Major Developments, 10/13

Military Action:

•   U.S. jets launched fresh attacks against the Afghan capital of Kabul, firing missiles at targets at the northern end of the city and on the airport in the western Afghan city of Herat The Taliban stronghold Kandahar was also targeted.

•   A U.S. warplane missed a Taliban military target at Kabul airport overnight and its 2,000-pound bomb apparently blasted a residential neighborhood of the Afghan capital, Pentagon officials said.


• Pakistan said that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell would visit Islamabad next week for talks on the situation in Afghanistan and the Kashmir dispute.

• Israel said it would ease a year-long blockade on Palestinian areas as Washington pressed both sides to end their conflict so it can bolster Muslim and Arab support for its anti-terror war.

• The supreme leader of Afghanistan's Taliban militia ruled out handing over terror suspect Usama bin Laden to the United States and appealed again to Muslims everywhere to help defend his country, the Afghan Islamic Press reported.

• The government widened its financial dragnet, announcing a freeze of U.S. assets of senior aides to Usama bin Laden and bakeries and honey shops in Yemen accused of fronting for bin Laden's terror network.

• Britain warned its citizens against non-essential travel to Indonesia, apart from Bali, after reports that two German tourists had been attacked on Lombok island.


• A US Airways flight made an unscheduled landing after a flight attendant found a powdery substance in a trash bag. The plane was headed from Charlotte, N.C., to Denver when it was diverted to Indianapolis. 

• One of two suspicious letters sent to NBC News headquarters in New York City and addressed to anchor Tom Brokaw tested positive for traces of anthrax, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said. Brokaw's assistant tested positive for cutaneous anthrax Friday.

• Five people were taken to a hospital in Genoa for precautionary tests after handling a suspicious letter that contained white powder and threats of "biological terrorism" but police said it was a hoax.

• A firefighter in Florida was charged with making repeated bomb threats to government facilities over the phone in the name of "Jihad," said a statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

• Police are investigating circumstances surrounding a Sept. 11 flight from Toronto to New York after box-cutter knives were found aboard the airliner, which never left the ground that day, an airline spokeswoman said.

• Egypt has handed over the case of 80 suspected Islamic militants arrested in May to Egyptian military prosecutors in preparation for trial, judicial and security sources said on Saturday.

• A Delta Air Lines flight from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport to Amsterdam was canceled after FBI agents took two passengers into custody and questioned them about travel documents, FBI spokesman Jim Margolin said.

• The government is checking backgrounds of airport workers in charge of screening passengers at the nation's 20 largest airports.


• Any plan to boost the weakened U.S. economy should be temporary, aimed at the greatest need and not become bloated in cost through add-ons driven by a political agenda, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said.

The Home Front:

•   In his weekly radio address President Bush said, "the great power of the American nation will be felt," and reiterated that the United States is alert to the possibility of more terrorist attacks.

•   President Bush urged the House and Senate to move quickly to iron out their differences in their anti-terror legislation. He said the bills "are virtually identical" and are needed to help prevent future terrorist attacks.

• New York's governor ordered National Guard troops to begin protecting the state's nuclear power plants. Guard members are already taking part in security missions at train stations, tunnels and bridges in New York City and at airports across the state.

• A Saudi prince said "Jewish pressures" led New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to return a $10 million donation. The prince gave the donation to New York after touring the wreckage of the World Trade Center this week. 

• U.S. chemical producers and companies that transport hazardous materials tightened security at facilities across the country.


• World Trade Center: 4,688 missing; 445 bodies recovered, including 388 identified. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.