health issues was closed Monday by Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine (D). Cho, who killed himself and 32 students and faculty, wasn't in a database used by gun dealers because he attended outpatient counseling and wasn't committed to a mental hospital. The change in the law will require anyone receiving mental-health care to be screened.

The US manufacturing sector grew at a faster-than-expected rate in April, jumping nearly four points to 54.7 on the index kept by the Institute of Supply Management, the trade group said Tuesday. Wall Street analysts had forecast a 51.0 reading.

Gov. Jon Corzine (D) of New Jersey moved back into the governor's mansion Monday after being hospitalized since he was involved in a high-speed auto accident on April 12. Corzine, who is expected to be on the mend for at least six months, apologized for setting a bad example by not wearing a seat belt as a state trooper drove him to a scheduled event

Nationally, smog has decreased since its peak in 2002, according to the annual State of the Air report, released Tuesday by the American Lung Asso-ciation. On the flip side, rising soot levels, caused by coal-fired power plants, are a source of concern in the East, according to the report.

At a US-European Union summit in Washington on Monday, the two sides agreed to a "single market"-type partnership aimed at increasing trade and regulatory convergence while lowering costs.

The Interior Department proposed greatly expanding offshore oil and natural-gas drilling in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, and in Atlantic waters off Virginia. The five-year development plan was unveiled Monday. If approved by Congress, the proposed lease sales could lead to an additional 10 billion barrels of oil and 45 trillion cubic feet of natural-gas production.

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