Today's Developments, 10/23

Military Action:

• U.S. jets blasted oil-storage facilities in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, and the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance reported U.S. attacks around the key northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

• Northern Alliance spokesmen complained that U.S. jets still did not strike close enough to the front for their forces to advance.

• The Pentagon said two U.S. helicopters came under fire in Pakistan Monday as their crews tried to retrieve wreckage of another helicopter that had crashed over the weekend.

• The U.N. confirmed that an American bomb hit a military hospital in the western Afghan city of Herat, but there was no information on casualties.


• Pakistan's president is backing the U.S.-led strikes against Afghanistan, but said the attacks should end before the holy month of Ramadan begins on Nov. 21. He said bombings at that time would have "negative effects in the Muslim world."

• U.S. military advisers will begin training Filipino troops fighting Muslim extremists with alleged links to Usama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network, Philippine officials said.

• Former CIA Director James Woolsey said Iraq likely was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, and that the U.S. probably will confront Saddam Hussein as part of the campaign against terrorism.

• Police in Jacobabad, Pakistan, locked down the city today after Islamic militants vowed to rally thousands of supporters to storm an air base being used by U.S. military support forces.

• Pakistan shipped some illegal Afghan refugees back across the border to tent villages being set up by the Taliban just inside Afghanistan, the Pakistani government said Tuesday.

• Britain's defense minister said he hasn't decided yet whether to send British troops into ground combat in Afghanistan.

• Italy offered the U.S. an armor regiment, attack helicopters, fighter jets and specialists in nuclear, chemical and bacteriological warfare for the coalition against terrorism.

The Anthrax Scare:

• Tests confirmed the presence of anthrax at an off-site mail screening facility for the White House, presidential spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

• Officials confirmed inhaled anthrax as the cause of death of two D.C. postal workers.

• State health officials suspect a New Jersey postal worker who's in the hospital may have inhalation anthrax. The woman, a mail handler near Trenton, is said to be "holding her own."

• A top federal health official said anthrax may be easier to spread through a mail facility than experts had thought and the anthrax cases at Washington's main post office indicated spores might spread even if no letter is opened.

• Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson said the government will move faster to protect postal workers and any postal workers who may have been affected by a tainted letter will be quickly tested and treated.

• Tommy Thompson said that he is prepared to go to Congress to seek a generic version of an antibiotic used to treat anthrax infection if the manufacturer did not lower its price.

• Postal officials defended the delay in testing for anthrax at Washington D.C.'s central mail facility. An official said they relied on federal officials who advised against testing all workers at first.

• Congress was in session today, but their office buildings were to remain shut. A Capitol Police spokesman said exhaustive tests showed no evidence of anthrax inside the Capitol itself.

• Health officials were testing 36 post offices that received mail from a D.C. sorting center where workers contracted inhaled anthrax. Authorities also told postal workers in the city to take precautionary antibiotics.

• The head of the letter carriers' union said he was "outraged" his workers in Washington weren't tested for anthrax sooner. But federal and D.C. officials defended the delay in testing Washington's central postal facility.

• The Postal Service looked for ways to sanitize the mail so letters don't transmit anthrax.

• The former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan put tighter controls on its anthrax stockpiles at the request of the U.S.

The Investigation:

• Massive efforts were under way in more than 40 countries aimed at putting the brakes on the terrorist network of Usama bin Laden. Police have arrested more than a thousand people worldwide.

• A terrorist cell operating out of Hamburg, Germany, since at least 1999 included three of the hijackers and three accomplices who are being sought in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, Attorney General John Ashcroft said.

• Authorities looked for a crop-duster pilot who sprayed a white substance on a Coast Guard post outside a Mississippi River port Monday.

• Investigators were looking at foreign-exchange bureaus in the terrorism money trail. Germany's Interior Minister, who was in Washington, suggested that terrorists may have laundered money through money-exchange firms.

The Home Front:

• Vice President Dick Cheney said, "For the first time in our history, we will probably suffer more casualties here at home in America than will our troops overseas."

• Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld suggested the Islamic holy month of Ramadan might not bring a pause in the fighting and said "history is replete" with instances of Muslim nations fighting during important holy days.

• The mayor of Fort Worth, Texas, asked the city's children to forego random door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween.

• World Trade Center: 4,415 missing; 473 bodies recovered, including 422 identified.


• Stocks closed lower as mounting fears over a widening anthrax scare in the United States offset hopes of an economic rebound in 2002.

• EarthLink Inc.'s third-quarter loss increased, though the Internet provider beat Wall Street's estimates as it received a boost from a $2 monthly price increase and more broadband customers.

• AT&T is reportedly cutting more jobs. The phone giant is eliminating more than 2,400 positions, the latest in a series of cuts that have affected more than 8,000 employees since January, The Wall Street Journal reported.

• The first U.S. war bonds since World War II were nearing approval in Congress, although many analysts said the idea was useful more as a public-morale booster than as a significant help to the anti-terror effort.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.