Today's Developments, 10/6


• Taliban officials threatened to attack Uzbekistan if it aided the United States in pursuing Usama bin Laden and the Taliban leadership, Taliban-run radio reported. 

• A U.S. aircraft has been spotted in Uzbekistan, a day after that country's president permitted U.S. warplanes and troops to use an Uzbek air base for any military operations against Afghanistan. 

• Residents of Kabul dashed into the streets to watch as Taliban gunners fired anti-aircraft weapons — but didn’t make contact — on a plane flying at high altitude. Afghanistan's airspace is currently closed to all traffic, and the plane appeared to be a military reconnaissance aircraft. 

• French forces are ready to join any U.S. military strike against Afghanistan if they are allowed to participate in planning military operations and defining targets, a senior French navy commander said. 

• Clashes between Indian forces and suspected Islamic guerrillas and explosions left at least 18 people dead in the troubled region of Kashmir, police said. 

• The three-year term as army chief of Pakistan military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has been extended to give him time to restore democracy, officials said. 

• Afghanistan's Taliban rulers are offering a deal for two Americans and six other foreign aid workers on trial — if the U.S. halts what the Taliban call its "massive propaganda campaign." The White House is rejecting the offer. 

• Mullah Mohammad Omar, spiritual leader of the Taliban, has ordered the release of British reporter Yvonne Ridley, detained over a week ago for illegally entering the country, Afghan Islamic Press said. 

• The head of Russia's Security Council Vladimir Rushailo said that some of the debris collected from the Black Sea crash site of a Russian airliner could not have come from the aircraft itself. 

• Accompanied by military protection, humanitarian flights to get food to hungry Afghans could start this weekend. The Taliban slammed U.S. plans to air drop food aid to hungry and drought-stricken Afghans, saying all roads into the landlocked country were open to aid caravans. 

• Pakistan has no plans to send further delegations or envoys to Afghanistan to try to persuade the Taliban to hand over Usama bin Laden, the Foreign Ministry said. 


• A former French Defense Ministry official says he believes police have found a notebook belonging to a suspected member of a terrorist group containing codes that could be used to decipher messages within Usama bin Laden's network. 

• Law enforcement officials say there is growing evidence that the hijackers and their accomplices went to some lengths to make it difficult to track their communications on the Internet, using code language or pictures. 

• The investigative arm of Congress says secret tests a year ago found airport screeners in Europe were more than twice as good at catching weapons passing through X-ray machines as those in the United States. 


• Finance ministers from leading industrial nations were gathering at the U.S. Treasury to work on strategies to choke off funds to groups that sponsor violence and to limit damage to their shaken economies from the attacks. 


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

The Home Front: 

• In his weekly radio address, the president said Afghanistan and other nations have been presented a clear choice — stand with the "civilized world" or stand with the terrorists. Bush says for those who choose the terrorists, there will be a "heavy price." 

• The chair of the House Democratic Caucus said during his radio address that any stimulus package passed by Congress should include "full unemployment insurance and affordable health insurance" for those who lost their jobs following the attacks. 

• A pilot was injured when a man tried to highjack a medical transport plane at an airport in Deming, N.M., Friday. FBI supervisory agent Doug Beldon says the man held a knife to the female pilot's throat and ordered her to fly the plane. The incident does not appear to be related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. 

• President Bush is spending the weekend at Camp David, after telling Congress to take quick action on his economic stimulus package. The president is seeking at least $60 billion in tax cuts — but no new spending. 

• U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld returned to Washington after a whirlwind mission to five key nations aimed at building support for possible U.S. strikes against Afghanistan. 

• Commuters will no longer find trashcans and recycling bins in certain areas of Washington's Metro subway system. The receptacles between Metrorail fare gates and station platforms will no longer be allowed for security purposes. 

• The United States is dramatically ramping up intelligence operations as part of its war on terrorism, with officials warning lawmakers that another major attack on U.S. targets appears highly likely. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.