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Paychecks missed, backlash feared

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The fog cleared slowly from New York harbor Saturday morning, as workers carried their 24-hour excavation of the World Trade Center site into an 11th day.

Among the remains discovered Friday were those of John P. O'Neill, former assistant director of the FBI and a top specialist in terrorism who'd left the agency only recently to take up the post of chief security officer for the WTC. O'Neill had been a key member of the FBI's team investigating the October 12, 2000, terrorist bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen.

New York's mayor, Rudy Giuliani, now says that in the World Trade Center attacks, 6,333 people are missing and presumed dead. "I don't think anybody knows," he said in a news conference late Friday, about the accuracy of the estimate that 6,333 people are missing. "I hope it's much lower; it could be much higher, too."

The latest figures show 252 confirmed dead, 183 of whom have been identified, he said. Thirty-nine are members of the uniformed services, including 34 firefighters. The tally of injured is 6,408.

The number of missing is compiled from six sources -- the American Red Cross, the New York Police Department's missing persons unit, Nassau County Police, New Jersey State Police, the bereavement center and from the various companies that have submitted names of people who were working in the buildings at the time of the attacks.

As a result, some names were counted three times in the missing-persons list, Giuliani said. In addition, the figure includes some names submitted by international consulates.

The death toll at the Pentagon is 189 including the 64 people who died on American Airline Flight 77.

New York Gov. George Pataki earlier this week announced free college education to family members of victims who attend schools in New York, state or city. (More information on burial expenses, insurance payments on life insurance, and student assistance)

UPDATE:

Family members of restaurant workers killed or missing in last week's attacks on the World Trade Center picked up their relatives' final paychecks Friday. "We have a mortgage we have to pay," said Roxanne Nedd, whose husband Jerome, 39, was a cook at Windows on the World, a luxury restaurant known for its spectacular views from the 106th floor of one of the towers. "I have two children that I'm supporting. We had two incomes, and all of a sudden we've become a one-income house."

Jerome Nedd was one of 79 people working at the restaurant when a plane tore through the building, causing it to collapse. None of the workers has been found alive.

Among living victims of the tragedy, in at least five incidents this week, men of Arab descent were removed from domestic flights because members of the flight crews considered them threats to security, according to airlines, crew members or the affected passengers. None of the men was arrested.

But those incidents reflected the sort of fear of ethnic and political backlashes against Arab Americans voiced Friday evening in New York during a major peace march from Union Square up to Times Square. En route to Times Square, the marchers stopped at Madison Square Park, where about 50 Muslims had gathered to express their solidarity with family and friends of people killed or missing in the attacks.

Because their permit to demonstrate had been rescinded, several of the Muslims instead joined with the peace marchers. "We feel more and more under threat of backlash," said Sunita Mehta, a member of Women for Afghan Women. "We feel the atmosphere thickening."

KEY QUESTIONS:

What might the lasting psychological effects be on survivors of the attacks?

What will be the toll on families affected by the mass airline industry layoffs resulting from the attacks?

How long will it take for relatives to receive confirmation of the fate of the missing? (Click here for more)

How will the remains pulled from the rubble be identified? (Click here for more)

IMPACT:

The nation struggles now to come to terms not only with the loss of so many loved ones and colleagues, but also with fear. The "living victims" are everywhere -- workers being laid off, former travelers afraid to fly, children with bad dreams, hoteliers, restaurateurs, investors. Even as the awful death toll's climb slows, the vast numbers of walking wounded mount.






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