CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Aired October 4, 2001 - 17:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: It's rare, but it's happened in Florida: a patient infected with anthrax.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: At this point in time it's an isolated case.
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HEMMER: A deadly, unsolved mystery over the Black Sea,
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He didn't receive any message, I received any message from the aircraft.
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HEMMER: What caused the crash of a commercial jet?
And at ground zero, a symbol of faith among the pile of steel.
It is 5:00 here in New York City. Good afternoon once again. I'm Bill Hemmer. Another day and another significant round of developments, one from the White House, another from Pakistan. And we'll get to it all in a moment.
But first to Joie Chen in Atlanta and the headlines at this hour. Joie, hello.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: Bill, good afternoon. A Florida man is in the hospital. His case has been confirmed as anthrax. Now, anthrax, you may know, can be used as a biological weapon, but state and federal officials say there is no, and they repeat, no evidence that this case is related to terrorism. Officials say the disease is not contagious. We'll get more on this from our medical unit in just a few moments.
Pakistan now says U.S.-supplied evidence on last month's terror attacks is sufficient basis for an indictment in a court of law. Pakistan also says it's ready to cut ties with the Taliban, if asked to do so by the United Nations.
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is in Egypt, the third stop on his trip to drum up support for possible military action against terrorists. He held talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Egypt's importance, of course, is its control of the Suez Canal. Next stop for Secretary Rumsfeld is the Central Asian nation, Uzbekistan.
U.S. sources say they have evidence that a Russian jetliner was accidentally shot down today during a Ukrainian military exercise. The airliner, with 77 people on board, apparently exploded before plunging into the Black Sea. A Ukrainian military spokesman says none of its weapons hit the aircraft. The chartered plane was on a flight from Tel Aviv to Siberia.
The FBI today released new photos of two suspected hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari. Security cameras caught both of the men in the Portland, Maine area on the day before the September 11th attacks.
Continuing our reporting now in New York with Bill.
HEMMER: Joie, thank you. I want to take our viewers live down to Lantana, Florida. This is the hometown of the man who is now a 63- year-old man, who has been infected with anthrax. They are taking questions there with a specialist. We shall listen.
DR. LARRY BUSH, JFK MEDICAL CENTER: He recently had taken a trip by car to North Carolina and returned a few days later.
QUESTION: Where did he first seek medical attention?
L. BUSH: Right here at JFK Medical Center Emergency.
QUESTION: Where in North Carolina did he go?
L. BUSH: I'm not sure.
QUESTION: Can you describe the symptoms he was feeling when he first came in?
L. BUSH: Well, it was described to us that he was confused, having fever, and was vomiting.
QUESTION: What's his prognosis?
L. BUSH: Anthrax is serious infection. Meningitis is a serious infection, so his prognosis is critically ill, but hopefully he'll respond to treatment.
QUESTION: How common is this, Doctor, for you?
L. BUSH: I have never seen a case of anthrax.
QUESTION: How did you determine that's what it might be? Did you do a spinal tap? Did you do a blood test?
L. BUSH: The emergency had done a spinal tap before I got there, and when we looked at the spinal fluid under the microscope, the organisms looked like those type of organisms that would fit into the class, in a family where bacillus anthrax would be. So as a differential diagnosis, we included that, and then asked the laboratory to perform certain tests on the organisms to confirm that. And that was ferreted up to the state, and then finally to the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
QUESTION: How does one contract anthrax?
L. BUSH: The most common ways are through the skin, by handling animals or animal products that are infected. But you can also inhale it, the respiratory route, and get pneumonia. And occasionally, you can get it by ingesting it, and get a gastrointestinal form.
QUESTION: Did he have any contact with animals?
L. BUSH: We never had a conversation with the patient, because in the moment of contact that I saw him, he was on a ventilator, sedated and stuporous.
QUESTION: Does he have family in the area that's been able to help you or give you any information?
L. BUSH: Some. Some information.
QUESTION: Did JFK's lab make the initial determination it was anthrax?
L. BUSH: We made the initial determination that we thought we had a bacillus species. Then the state lab and the CDC confirmed it, it was bacillus anthrax.
QUESTION: How long does the test take to determine concretely that it's anthrax?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We had initial tests in the state within hours of receiving it. Confirmed tests took about 12 hours later. We sent a specimen up to CDC and within hours of it arriving there, they determined by a further confirmatory test that it was anthrax.
QUESTION: This is pulmonary anthrax, right?
