USA

In a devastating series of terrorist attacks, three hijacked planes crashed into major landmarks in New York and Washington, two of which caused the twin 110-story World Trade Center towers to collapse. Within the hour, another commercial aircraft hit the Pentagon, leaving a 60-foot hole. A United Airlines jet also crashed near Pittsburgh, although it was not immediately clear whether it was linked to the attacks. At least 266 passengers and crew members were killed in the plane crashes. No other information on fatalies was immediately available, though it appeared likely that the casualty count would be high. About 50,000 people worked in the Trade Center. President Bush ordered a full-scale effort to "hunt down [those] who committed this act." Above, people run from the collapsing World Trade Center. (Stories, pages 1, 2, 3; editorial page 8.)

Following the attacks:

• The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all commercial and private flights in the US, the first such move in history. Incoming international flights were diverted to Canada.

• All of lower Manhattan was evacuated, except for emergency workers. The financial district was covered in smoke and debris, and trading on Wall Street was suspended.

• Subway and bus service also was suspended in New York, and all bridges into Manhattan were closed.

• Federal and public buildings in New York, Washington, and other major cities were evacuated, as were the United Nations, the Sears Tower in Chicago, and Disney World.

The Pentagon said it lost contact with an unmanned reconnaissance plane over the no-fly zone in southern Iraq, the second in two weeks. Earlier, Iraq said it had shot down the unmanned, slow-moving craft. The possible loss came after growing efforts in recent weeks by US and British warplanes to attack Iraqi air defenses.

Elizabeth Dole was to announce she'll enter the race for the North Carolina Senate seat being vacated by Republican Jesse Helms, giving the GOP a big-name contender in the quest to regain control of the closely divided chamber. Dole also planned to announce the formation of a campaign committee in her hometown, Salisbury. She served as secretary of the Department of Transportation and Department of Labor and as head of the Red Cross.

The Postal Service said it will file for a rate increase, effective next year, that would boost the price of a first-class stamp to 37 cents. Stamp prices went up to the current 34-cent level in January, and other rates rose again this summer, but the service still faces a deficit of $1.6 billion this year.

Superstar Michael Jordan said he'll likely come out of retirement and return to the National Basketball Association as an active player this season. Jordan has been serving as general manager of the league's Washington Wizards. He gave up the game in 1998 after his Chicago Bulls won their sixth NBA title.

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