USA

The US readied its forces to strike back at those behind the worst assault on American soil. President Bush ordered the armed services to prepare for war and advised Americans of a "long, difficult" assault against terrorists globally that could well involve the use of ground troops. He declared a national emergency, giving the military authority to call 50,000 reservists to active duty. Late last week, Congress approved $40 billion in emergency aid to help victims and hunt down culprits. Bush later telephoned Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to thank him for pledging full cooperation in any future US anti-terrorist actions in that region.

At least 5,097 people, among them 300 firefighters and 60 police officers, are missing in the debris of the World Trade Center, according to revised official estimates. Hopes dimmed of finding survivors, but rescuers continued to search. Clearing all the rubble may take six months, officials estimated. Damage to the Pentagon, meanwhile, was estimated to be in excess of $1 billion.

Vice President Cheney vowed that the US would track down Saudi-exile Osama bin Laden, the top suspect in the attacks, in an interview broadcast on NBC's "Meet the Press." He also warned that nations sheltering terrorists face "the full wrath" of the US, singling out Afghanistan, the country where bin Laden has been a "guest," as a likely target.

The stock markets were to resume trading today after a four-day shutdown, the longest in US history. Market officials conducted tests over the weekend at the New York Stock Exchange, near the former World Trade Center and gave the OK to proceed. The markets had closed in the longest suspension of trading since 1933.

Police arrested a second man in Jersey City, N.J., whom they believe is connected to the attacks, but offered no details. In New York Friday, the FBI also took into custody a Middle Eastern suspect who was reportedly carrying a fake pilot's license. Meanwhile, Attorney General Ashcroft released the names of the 19 people, seven of them trained pilots, who the FBI believes hijacked four commercial jets before crashing three of them into New York and Washington buildings. The fourth jet crashed in rural Pennsylvania. Ashcroft also said the administration will ask Congress for more authority to use wiretaps to seek out terrorists.

Reagan National Airport in Washington will remain closed indefinitely, a spokesman said. The airport's proximity to government buildings leaves officials unsure when it may reopen. If it does return to service, fewer flights and closures of runways facing the nation's capitol are possible, The Washington Post reported.

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