Today's Developments, 10/18

Military Action:

• The U.S. military broadcasting radio messages in two Afghan languages calling for Taliban troops to surrender. Transcripts released by the Pentagon said troops were even given advice on exactly how to give themselves up to U.S. ground forces. 

 • Victory in Afghanistan will require putting troops on the ground in addition to bombing terrorist and Taliban targets from the air, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said. 

 • Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Richard Armitage predicted a long and sometimes dirty campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda organization, and said that "chaos on the ground" showed the United States was winning. 

• American jets pounded the heart of Kabul, attacking a Taliban tank unit and other military installations in the central city around the presidential palace. There were also reports of fresh attacks in the Taliban's home city of Kandahar.

• International aid organizations appealed for a pause in the bombing so they could rush food to Afghan civilians as winter approached. 

• Germany might provide military vehicles able to detect biological and chemical warfare agents for the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism. The comment from a senior German lawmaker lent weight to expectations that German troops will soon see action. 

The Anthrax Scare:

• The U.S. Postal Service turned to the television show America's Most Wanted to help in the search for the source of the anthrax mailings, and announced it is putting up a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone mailing anthrax. 

 • Officials in New Jersey say a female postal worker who may have handled letters sent to NBC News and the U.S. Senate has cutaneous anthrax, and a postal inspector says officials are "almost certain" the second employee also has anthrax. Both are taking antibiotics. 

 • Officials are trying to determine how a CBS employee in Dan Rather's office developed the skin form of anthrax. Rather says his colleague, who feels fine, doesn't remember receiving any suspicious packages.

 • An ABC spokesman says extra precautions are being taken with mail addressed to anchorman Peter Jennings. 

• Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle said 31 people tested positive for exposure to anthrax. The Senate will be in session, but all three of its office buildings will be closed.

• House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt defended the decision that sent House members home for a long weekend in the face of the anthrax discovery and said there "are worries there are spores in the Capitol." 

• A federal health official said testing indicates the strain of anthrax found in a letter addressed to Tom Brokaw appears to match the strain in Florida, but it wasn't yet clear whether the anthrax found in the letter sent to Sen. Daschle came from the same strain. 

• A top health official in Kenya said powder in a letter mailed from the United States tested positive for anthrax. 


• A man suspected of plotting an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Paris told a French judge that the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan had the final say on some activities of the Al Qaeda network. 

• Officials dismissed a threat to the Three Mile Island nuclear plant after first calling it "credible," but the incident at the site of the worst nuclear accident in U.S. history jangled nerves. 

• The CDC planned a special Webcast to teach thousands of doctors how to recognize anthrax and properly treat people exposed to the bacterium. 


• Stocks ended the day mostly lower as anxiety about the possibility of more terror attacks pressured Wall Street. 

The Home Front:

• In New York, four followers of Usama bin Laden got life sentences for the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. The sentencing followed appeals by the victims' survivors to show no mercy and took place just blocks away from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.  

 • Vice President Dick Cheney stepped back into the public spotlight with an appearance, touring the wreckage of the World Trade Center with Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Governor George Pataki.

 • Congressional sources said a compromise has been reached on new anti-terrorism laws, and that the authority President Bush wants to wiretap and eavesdrop on suspected terrorists would expire in four years.

 • Secretary of State Colin Powell said he was pleased by what he called a resounding signal from Pacific Rim countries of their readiness to combat international terrorism.

• The American Medical Association urged doctors to quit prescribing unnecessary Cipro, an antibiotic used to treat anthrax. Pediatric specialists warned it's especially dangerous for parents to stockpile, because Cipro is not approved for children's use. 

 • Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson asked Congress for $1.6 billion to fight bioterrorism, including money to buy an additional 300 million doses of smallpox vaccine. 

• World Trade Center: 4,569 missing; 458 bodies recovered, including 408 identified.  

 The Associated Press contributed to this report