America at Home: Washington expands efforts against terrorism
Two months after terrorists used hijacked airplanes to kill thousands, the Senate passed a compromise aviation security bill Friday. The measure passed on a voice vote and the U.S. House is expected to pass the bill later in the day.
On Thursday, both chambers and the White House reached a compromise on the bill, which had stagnated for weeks.
The bill would make all airport screeners federal employees. U.S. airport security would become the responsibility of the newly created Transportation Security Administration, within the Department of Transportation. Screeners would undergo criminal background checks and would have to be U.S. citizens. (Full story)
Other provisions of the bill include:
A requirement that all checked baggage be screened with explosive-detection devices by December 31, 2002. Until then, all checked baggage will be inspected by other means, including X-ray, positive passenger matching or hand checking.
A provision that the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System be used to screen all passengers, not only those who check in at the ticket counter.
An increase of $2.50 per ticket segment for airline passengers to finance changes mandated under the bill.
An increase in the number of air marshals on flights.
Will a military commission afford suspected terrorists appropriate protection of their civil rights, and are non-U.S. citizens entitled to those rights?
What is the government doing to fortify homeland defense? Click here for more
Is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention equipped to handle bioterrorism attacks?
Does the U.S. Postal Service have the proper resources to make the mail safe? Click here for more
How is Congress helping out in the recovery process? Click here for more
What are tips to know in the wake of the attacks? Click here for more
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: Mayor-elect of New York
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
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: According to New York City officials, 3,962 are missing, including the 157 people on the two hijacked planes; 490 bodies have been 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.
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.
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