Today's Developments, 10/2


• The Taliban raced to prop up old alliances, woo new friends and retain their own men, turning to defense rather than negotiation as they dug in behind Usama bin Laden.

• Pakistan warned the Taliban that they're running out of time to avoid military strikes. The Taliban ambassador to Pakistan offered to negotiate the fate of bin Laden but refused to hand him over without proof.

• Russian and Iranian defense ministers held talks with both sides committed to arming Afghan opposition fighters against the Taliban but wary of U.S. military action in the region.

• NATO's secretary-general said the U.S. "conclusively" proves that bin Laden had a role in the attacks. The allies have determined the attack was directed from abroad and therefore is covered by NATO's "Article 5," which says that an attack on one member is an attack on all.

• The anti-Taliban alliance in northern Afghanistan and the former Afghan king agreed to convene an emergency council as a first step toward forming a new government.

• Saudi Arabia pledged to protect the relatives of bin Laden as Saudi citizens.

• North Korea slammed Japanese proposals to allow its military to provide logistical support for the United States, saying they were actually plans to conquer other Asian nations and set up a colonial empire.

The Investigation:

• A Yemeni man detained Sept. 11 with passports in three different names tearfully reiterated his innocence during a brief court appearance in Canada.

• Security has intensified at the nation's only producer of the anthrax vaccine. After a Pentagon assessment of security measures at the lab, the Michigan National Guard has been called to provide security at BioPort.

• Indonesia's president condemned groups that have threatened Americans in the wake of last month's terror attacks, even as a militant group there demanded the U.S. ambassador to be expelled.

• A high-tech passenger screening system, called the Computer Assisted Passenger Screening program, or CAPS, could have stopped some of the hijackers responsible for last month's attacks on the United States, said the head of the trade group that represents U.S. airlines.

• There was no massive intelligence failure by the U.S. government in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said. "It was a combined failure of all our government protection assets just not having the right information on the right day," Rep. Porter Goss, R-Fla., said on CBS' The Early Show.

• A suspect in an alleged plot to blow up the U.S. embassy in Paris has told investigators he visited bin Laden's headquarters in Afghanistan to discuss the planned attack, a source close to the case said.

• U.S. investigators believe they've traced wire transfers from one of the terrorists to Mustafah Ahmed, a man from the United Arab Emirates who disappeared the day of the attacks.

• Terrorism investigations are fanning out across the world. Suspects have been rounded up in France, Bosnia, Jordan, Germany and other countries. Investigators are focusing on the money trail and phony IDs.

The Victims:

• Groups of bodies, including those of 15 firefighters, were found under the rubble of the World Trade Center as heavy equipment allowed workers to move giant steel beams and large pieces of debris.

• New York City officials say 5,219 people are missing at the World Trade Center; 344 confirmed dead; 289 dead now identified.


• Federal Reserve cuts key interest rate half-point.

• Three weeks after attacks on the United States sent shudders through the global economy, a top Bush administration economic adviser admitted what many have been saying for weeks — a U.S. recession is likely.

• U.S. farm groups and industry experts urged the Bush administration to step up efforts to safeguard agriculture and the nation's food supply from a biological or chemical attack.

• President Bush met with congressional leaders, primarily to discuss an economic stimulus package. A spokesman says the president hasn't ruled out anything, including tax cuts for individuals and businesses, raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment benefits. And a senior official says the president will propose expanding a federal grant program for emergencies, to help workers who have been laid off.

• Fear of suspected terrorists living in their communities and the threat of more attacks has caused a surge in gun sales in the days since Sept. 11.

• Many New York firms continue to cope with the aftermath of the terrorist attack: limited phone service, spotty power, lingering fear and employees moved by the tens of thousands to makeshift offices scattered across three states.

• The cash-strapped Swissair Group suspended operations indefinitely and faced the risk of becoming the biggest aviation casualty of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Home Front:

•   Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, soon to become the Bush administration's homeland security czar, said Tuesday Americans should not be ready to sacrifice liberty in exchange for safety from possible attack.

• Bush said the terrorist-harboring regime in Afghanistan will suffer consequences for the Sept. 11 attacks on America unless his demands are met. "There is no timetable for the Taliban, just like there are no negotiations," he said.

• Bush said he has authorized the reopening of Reagan National Airport outside Washington under tight security. Armed air marshals would be on every flight, two lawmakers said.

• Bush said $6,000,000 in assets have been blocked and 50 bank accounts frozen across the globe as countries join the U.S. effort to stop the flow of money to terrorist networks.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.