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Recovery: Toxic chemicals detected around WTC ruins

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


SUMMARY:

Toxic chemicals have been detected at levels exceeding federal safety standards in the soil and air around the still-burning rubble of the World Trade Center, according to documents compiled by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In addition to the dioxins, PCBs, benzene, lead and chromium found at the site, the EPA data released Friday showing low levels of contaminants had been found in the water and sediment of the Hudson River.

UPDATE:

Officials were quick to caution people not to apply the measurements taken near the trade center wreckage to other areas of the city. "The debris pile is different from the rest of Manhattan," said Nina Habib, an EPA spokeswoman. (Full story)

The House is set to vote next week on an airline security bill President Bush calls "the quickest, most effective way to increase aviation security" by strengthening standards for airport screeners, who will be under control of the federal government.

But the bill introduced by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, differs from a similar measure approved by the Senate October 11 because it does not require passenger and baggage screeners to be federal employees. (Full story)

Praising the spirit of bipartisanship in Congress since the September 11 terror attacks, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle stressed the importance for Democrats and Republicans to work together to combat the threat of bioterrorism and the economic downturn.

"It's hard to express how angry I am about these attacks, how proud I am of the brave response on the part of my staff ... and so many others, " Daschle said in the weekly Democratic radio address. (Full story)


  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Impact



REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS

  •  Emergency information

  •  Partial list of victims

  •  Victims story archives

  •  Latest news


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 EXTRA INFORMATION
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?
 RESOURCES
On the Scene: Barbara Starr: Al Qaeda hunt expands?
On the Scene: Peter Bergen: Getting al Qaeda to talk

 VIDEO
CNN's Candy Crowley talks with Berkeley peace activists who believe protest is patriotic (October 19)

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The round-the-clock recovery effort at the World Trade Center disaster site will come to a halt Sunday for a service to remember more than 4,000 victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Opera stars Andrea Bocelli and Renee Fleming are scheduled to perform for the workers and family members of the victims, organizers said. (Full story)

Before the terror attacks, only about 8 percent to 10 percent of travelers purchased insurance, says Dan McGinnity, spokesman for Travel Guard International of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the country's largest travel insurer. Now, he estimates 33 percent to 50 percent are buying insurance.

Travel Guard's sales since the terrorist attacks are up only slightly over the same period last year. But McGinnity said any increase is significant because fewer people are traveling. (Full story)

U.S. leaders are telling Americans things have changed for a very long time. They want people to stay on guard for years to come and be understanding of the security precautions that may become permanent in public places.

But are Americans really consigned forever to a different way of life? (Full story)

First lady Laura Bush has encouraged three college students who lost fathers in the World Trade Center attacks to "keep on keeping on" and thanked the United Negro College Fund for picking up the young women's tuition costs.

"It was my father's dream for us to continue to go to school, and I would never disappoint him. He's my hero and I have to keep going," said Tiffany Smith. (Full story)

KEY QUESTIONS:

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 people going to celebrate Halloween this year? (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

WHO'S WHO:

George W. Bush: U.S. president Click here for more.

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

Dr. David Satcher: Surgeon General of the United States

Dr. Jeffrey P. Koplan: Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Click here for more

Rudy Giuliani: Mayor of New York Click here for more

Michael Bloomberg: Republican candidate for mayor of New York
Mark Green: Democratic candidate for mayor of New York
The New York mayoral election is November 6, and the winner of the election will begin a four-year term at the beginning of 2002.

Anthony A. Williams: Mayor of Washington

Dr. Ivan Walks: Director of the Department of Health for the District of Columbia

Paul O'Neill: Treasury secretary

Norman Y. Mineta:Transportation secretary

Jane Garvey: FAA administrator

VICTIMS:

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: 4,339 reported missing to the New York Police Department, including the 157 people on the two hijacked planes. Of the 473 people whose remains have been recovered, 422 have been identified.

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

PENNSYLVANIA: 44 confirmed dead on hijacked plane

IMPACT:

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.

The U.S. economy, threatened by recession before September 11, has suffered a number of blows in the weeks since. Several industries -- particularly the airline industry -- were hit hard by the aftermath of the terrorist attacks, and leading economic indicators dropped in September. Yet the nation's financial markets have thus far weathered the uncertainty, making up losses experienced in the days after reopening.

Incidents of anthrax found in mail have frightened many, and the notable increase of security at offices and public places indicates America to be a warier, more cautious place. But daily life has not been put on hold: People are still attending entertainment events, going to ballgames, and getting out. Psychologically, the country appears to be finding its way.