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Today's Developments, 10/5

 

International: 

• Responding to an Israeli rebuke, the White House rejected Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's accusation that the United States was appeasing the Arabs at Israel's expense.

• Pakistan said it had nothing in its records showing that the CIA had trained and equipped Pakistani commandos in 1999 to strike at fugitive Usama bin Laden inside Afghanistan.

• Efforts to plot the future of Afghanistan are moving ahead, in the event that the country's Taliban leaders are toppled. Exiled Afghan King Mohammad Zaher Shah has been seen as a possible figurehead for a post-Taliban government.

• The leader of Afghanistan's opposition alliance, Gen. Muhammad Fahim, rallied his troops and said they were ready to take on the Taliban militia with or without help from the West.

• Ukraine appeared to concede for the first time that its military might have accidentally shot down a Russian airliner over the Black Sea, where rough conditions were hampering salvage operations.

• Germany confirmed that it planned to send high-ranking diplomats to Islamabad and New Delhi in the coming days as part of a Franco-German initiative on Afghanistan.

• The Taliban are prepared to put Usama bin Laden on trial in an Afghan court if the United States provides solid evidence against him, Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef said.

• British Prime Minister Tony Blair flew to Islamabad on the latest stop in a whirlwind tour aimed at bolstering support for the global war on terrorism. Blair then headed to New Delhi for talks with India’s prime minister.

• Britain's tourism industry, already hit by foot-and-mouth disease, is likely to lose a further one billion pounds by the end of the year due to the terrorist attacks, industry chiefs said.

• Pakistan said it was confident its nuclear weapons facilities were secure, in the event of military strikes on neighboring Afghanistan, and it had no word from Washington on possible plans to bolster protection.

• Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet endorsed a controversial bill that would allow Japan's military to give logistical support to any U.S. military retaliation for last month's attacks.

• U.S. warplanes and troops were granted permission to use an Uzbek air base by President Islam Karimov.

• A U.S. defense official said 1,000 troops from the U.S. 10th Mountain Division were deployed to Uzbekistan, a Central Asian country bordering Afghanistan.

Investigation:

• The United States issued its biannual list of "foreign terrorist organizations" that are subject to strict financial and visa restrictions, highlighting the challenge it faces in fighting global terrorism.

• A man who ran a company allegedly offering holy war training courses appeared in a London court on weapons charges, along with a second man accused of providing flight training to some of the hijackers involved in the attack on the Pentagon.

• Intelligence officials have told members of Congress there is a high probability for another major terrorist attack on American targets here or abroad in the near future.

• The FBI said some of the hijackers were caught on videotape in Portland, Maine, hours before their flights departed.

Markets/Economy:

• Investors have largely decided to lighten up on stocks heading into the weekend. The Dow Industrials average has been down more than 100 points, but is off the worst levels of the session. 

• The nation's unemployment rate remained stuck at 4.9 percent in September as American businesses shed 199,000 jobs last month, the largest job loss in more than a decade.

Victims:

• The World Trade Center victim tally: 4,986 remain missing, 8,786 injured, 380 confirmed dead, 321 of which have been identified.

• The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to pull its last rescue team from Ground Zero by the end of the week.

The Home Front:

• President Bush urged Congress Friday to pass an additional $60 billion in tax relief for individuals and businesses to help revive an economy staggered by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

• The House has unanimously voted to increase intelligence spending by nine percent.

• Pennsylvania’s new governor, Mark Schweiker, was sworn in today to take the post that had been held by Tom Ridge who has gone to Washington to take a new anti-terrorism post in the Bush administration.

• Islamic aid groups in the United States are facing unprecedented scrutiny as federal officials and potential donors try to identify any providing support to terrorists.

• The federal government will pay for the National Guard to bolster security at Boston’s Logan Airport for six months, as well as pay the bill for the U.S. Marshals, Border Patrol and Immigration Service officers who have also been helping.

• Health officials are tracing the steps of a Florida man to pinpoint how he became the first person in the United States in a quarter-century to contract an inhaled form of anthrax.

• Officials estimate the financial fallout from the terror attacks could cost New York's economy $100 billion over the next two years. A spokesman for the city comptroller says that's assuming the federal government picks up the tab for major expenses.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.