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Bush gets strong support from Congress, NATO

F16
An F-16 escorts Air Force One on Tuesday  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The shape of the U.S. response to the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks will be defined by President Bush's declaration Wednesday that "they were acts of war" against the United States.

The president won bipartisan support Wednesday from both houses of Congress, which passed a resolution declaring the nation was "entitled to respond under international law."

The lawmakers, meeting at the Capitol for the first time since the attacks, also expressed solidarity with the president in his efforts to track down and punish those responsible.

NATO has taken an unprecedented step by invoking Article Five of its charter, which states that any armed attack against one of its members is considered an attack against all of them. (Full story)

As one official put it: "A hit for one is a hit for all."

By invoking Article Five, NATO members agreed to aid the United States in any response it may make to the attacks.

The United States would have to go back to NATO to ask for specific kinds of support, but officials said invoking Article Five provides an "expedited basis" for use of airspace by the allies and makes other kinds of assistance available, such as military and intelligence sharing.

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Congressional leaders and White House agreed to set aside $20 billion for rescue efforts, repairs and counterterrorism work. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young said lawmakers hoped to have the spending bill on Bush's desk by Thursday.

Latest developments

• In New York, the Empire State building and Penn Station were evacuated late Wednesday night but the all clear was given about 20 minutes later at both locations.

• A partial transcript of cockpit comments heard from United Airlines Flight 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania suggests a scuffle as intruders were taking over and warning, "There is a bomb on board."

• Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld taped a message to U.S. troops, and the reference to an upcoming conflict was almost explicit. "More -- much more -- will be asked of you in the weeks and months ahead. This is especially true of those who are in the field."

• Police in Hamburg, Germany, search an apartment at the request of the FBI, seeking a connection to terrorism attacks in the United States. Although the apartment was empty, a police spokesman said five people of "apparently Arab descent" had been using it until February.

• Top U.S. officials say they know the identities of many of the hijackers on each of the four flights that crashed in attacks. Identifications made through passenger manifests.

• New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will remain closed through Thursday. It could reopen Friday, but will reopen no later than Monday, officials said.

• Major League Baseball canceled all games for a second day Wednesday. The National Football League said it would decide Thursday whether to go ahead with games scheduled for Sunday. The PGA Tour canceled two events Wednesday.

• Relatives of a passenger on the plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania said he related during a phone call that men on board voted to try to overpower the three hijackers. Shortly after that call, the plane went down, as it appeared headed for Washington.

• Police in Coral Springs, Florida, say they accompanied FBI agents to the home of a man authorities believe may have been one of the hijackers involved in Tuesday's attacks.

• The search for survivors continues in the rubble at New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.

• The White House and Air Force One may have been targets of the terrorists responsible for the Pentagon attack, according to White House officials. That is why President Bush was flown from Florida to several military bases until his security in Washington could be guaranteed. Officials say the jet that slammed into the Pentagon may have been originally destined for the White House. (Full story)

• Maine's Department of Public Safety says officials seized a rental car at the Portland jetport, believing two of the hijackers may have used the car to travel between Portland and Boston.

• The Federal Aviation Administration has given clearance for flights diverted after Tuesday's terrorist attacks to continue on to their final destination Wednesday, but ordered all other commercial air traffic to remain grounded. (Full story)

• Rumsfeld admonished U.S. government officials for revealing classified data because it could "reduce the chances that the U.S. has to track down and deal with the people...who have killed so many Americans."

• A car is seized in Daytona Beach, Florida, with information relating to Osama bin Laden.

• The owners of a flight school in Venice, Florida, say that the FBI is investigating whether two former students were involved in the attacks.

• New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said 82 bodies had been recovered by Wednesday night. He said the number of dead is expected to be in the thousands, but would not say how many thousands. The mayor confirmed that the city has requested 5,000 additional body bags from FEMA. (Full story)

• Brokerage firm Morgan Stanley reports the "vast majority" of its 3,500 employees at the World Trade Center got out safely.

• The Taliban, who control 90 percent of Afghanistan, appeal to the United States to refrain from attacking their country.

• Intelligence sources tell CNN that at least two phone calls were intercepted between members of an organization connected with suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden. Phone calls mentioned that two targets had been hit. (Full story)

• Secretary of State Colin Powell says the coalition being formed will not stop at getting the people responsible for the attack, but will go after terrorists wherever they are found.

World Trade Center
Crowds gather after police converged on the Westin Hotel in Boston.  

• The aircraft carrier USS George Washington has moved into New York Harbor

• New York rescuers are searching for two other people who have been in contact with authorities; six firefighters and three policemen were rescued early Wednesday, two other police officers were rescued Tuesday night. (Full story)

• Boston's Logan International Airport announces tightening of security. Among them: the airport will discontinue curbside baggage check-in and remove vehicles standing within 300 feet of front entrance. Car found at the airport, where two of the hijacked planes originated, contained a flight manual written in Arabic. Police and FBI investigators are examing the car. (Full story)

• New York City is closed to the public south of 14th Street.


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