Today's Developments, 10/20

Military Action:

• An overnight raid by U.S. commandos in southern Afghanistan was "successful” and that about 100 Army Rangers and other commandos "attacked and destroyed" terrorist and Taliban targets, a Pentagon official said. 

• A U.S. helicopter supporting a commando raid in Afghanistan crashed in Pakistan, killing two U.S. servicemen, the first American combat-related casualties of the campaign. 

• The Taliban claimed their fighters drove off U.S. commandos during the overnight raid and shot down a U.S. helicopter. A Pentagon official said it was "absolutely false" that the craft was shot down.

 • The official Taliban news agency claimed no battle had taken place and that the camp U.S. troops raided had been deserted.

• Pilots flying over Afghanistan concentrated on military targets in rural areas, seeking out Taliban troops and tanks, the air commander on the USS Theodore Roosevelt said.

• A senior Taliban commander is reported as saying that American troops won't last when it comes to ground combat conditions in Afghanistan as Americans are "creatures of comfort.”


• Pakistan closed its borders to Afghan refugees again after allowing 3,000 of them to enter Friday. Many poor families were selling all they owned to cross the frontier illegally.

• With "hundreds of thousands" of Afghan refugees on the road, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said Pakistan and Iran must be prepared to help. 

• The United Nations told its Afghan staffers to give up any attempt to defend U.N. aid offices in Afghanistan, saying increasing looting and attacks made it too dangerous. 

• Russia and China said they supported an end to the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan as soon as possible so a coalition government could be formed including all "healthy political forces." 

• NATO member Turkey urged fellow Muslim countries to join the war against terrorism to prove there was no link between Islam and the September 11 attacks in the United States. 

• A bomb in a briefcase exploded outside Islamabad International Airport and damaged some vehicles but no injuries resulted. 

• Saddam Hussein accused the United States of 11 years of terrorism against Iraq, and the government newspaper claimed that the U.S. government organized the global anthrax scare to gain support for its war on terror.

• The U.S.-led military operation in Afghanistan likely will last until March or April of 2002 and exact a high death toll on Taliban fighters, Pakistan President's security adviser said.

The Anthrax Scare:

•  A Florida man with inhaled anthrax has been in the hospital for 19 days and is "doing great,” his stepdaughter said.

•  A Chicago man said he was just kidding around when he left an envelope filled with powdered coffee creamer for his roommate — he’s been arrested on a charge of felony disorderly conduct.

• Authorities have discovered evidence of anthrax in a House office building that processes mail for lawmakers, congressional officials said, as hazardous materials teams worked their way across Capitol Hill. 

• Over 150 FBI agents and postal inspectors are in Trenton, N.J. trying to find the mailbox where someone dropped anthrax-laced letters. The FBI has seized some mail collection boxes.

• A powder-laden letter sent to the U.S. consulate in the Osaka, Japan was determined to be untainted, police reported.

• The Argentine Health Minister announced that a travel brochure mailed from Florida to a house in Buenos Aires tested positive for anthrax spores and the recipient of the letter was not infected. 

 • A Brazilian laboratory said that material contained in a letter sent to the Rio de Janeiro bureau of The New York Times had tested negative for anthrax.

The New York Post anthrax patient who has recovered and returned to work, described her experience in Saturday’s paper. 

• Anthrax strains found in letters sent to New York, Florida and Washington appear to be from the same batch but weren't modified to be spread through the air, investigators said. 

• The number of Capitol Hill anthrax exposures is declining. Thirty-one people originally tested positive but further tests have determined three were not exposed to the bacteria. 


• Authorities are rounding up old, invalid airport badges and giving airport workers new ones that are harder to counterfeit. 

• Authorities say an e-mail scam is siphoning money from the terror relief effort. They say if you get an e-mail asking you to contribute to the Red Cross, ignore it. 

• A California college student has been charged with lying to a New York grand jury about his relationship with two of the men suspected of hijacking the plane which hit the Pentagon. 

• Mohammed Atta, the suspected leader of the hijackers, was questioned at length about his visa status when he tried to enter the country back in January, and was eventually allowed in, immigration officials said.

• German authorities have issued an international arrest warrant for a 24-year-old Moroccan on charges that he helped plan and prepare the terrorists attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. 


•   The Planet Hollywood restaurant chain has filed for bankruptcy and said its business has taken a hit from a drop in tourism after the terrorism attacks.

• The head of Boeing's jetliner division says airliner production rates will be cut to 50 percent of current levels by the middle of next year. 

The Home Front:

• President Bush addressed leaders at an economic summit in Asia and promoted global cooperation in fighting terrorism and boosting the world's economic markets. 

 • Malls across the country are canceling trick-or-treat events in response to last month's terror attacks. 

 • World Trade Center: 4,515 missing; 458 bodies recovered, including 408 identified. 

 The Associated Press contributed to this report.