USA

The economy experienced its sharpest contraction in more than 10 years in the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported. Gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic health, shrank at an annual rate of 0.4 percent in the three months ending Sept. 30. The third-quarter GDP drop followed a meager 0.3 percent rise in the second quarter. If fourth-quarter measurement also comes in negative, as expected, the economy would meet the definition of a recession - two straight quarters of falling GDP. Disruptions from the attacks have been major contributors to depressed economic activity, analysts said. President Bush is urging Congress to pass an economic stimulus package by Nov. 30. (Story, page 1.)

NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey snapped its first picture of the Red Planet a week after arriving in orbit around it. The test image shows a 1,300-mile-wide swath of Mars's south pole, including portions of its frozen cap of water and carbon dioxide, scientists said. The thermal infrared picture also showed temperatures on the surface ranging from the freezing point to minus-184 degrees F.

A hospital worker with a mysterious case of inhalation anthrax died in New York, becoming the fourth fatality from the disease. Kathy Nguyen was both the city's first diagnosed case of the inhaled form and the first not linked to Congress, the news media, or the Postal Service. Her illness and that of a New Jersey woman who has the skin form complicated the investigation by raising the possibility that tainted letters are contaminating other mail or that people have become infected through means other than being exposed to mail. There have been 18 confirmed cases of anthrax nationwide to date.

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is to travel to Moscow this week to meet Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, then visit leaders of countries surrounding Afghanistan to shore up efforts in the counterterrorism campaign, the Pentagon said. Rumsfeld also plans to discuss with Ivanov the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and broad strategic ties with Russia.

The Federal Aviation Administration imposed new restrictions on small planes, including a ban on flying near the US's 86 nuclear power plants and other nuclear sites. The move came because of a new federal warning of possible terrorist attacks.

Federal agents were searching for six men of who were detained last weekend but later released even though they carried "suspicious equipment" and information about a nuclear power plant in Florida and an Alaskan pipeline, the Miami Herald reported. The incident apparently contributed to the new terrorism warning, the newspaper said. Police stopped the men, who carried Israeli passports, as they were traveling in two cars in an unidentified Midwestern state. The Immigration and Naturalization Service later released them, without consulting the FBI, after determining the passports were valid.

Prosecutors were deciding whether to retry a white police officer in Cincinnati after jurors deadlocked on an involuntary manslaughter charge against him in the asphyxiation death of a black man. The jury deliberated two days before acquitting Robert Jorg on a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault. Jorg had faced up to five years in prison if convicted of both charges in the death of Roger Owensby Jr. last November.

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