USA

Rewarding allies in his "war on terrorism," President Bush lifted US sanctions against India and Pakistan that were imposed after both tested nuclear weapons in 1998. Bush also lifted 1978 and 1990 sanctions tied to the development of such weapons. The move came as a US delegation left for Pakistan to discuss a possible military strike against Afghanistan following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that left more than 6,800 people dead or missing. Despite anti-American sentiment in the country, Pakistan will allow the US to use its airspace and access its military facilities. (Related stories, pages 1, 6; related editorial, page 8.).)

Congress passed a $15 billion relief package for the airline industry, trying to restore vitality to an industry devastated by the Sept. 11 terror attacks. The 356-to-54 House vote in favor of the plan came hours after the Senate approved the same bill 96 to 1. Bush is expected to sign it. The bill also provides airlines, hit by higher insurance premiums and rising security costs, with some liability protections. US carriers have laid off at least 100,000 workers and cut flight schedules by 20 percent since the attacks.

The US plans to share evidence soon with allies that details how Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network are tied to the Sept. 11 attacks, Secretary of State Powell said in an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press." Powell also said the target of any US military action in Afghanistan, where bin Laden is believed to be hiding, would be the Saudi dissident and accused terrorism-financier, not Afghan civilians. He said military actions would not be on the scale of the Gulf War. Meanwhile, a claim by that country's leadership that bin Laden is missing was brushed aside by the US officials as likely false.

More pieces fell into place for the war-planning and coalition-building, with foreign allies stepping up in measured ways to support the operation to uproot terrorist networks. The United Arab Emirates cut ties with the Taliban. Afghanistan neighbors Turkey and Nepal said they'd let American warplanes use their air space and airports. Separately, Bush said he'll sign an executive order that designates certain groups and individuals as "terrorists." It is designed to freeze their financial assets in the US.

A Texas jury of 11 women and one man decided that a mother who allegedly drowned her five children in June is competent to stand trial on capital murder charges. Prosecutors in Houston will seek the death penalty against Andrea Yates, who has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity, claiming she suffered from severe depression. A trial date has not been set.

Isaac Stern, who died Saturday in New York, was one of the last great violinists of his generation, a savior of New York's Carnegie Hall, and a mentor to classical musicians who followed him - such as Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, and Yo-Yo Ma. Stern (above) commanded a rich tone and steady rhythm from his 18th century Guarneri. He was equally at home with the mathematical contortions of Bach, the fury of Beethoven, and the syncopations of Brahms. He also was one of the most-recorded classical musicians in history, with more than 100 releases.

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