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Bush signs bills to fund recovery and punish terrorists

President Bush  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush signed a $40 billion emergency spending package Tuesday that will help pay for the relief, recovery and early investigative costs in the wake of last week's terrorist strikes.

He also signed a joint congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force to retaliate and said in a statement the U.S. response would be "direct, forceful and comprehensive."

"Our whole nation is unalterably committed to a direct, forceful and comprehensive response to these terrorist attacks and the scourge of terrorism directed against the United States," Bush said in a statement.

The White House and congressional leaders were nearing agreement Tuesday evening on a $15 billion bailout for the airline industry, which was hit hard by last week's terrorist attacks, senior administration officials and senior congressional sources told CNN. (Full story)

CNN learned Tuesday that United Airlines -- which lost two planes in last week's terrorist attacks -- plans to lay off 20,000 employees. (Full story)

Boeing will also lay off around 30,000 people in its commercial airline work force because of the attacks, a congressional source said Tuesday. Boeing is the country's largest airplane manufacturer; four Boeing jets were used in last week's attacks. (Full story)

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Latest developments

• Jordan's King Abdullah told CNN the uncovering of a terrorist cell planning attacks on hotels in his country during millennium celebrations over New Year's 2000 helped prevent thousands of deaths in the United States and Europe.

• U.S. stocks failed to achieve a lasting rebound Tuesday from the previous day's record point loss. Although reaching positive ground during part of the day, the Dow Jones industrial average at closing was close to a three-year low. (Full story)

• French President Jacques Chirac met with President Bush at the White House Tuesday evening and said his country stands in "total solidarity" with the United States and will "fight by your side" during a "conflict of a completely new nature." (Full story)

• The U.N. General Assembly will postpone its annual high-level debate involving 50 heads of state because of the World Trade Center collapse, it said Tuesday. Diplomats said the postponement is to avoid putting a burden on New York's exhausted security forces.

• A U.S. interagency team is expected to visit Pakistan this week to discuss details on how the United States would like Pakistan to cooperate in its fight against Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, State Department officials told CNN Tuesday.

• U.S. and European financial regulators are investigating whether Osama bin Laden and his associates profited by trading in stocks of airlines and other companies affected by last week's terrorist attacks, CNN has confirmed. (Full story)

• A Pakistani convenience store owner in rural south Texas has been arrested on ammunition charges after being placed on the FBI's watch list after the terrorist attacks in Washington and New York, authorities said Tuesday.

• Investigators have compiled evidence regarding the terrorist attacks from a "good volume" of e-mail messages exchanged before September 11 by hijackers and what were termed "known associates," an FBI source told CNN Tuesday. The evidence was gathered from both privately owned computers and public computers such as those in libraries, the official said.

• The federal trial of the highest-ranking alleged associate of suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden in U.S. custody, scheduled to begin Wednesday, has been postponed until next year. Mamdouh Mahmud Salim is charged with attempted murder in the stabbing of a federal jail guard while awaiting trial on conspiracy charges linked to the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa.

• Attorney General John Ashcroft, calling for greater coordination among law enforcement offices, announced that each U.S. attorney will create an anti-terrorism task force that will provide for "a comprehensive, seamless approach to attack terrorism within our borders."

• U.S. investigators have been unable to confirm whether additional planes besides the four jetliners hijacked last week may have been targeted in planned terrorist attacks, but Ashcroft said investigators had not ruled out that possibility.

• Ashcroft said there is no evidence of any connection between a new computer worm called "Nimda" and the terrorists. (Full story)

• President Bush urged Americans to continue donating time and money to the relief efforts that have followed the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York and a portion of the Pentagon in Washington. (Transcript)

• More than 5,000 people are feared dead in the September 11 attacks. A fourth plane crashed in Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania, killing everyone aboard. (Full story)

• New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says 218 people are confirmed dead in the World Trade Center attacks; 152 of those have been identified. Emergency workers accounted for 74 of the dead. "The chances of recovering any live human beings are very, very small now, given the amount of time and the condition of the site," Giuliani said. (Full story)

• Determining the identity of victims of the World Trade Center tragedy will require meticulous sorting, special attention to comparative location of objects and the skills of anthropology and dental experts. (Full story)

• A week after terrorists turned four jets into fuel-laden missiles aimed at the symbols of American power, U.S. officials prepared a response to the attacks and awaited a decision from Afghanistan's leading clerics on the fate of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-born millionaire expatriate whom Bush has named the "prime suspect" in the September 11 attacks. (Full story)

• Gov. George Pataki announced Tuesday that New York State will provide free college education for family members of victims of the World Trade Center disaster who attend schools in New York state or city.

• Mohamed Atta -- one of the suspected hijackers on board the first plane to slam into the World Trade Center last week -- met with an Iraqi intelligence official somewhere in Europe this year, U.S. officials said Tuesday. The officials cautioned this contact does not mean that Iraq had a role in last week's attacks, but they are exploring what it may mean.

• The FBI is conducting a nationwide manhunt for 185 people it has identified as possibly having information about last Tuesday's attacks. At least 49 people are in federal custody and being questioned.

• Two weeks before the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, FBI agents were at a flight school in Oklahoma asking questions about a man now suspected of having a link to those attacks, sources said. (Full story)

• Philippine authorities warned the FBI six years ago of a terrorist plot to hijack commercial planes and slam them into the Pentagon, the CIA headquarters and other buildings, Philippine investigators told CNN. (Full story)

• The USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier battle group will deploy Wednesday from Norfolk, Virginia, headed for the Mediterranean Sea "and perhaps points east" of there, officials told CNN Tuesday. (Full story)

• Commerce Secretary Don Evans told CNN that nations that do not cooperate with the U.S. military response to last week's attack could face "measures ... sanctions, or other kind of barriers to our markets."

• U.S. troops will soon provide security around the Pentagon, defense officials tell CNN. The troops will augment the Pentagon's civilian police force and military police. No timetable was provided for the arrival of troops.

• Senior Pakistani officials, who delivered a warning to Afghanistan's ruling Taliban on Monday that they should turn over bin Laden or face the wrath of the United States, met with other leaders from the Taliban on Tuesday. Taliban leaders told CNN they would give the message due consideration in the meeting of Islamic leaders, expected to last two or three days once it begins. (Full story)

• Among the key figures in any decision will be the supreme leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammed Omar, who refuses to be photographed or filmed and rarely travels far from Kandahar. (Full story)

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