• Taliban Information Minister Qudrutullah Jamal said he believed an edict from clerics asking Usama bin Laden to leave Afghanistan had been delivered in person, but no reply had been received.

• Afghanistan's hard-line Islamic leadership said it had agreed to mediation in its struggle with Washington by U.S. preacher and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, which could raise hopes for the release of eight jailed Christian aid workers.

• Trapped inside borders with relief workers gone, supplies dwindling fast and war looming, Afghans now face potential death in large numbers. "It is impossible to overestimate just how bad it is," said Rupert Colville of the United Nations refugee agency. "It's almost inconceivable, and nobody can get in to film or describe it."

• Afghanistan's former king supports U.S. military action in his homeland and would welcome foreign assistance to help Afghan forces dislodge the Taliban rulers, his son, Prince Mirwais Zahir, said.

• The U.N. special envoy for Afghanistan, Francesc Vendrell, said he thought the Taliban could play a role in any future government in Afghanistan.

• The Secretary General of the Arab League said Arab countries are not yet ready to take part in any military action, for fear that any military campaign would result in the loss of many innocent lives, even though many have condemned the attacks against the U.S.

• Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, strongly criticized for not visiting New York during a trip to the United States this week, will take a senior delegation to the battered city Saturday, a parliamentary official said 

• The Muslim world rounded with fury on Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, denouncing his claim that Western civilization was superior to that of Islam as racist, inflammatory and uneducated.

• Some U.S. diplomats are leaving Indonesia after extremist Islamic groups threatened to round up and attack Americans. More than 1,000 protesters burned American flags and an effigy of President Bush outside the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. 

• Some Western expatriates in Saudi Arabia have been stoned or spat upon as tension mounts ahead of expected U.S. military action against Muslim Afghanistan, residents said.

• Japan will reschedule $550 million of Pakistan's foreign debt as a sign of support for Islamabad during the current Afghan crisis, Tokyo's senior vice minister for foreign affairs Seiken Sugiura said.

• British officials are screening their own security measures — after discovering that some of the men suspected of carrying out terror attacks in the U.S. weren't put under surveillance while in Britain.

• Jordan's King Abdullah meets with Secretary of State Colin Powell today, and with President Bush tomorrow. Abdullah is expected to advocate a measured response to the assaults on the United States, to avoid aggravating an already tense Middle East situation.

• About 2,000 Greek leftists and anti-globalization protesters demonstrated in central Athens on Thursday against possible U.S. retaliation after the attacks.

The Investigation:

• Attorney General John Ashcroft released photographs of the 19 suspected hijackers, saying that it is part of "a national neighborhood watch" in which the Justice Department hoped Americans might recognize some of the hijackers.

• A man with a portrait of Usama bin Laden tattooed across his chest and carrying false identification was arrested after the attacks on New York and the Pentagon, police in southern California said.

• Police in Toronto have searched three residences and a business linked to a man arrested in the Chicago area last week in connection with the hijackings.

• A Pennsylvania license examiner admits that he took payoffs in exchange for giving licenses to 18 people to transport hazardous materials, according to court papers. Ten of the men, from the Middle East, are under arrest. FBI Director Robert Mueller said it does not appear the arrests are related to the Sept. 11 hijackings.

• A Virginia man whose name and phone number were found in a car registered to one of the suspected hijackers has been ordered held without bond and called an essential witness by a prosecutor.

• One of six suspected Algerian militants arrested in Spain on suspicion of links with the network of Usama bin Laden may have planned to carry out a suicide attack, Spanish officials said.

• Police are pulling over trucks carrying hazardous cargo, looking for ties to terrorists. The federal government has ordered law enforcement to scrutinize vehicles and drivers carrying gasoline, explosives, chemicals and other dangerous materials.

The Victims:

• Death toll at World Trade Center rises to 300, with 232 of those identified and 6,347 people listed as missing. Death toll at Pentagon remains 189, Pennsylvania crash 44.

• Pledges to various charities for victims of the attacks have soared past the half-billion dollar mark.


• Investors seeking safer havens sent the Dow climbing, but riskier technology shares were sold off amid worries over how the slumping economy will suffer from the terrorist attacks.
The Dow Jones industrial average finished up 114.03 at 8,681.42, according to preliminary calculations, after trading in negative territory for most of the session.

• Evidence of a global recession gathered pace as grim news on the U.S. economy, from French businesses and British consumers, added to the growing belief that the world economy is facing its bleakest outlook in years.

• The European Central Bank has kept its main interest rate steady, after chopping rates ten days ago in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The central bank has said the U.S. economy is fundamentally strong and that it expects any slump to be short-lived.

• The world's airlines expect to lose at least $7 billion this year according to an industry spokesperson.

The Home Front:

• Mayor Rudolph Giuliani obtained the support of one of the three mayoral candidates Thursday for a plan to extend his stay at City Hall for three months so that he can guide New York through the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster.

• Acting Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift named an ex-corporate executive and former Marine to head a panel to improve security at Boston's Logan airport.

• United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan asked for $584 million to aid Afghans facing what the U.N. calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, as well as possible U.S. military strikes.

• Two mid-level U.S. Air Force generals have been given the power to order the shooting down of civilian airliners that threaten American cities without first checking with President Bush, The New York Times reported.

• President Bush urged Americans to "get on the airlines" as he unveiled plans to deploy National Guard troops to guard U.S. airports temporarily while new security measures are implemented.

• The Bush administration wants to set aside $500 million to make airline cockpits more secure.

• Cameras would be installed on commercial airliners to allow pilots to see passenger areas under a new security proposal circulating in the Bush administration.

• Governors around the country moved quickly to grant Bush's request that they call up National Guard units to protect airports until better long-term security measures are in place.

• White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says the number of commercial flights each day has returned to near normal, about 5,500, compared with the maximum before the attacks of 6,500.

• The terrorist attacks have helped prompt several prominent Republicans and Democrats to opt in or out of political races in 2002 while slowing fund raising to a snail's pace.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.