Recovery: Insurance industry seeking assurance
Insurance companies are estimating that property claims from the September 11 terrorist attacks could total as much as $40 billion. They say they can handle the claims. But they are seeking government help in covering potentially huge and unmanageable costs from future terrorist acts. The Bush administration is proposing a plan that would have taxpayers cover most of the losses from future attacks.
Wall Street heads into Monday under a cloud of uncertainty. The financial markets are still nervous about last week's FBI alert, warning of a possible attack on the U.S., as well as the more quotidian matter of corporate earnings. Meanwhile, a variety of industries are talking about more layoffs. Boeing, the airplane manufacturing giant, expects to cut as many as 30,000 employees, and hotels and restaurants are also suffering.
The Bush administration is proposing a plan to have taxpayers cover most of the losses that insurance companies would suffer in future terrorist attacks, officials said Saturday. U.S. insurers estimate that property claims from the September 11 terrorist attacks could total as much as $40 billion.
The industry, one of the biggest donors to lawmakers' campaigns, is not asking for a bailout like the $15 billion rescue package Congress quickly produced for the ailing airline industry. Insurance companies say they can handle current claims. Instead, they are seeking government help in covering potentially huge and unmanageable costs from future terrorist acts.
Fears of another terrorist attack on U.S. soil and military strikes in Afghanistan are likely to be the driving force in the markets this week, fueled by last week's FBI alert that an attack was possible in the next few days.
Barring any geopolitical events, investors' eyes will turn to corporate earnings, of which a truckload are due out this week, including such heavyweights as Microsoft Corp., IBM, Philip Morris, Citigroup Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. Analysts anticipate sharply lower third quarter results compared with a year earlier. (Full story)
Since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, many pilots and their union have been calling for the arming of pilots as a last resort to prevent hijackers from taking over planes.
United Airlines pilot Bob Giuda, also a New Hampshire state representative, is circulating a resolution this month among the various union councils that calls for the government to let pilots have guns. If legislation isn't enacted, Giuda wants the pilots to suspend air service.
Muslims should use the national spotlight focused on them since the September 11 terrorist attacks to educate others about Islam and become more politically active, leaders said Saturday at the American Muslim Alliance's national convention.
"This is our moment as Muslims," said Omar Ahmad, board chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "This is the time to be visible and strong." The community must "engage Americans at every level," he said, by inviting neighbors, other religious leaders and the media to mosques, and educating them about Islam.
Around the country, college faculty and staff who express opinions on the terrorist attacks and U.S. bombardment of Afghanistan are facing rebuke in public and private, suspension and investigation. At least two professors were asked to leave their schools as a security measure.
Colleges campuses take pride in nurturing debate, but that tradition is being tested in the wake of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington. People across the political spectrum are feeling the chill. (Full story)
One college town struggling with the debate is Amherst, Massachusetts. The controversy started in August when the town put up a set of 29 flags at the urging of a group of veterans. Around Labor Day, the flags came down.
At a meeting September 10, the town voted to fly the flags on six specified holidays. But during the debate one resident, a University of Massachusetts physics professor, offered a controversial take on what the American flag means. The flags went back up after the September 11 attacks; the professor has received hate mail for her stand. (Full story)
Now that the initial shock of the attacks has worn off, many people are feeling a new emotion: survivor guilt. Such doubts are being found even in people who weren't directly affected by the disaster. Counseling centers say their hot lines have been busy with calls from people who complain of unease, depression and a sense of vulnerability because of the September 11 terrorist 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)
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: 4,688 reported missing to the New York Police Department, including the 157 people on the two hijacked planes; 450 confirmed dead, 395 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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