L. BUSH: That's our clinical suspicion.
QUESTION: Anything you can tell us, possibly, about who he was? Did he work outdoors? Was he on vacation in North Carolina? What do you know, epidemiologically, about this man and his life?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What we know is not complete. Our investigation is ongoing. We have a lot of work yet to do. This is a very unusual cause of illness. We are quite certain that the illness was contracted in this area where gentleman resided...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because of the incubation period of illness. It has a variable incubation period, but the period which he would have contracted it does not include that short interval where he got ill.
HEMMER: That's at JFK Medical Center in Lantana, Florida. As you saw from the map, that's in the southeastern section, Palm Beach County, to be a bit more specific. And a lot of that information we heard from the White House about an hour ago when Tommy Thompson, the Health and Human Services secretary briefed reporters there, but a little bit more information.
The doctors there, the specialists do believe that the man was infected in Florida, as opposed to North Carolina, where we do know he went recently, to camp or to perform other outdoor duties. Also, a few other items there. They say the patient came in with symptoms, they described him as confused with a fever, and vomiting. Again, this word first originating from the White House about 60 minutes ago, and that's where Major Garrett is watching things now.
Major, you just listened to the thing in Florida. What more can we add at this time, regarding this case? And again, we should point out the White House is insisting there is no evidence here whatsoever, they say at this point, to connect it to terrorism, so we don't want to jump off that point just yet -- Major.
MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: No, clearly, Bill, anthrax is extremely rare. It would be a very viable news story under any set of circumstances. Under the current set of circumstances, it of course sets everyone on edge. And to have the Health and Human Services secretary Tommy Thompson come to the very podium of the White House briefing room and announce a confirmed case of anthrax in the United States, a shocking development indeed.
But the secretary went on to say, almost immediately after making that very important announcement, the secondary announcement that there is no evidence that federal officials have obtained that in any way suggests this is linked to bioterrorism or any type of attack. He said we believe it is an isolated case, but, as the secretary told all the reporters in the White House briefing room, federal officials have been dispatched, not only to Florida but to North Carolina, to look at all elements of the trail.
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TOMMY THOMPSON, HHS SECRETARY: We have the FBI, and we have dispatched, as I said yesterday in the testimony, as soon as we heard anything suspicious, we have our CDC officials there on the ground. And they're going to go through the last couple weeks, go to the restaurants.
He traveled to North Carolina. We've also dispatched people from CDC to North Carolina, to the communities that he was there. We're checking with his neighbors. We're investigating, with the FBI, all known places and all the things that he might have ingested.
(END VIDEO CLIP) GARRETT: And a reference to CDC there, Bill, of course, the Center for Disease Controls. As Doctor Larry Bush just related, they believe this was contracted in the general area of Lantana, Florida, but nevertheless, federal officials sparing no expense and no time to try to find everything they can about where this man, where he traveled, and what he might have ingested or what he might have breathed that could have given him this -- what is described as inhalation anthrax -- Bill.
HEMMER: And quickly, Major, you made the point, the fact that it just came from the White House kind of goes to our mentality right now across the country, that many may believe at first blush, anyway, that there may be a connection here, but again, you underscore the point, nothing at this point to indicate that.
Major, thanks. Major Garrett at the White House with us.
Also, many of us still learning about anthrax, its effects and the symptoms, of course. And you heard the doctor say, "I've never seen a case of anthrax." With that, back to Joie taking some questions now that many may have about this and more -- Joie.
CHEN: Absolutely, Bill. Certainly no one wants to cause undue anxiety here, but Secretary Thompson's announcement certainly made many of us wonder where did the Florida man get his anthrax, and is his condition a reason for more widespread alarm? Joining us here in the studio, medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Dr. Gupta, the kind of anthrax this man contracted is pulmonary anthrax. That means he had to breathe it in somehow.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, and it's important to distinguish, because there are three types of anthrax. The most common, almost 95 percent of the cases, actually come through the skin. You can actually also get it into your G.I. track by eating it. Or, breath it in, which is one of the rarer forms, but also the most dangerous.
When you actually breathe in anthrax, what happens is you breathe it into your lungs. It actually goes on to the smallest part of your lungs, called the alveoli. From there it can go into your lymph glands and get into your blood. And this gentleman, we heard that it may have even gone to his brain, causing meningitis. They actually were able to grow some of the bacteria in cerebral spinal fluid, which is the fluid that does surround the brain. So a little bit more of an advanced case, we can tell that, from the little we do know about him so far.
CHEN: And it is considered very likely -- and we heard from the health officials -- that it would be a fatal thing to contract.
