Today's Developments, 10/3


• Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld arrived in Saudi Arabia on a trip to the Middle East and Asia to shore up Muslim support for the war against terrorism. He will also visit Oman, Egypt and Uzbekistan.

• The U.S. has given its NATO allies specific requests to help in the fight against terrorism and find terror suspect Usama bin Laden. A NATO spokesman says the requests involve possible military support as well as more indirect assistance.

• A group of Pakistani clerics canceled a trip to Afghanistan, in a sign that options are running out for the ruling Taliban. The trip was intended to try to persuade the Taliban to turn over bin Laden. The clerics say they called off the trip because they simply saw no chance of a breakthrough.

• President Vicente Fox said he was flying to Washington on Wednesday to give President Bush his nation's support for the U.S. war on terror.

• U.S. officials say they have been able to confirm through various channels that large shipments have arrived in recent days at a port in Somalia from Pakistan and Yemen. They have not ruled out the possibility that Bin Laden my want to run to Somalia and that the shipments are related.

• Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened a day of talks with the heads of NATO and the European Union, pledging to take his country's cooperation with both organizations to a new level in the fight against international terrorism. Putin says he's convinced bin Laden had a role in the attacks on the U.S.

• France says it will open its airspace to U.S. military planes for a possible operation in response to the terror attacks. A spokeswoman for the French government says France also has agreed to a request for naval cooperation in the Indian Ocean.

• The Red Cross says it's negotiating with Taliban leaders about letting aid workers back into Afghanistan.

•  India's government said a reported plane hijacking Wednesday night on a domestic flight from Bombay was a false alarm caused by an anonymous phone call and confusion aboard the aircraft.

The Investigation:

• U.S. military officials say they are taking seriously and find highly credible certain foreign intelligence information about the whereabouts of bin Laden. Several avenues of information suggest that bin laden is hiding in the mountains of the northeastern panhandle of Afghanistan.

• Some of the same terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 attacks have been linked to the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole.

• In the days before the attacks, the Justice Department turned down an FBI request to search the computer of a man now being questioned in the suicide hijackings. The search warrant was for Zacarias Moussaoui, who's being held as a material witness. His computer was found to contain data relating to jetliners and crop-dusters. But before the attacks, investigators lacked enough information to justify issuing a warrant.

• Some 4,986 people are now reported missing in the World Trade Center attack. 369 are confirmed dead, 310 of whom have been identified.


• U.S. stocks surged Wednesday as positive news from tech bellwether Cisco Systems lifted sentiment already bolstered by upbeat economic data and the prospect of more fiscal stimulus. The Dow moved up 173.19 or 1.94 percent to close at 9123.78; the Nasdaq rose 88.45 to close at 1580.78.

• President Bush has told business leaders in New York City that economic relief in the wake of the terror attacks will take many forms. He says there has to be more tax relief to spur consumer confidence, and more help for laid-off workers.

• Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says President Bush wants Congress to approve a stimulus plan of between $60 and $75 billion to avert a steep economic recession triggered in part by the terrorist attacks.

• The president of Northwest Airlines says the carrier's $3 billion dollar reserve fund may not be enough to keep it afloat. The airline is based in Minnesota, and state lawmakers are believed to be considering a plan that would provide tax relief to help avoid bankruptcy.

• Troubled Belgian airline Sabena is seeking bankruptcy protection today so it can keep flying. The move comes after Swissair failed to provide promised financial assistance. The Belgian government own just over 50 percent of Sabena, and Swissair holds the rest. Swissair grounded its fleet yesterday after it ran out of cash to pay suppliers.

• To help cover the cleanup costs at Ground Zero, New York City yesterday easily sold $1 billion worth of bonds. Officials say they sold out in two hours, and investors placed $4 billion worth of orders.

• The head of the president's Council of Economic Advisers is expecting a recession. R. Glenn Hubbard says there's a high probability the economy will experience two quarters of negative growth.

The Home Front:

• The nation's health secretary says people shouldn't be scared into believing they need to buy gas masks, or frightened into hoarding medicine and food. Tommy Thompson tells a Senate committee that federal doctors could quickly contain any bioterrorist attack. But he did caution Americans to be on the lookout for any mysterious symptoms and report them to a doctor promptly.

• President Bush made his second visit to New York since the September eleventh attacks. Just blocks from ruins of the World Trade Center, he assured business leaders that the American economy will rebound and grow. He called for a new round of tax cuts to boost confidence and spur investment.

• The chairman of the New York state's Conservative Party said Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told him Wednesday that he will not seek a third term by taking up an offer to become the minor party's candidate.Chicago's Sears Tower is the latest building to undergo a security overhaul in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks. Work crews have placed highway-style cement barriers around the nation's tallest building, designed to keep a vehicle from driving into it.

• A Greyhound bus crashed near Manchester, Tenn., killing 10 of the 38 people aboard and prompting Greyhound to halt all service nationwide as a precaution, authorities said. The bus crashed after a passenger slit the driver's throat. Greyhound officials said the attack appears to have been an isolated event, not terrorism.

• Civil liberties groups are warning lawmakers to protect personal liberties while fighting terrorism. At a Senate hearing, a Georgetown law professor said the country shouldn't trade the rights of immigrants "for the security of the majority." But a Yeshiva University law professor said during times of crisis, personal liberties must be flexible.

• Top law enforcement officers from the U.S. and Canada are pledging to cooperate in efforts to protect the 4,000-mile common border. But Attorney General John Ashcroft says "Any time there are borders that are that open and that substantial there are risks."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.