President Bush urged governors to call up National Guard units to protect airports while he implements a long-term "confidence-boosting" plan to secure carriers from possible terrorist attacks. His plans include having the federal government run airport security and putting armed air marshals aboard most commercial airplanes. He also proposed spending $500 million on modifications that would deny or delay access to cockpits. Meanwhile, Pentagon officials said two Air Force generals have been authorized to order the shooting down of civilian airliners that appear to be threatening cities.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson (above) said he's considering whether to accept an invitation from the ruling Taliban regime in Afghan-istan to take a "peace delegation" to meet with its leaders. The White House, however, reportedly urged Jackson not to go, saying such a trip would be viewed as an attempt to negotiate with those who harbor terrorists. Bush has demanded that the Taliban hand over Osama bin Laden and other terrorists without negotiation.
The number of Americans lining up for state unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in more than nine years last week, the Labor Department reported, showing the economy has been hit hard following the Sept. 11 attacks. The number of initial jobless claims rose 58,000 to 450,000. Separately, new-home sales rose 0.6 percent in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 898,000, the highest level in four months, the Commerce Department said. The housing market has held up well during the slowdown because of low mortgage rates, analysts said.
Protesters in Cincinnati set fires and pelted cars with rocks, causing Mayor Charles Luken to impose an overnight curfew following the acquittal of a white police officer charged with fatally shooting an unarmed black youth. Police said the unrest wasn't as bad as the rioting that occurred after Stephen Roach shot Timothy Thomas April 7. Roach was cleared by a judge of negligent homicide and obstructing official business.
The Pentagon called up 635 more reservists to active duty for the campaign against terrorism, raising the total to 15,600. Those tapped include Seabees and other Naval reservists as well as members of an Air Force Special Operations unit in Florida. Bush has authorized the Pentagon to call as many as 50,000 to active duty. Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld said the war on terrorism "will not necessarily be one in which we pore over military targets," adding the armed forces will be one of many tools used against terrorists.
With money going toward the war on terrorism and the economy weakening, the Congressional Budget Office estimated next year's surplus will fall between $36 billion and $56 billion, a major drop from the $176 billion projected only last month. White House budget director Mitchell Daniels said he now estimates this year's surplus at as low as $120 billion - a drop from his August projection of $158 billion.