[JURIST] The Federal Bureau of Investigation [official website] reported Monday that the US murder rate rose 2.1 percent [press release] during the first six months of 2005, though rates for other significant offenses, such as rape and arson, are on the decline. In its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report [FBI materials], the FBI said that the increase in murder rates was the most dramatic in the Midwest. Earlier this year, an FBI report [FBI materials] showed that the murder rate declined in 2004 by 5.7 percent, the first time in five years there had been a decrease in the nationwide murder rate. The January-June 2005 statistics also show a five percent decline in the nationwide rape rate, a six percent decline in arson crimes, and a 2.8 percent decline in property crimes. AP has more.