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Recovery: U.S. retail sales plunge

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New York is pondering the future of the World Trade Center site as it clears the rubble.  


Retail sales in the United States plunged in September, the government said Friday, as the aftershocks of last month's terrorist attacks cut far deeper into consumer spending than analysts expected.

The Commerce Department said retail sales fell 2.4 percent in September -- the biggest drop in the nine years the department has reported on sales -- compared with a 0.4 percent gain in August.


"It is a genuine shocker... I don't think anyone anticipated a decline of this magnitude," said Wayne Ayers, chief economist at FleetBoston. (Full story)

U.S. stocks mostly fell Friday after new worries about terrorism combined with signs of a weakening economy to hand Wall Street its first loss in three days.

But the declines didn't tarnish an impressive run. Friday marked the third straight winning week for U.S. stocks, which have wiped out most or all of their losses since the Sept. 11 attack. (Full story)

President Bush said on Friday that the United States is "still in danger" of more terrorist attacks. But he said America remains strong and terrorists "will not take this country down."

More than 100,000 public and private schools across the United States were urged to participate in a simultaneous recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at 2 p.m. EDT. (Full story)

Airlines are not complying with government orders issued after last month's terrorist hijackings to scan checked baggage for bombs, the Transportation Department's inspector general says.

The Federal Aviation Administration ordered broad and partly secret safety measures be put in place before allowing flights to resume after the September 11 attacks. (Full story)

President Bush is calling on the children of America to help the children of Afghanistan, by contributing a dollar to a fund that will provide them with food and medicine.

A senior administration official told reporters the idea stemmed from meetings with his aides in the Oval Office earlier in the week, and from the campaign that created the March of Dimes in the 1930s. (Full story)

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked the Office of Management and Budget to immediately allocate $600 million to help firefighters with training and equipment they need.

Wyden's proposal came during a hearing before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space on the Capitol Hill. (Full story)

Since the terrorist attacks, several newspapers have been running profiles and photos of the more than 5,000 people believed killed at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Their faces peering from newspaper pages are daily reminders of the human toll of an inhuman crime. Anecdotes from relatives and vacation snapshots tell of the simple pleasures and ambitions snuffed out on Sept. 11.

  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Impact


  •  Emergency information

  •  Partial list of victims

  •  Victims story archives

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Attack on America
 CNN NewsPass Video 
Agencies reportedly got hijack tips in 1998
Intelligence intercept led to Buffalo suspects
Report cites warnings before 9/11
Timeline: Who Knew What and When?
Interactive: Terror Investigation
Terror Warnings System
Most wanted terrorists
What looks suspicious?
In-Depth: America Remembers
In-Depth: Terror on Tape
In-Depth: How prepared is your city?
On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk


What will be the long-range impact on the global airline industry? Click here for more

Are security breaches common at U.S. airports? What is the government doing to improve airport safety? Click here for more

How is Congress helping out in the recovery process? Click here for more

Are children able to grasp the severity of the September 11 attacks? How are they coping?

Will firefighters take greater precautions in rushing into burning buildings in the aftermath of the attacks?

How long will it take to reopen the damaged section of the Pentagon? At what cost? Click here for more

What will happen to the World Trade Center site? Click here for more

What measures will be taken to try to prevent a recurrence of such attacks? Click here for more


George W. Bush: U.S. president

Laura Bush: First lady of the United States, she has become more visible since the terrorist attacks, making public appearances urging parents and teachers to help reassure children that everything is being done to try to keep them safe. Click here for more

Tom Ridge: Director of the U.S. Office of Homeland Security, a new Cabinet-level position Click here for more

Richard Clarke: Head of efforts to safeguard information systems for the Office of Homeland Security Click here for more

Wayne Downing: Retired Army general tapped as deputy national security adviser Click here for more

Joe Albaugh:The chief of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Click here for more

Rudy Giuliani: Mayor of New York Click here for more

Paul O'Neill: Treasury secretary

Norman Y. Mineta:Transportation secretary

Jane Garvey: FAA administrator


The latest figures provided by federal and local officials give the following totals for the number of people dead or missing from the September 11 attacks.

WORLD TRADE CENTER: 4,815 reported missing to the New York Police Department, including the 157 people on the two hijacked planes; 417 confirmed dead, 366 bodies identified

PENTAGON: 64 dead on hijacked plane; another 125 dead or missing

PENNSYLVANIA: 44 confirmed dead on hijacked plane


The events of September 11 exposed the vulnerability of the world's greatest superpower, presenting the United States with the challenge of recovering emotionally and physically.

Several industries -- particularly the airline industry and the insurance industry -- have been hit hard by the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and their progress will be watched closely as a guide to the overall U.S. economic and psychological recovery.


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