HEMMER: Yeah, and you know, it's interesting. I've talked to a lot of infectious disease doctors about that very point. I want to point out a couple things. One is that everyone does cite it as 90 to 100 percent fatal. But it's also important to point out that it is exceedingly rare, which means that we don't know much about it. We haven't had a case of inhaled anthrax in this country in 24 years. Most of what we know is from an accidental release in 1979. At that point, 90 percent of the people did die from the aerosolized release of anthrax. But we don't have human trials. We haven't knowingly exposed people to anthrax. So it will be interesting -- We'll have to wait send.
CHEN: And in terms of tracking it down, we understood from the doctor in that press conference there, that they were actually able to culture it and look at it under a microscope. We have a picture of something that I guess doctors look for. Can you explain to us what this is?
GUPTA: Right. Anabacillus anthracis is actually the bacteria that causes anthrax. It is one bacteria in a large group of bacteria of the bacillus series. Again, most doctors out there, myself included, have never seen this before, at least not a real case. We've seen it in textbooks. It's very unusual.
CHEN: What is it that we're looking at here?
GUPTA: What we're actually looking at is some of the bacterial with some of the spores, those rod sort of configured things are actually some of the spores surrounding the bacteria. And again, a very unusual sort of thing.
But it is sort of a testimony to the public health system. In this situation, despite the fact that we haven't seen a case in 24 years, they were still able to find it and get this confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.
CHEN: And the conjecture -- not to underline it too much, but the conjecture about bioterrorism and someone building some sort of anthrax weapon, was always this notion of airborne spores. correct?
GUPTA: Correct. And when they're talking about bioterrorism, they're actually talking about the bacteria. They're talking about weaponizing it, which means you actually have to dry it, ground it up, and then be able to release it into the air in some sort of form with the spores. But it is very hard to do.
CHEN: Very hard to do, and again, all the health officials and officials in Washington are saying they do not believe that this was an act of bioterrorism. Thanks very much, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, from our medical unit.
Now let's go back to Bill up in New York.
HEMMER: OK, Joie, thank you very much. We're going to move along now to another story today. More than 70 dead after a Russian jetliner exploded in the air and then plunged into the Black Sea. U.S. officials tell CNN they have evidence that plane was accidentally shot down by a Ukrainian missile during military exercises nearby. However, that report is being disputed by various countries.
CNN's Jill Dougherty in Moscow, watching this for us. Jill, what are they saying now?
JILL DOUGHERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bill, one of those countries that is disputing that at this point is indeed Russia. President Vladimir Putin a few hours ago telling the media that those reports were -- it was correct that there were military exercises being carried out by the Ukrainian military in that region where the plane did go down. But Mr. Putin says that all of the important bodies were notified that that was going to take place. And he says that the range of those weapons was not sufficient to get into where this plane actually was.
But Mr. Putin is carefully saying that this information is coming from the Ukrainians. He said he has no reason not to believe it, but notes that an investigation is under way at this point. And, Bill, in terms of the crash site now, the emergency ministry people have been on site looking for any type of survivors. It does not appear, unfortunately, that there are any survivors. They are also looking for pieces of the plane, any type of evidence that might explain how this happened.
We do know that there was an explosion aboard. And that apparently precipitated this crash into the ocean. Now, we do have President Putin explaining how he views the information coming out of the United States about the Ukrainian connection. Here is what Mr. Putin said.
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PRES. VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIA (through translator): According to the information from our Ukrainian partners, at that time, they had indeed been conducting military exercises in the adjacent area. However, all the relevant services were informed about that in advance.
Secondly, the weapon systems used in the course of those exercises have too short a range to reach the place where the Tupolev 154 was flying.
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DOUGHERTY: And Mr. Putin, by the way, Bill, has said that they are not ruling out the possibility of terrorism. That is under active consideration.
HEMMER: Jill Dougherty live in Moscow for us. Jill, thank you.
Moving now to Pakistan, the government there took another move in support of the U.S. war against terrorism today, and it could be rather significant in the U.S. campaign.
CNN's Walter Rodgers in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.
WALTER RODGERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has put even more distance between itself and Taliban in Afghanistan. Pakistan, now splitting with the Taliban over the crucial issue of evidence of Osama bin Laden's alleged involvement in the wave of terrorism against the United States.
The U.S. ambassador here in Islamabad has give the American findings to the Pakistani president. For the past two days, the government here studied the material that Washington gave them. The result: Pakistan now believes the case against bin Laden is solid, according to foreign ministry spokesman.
RIAZ KHAN, PAKISTANI FOR. MIN. SPOKESMAN: This material certainly provides sufficient basis for indictment in a court of law.
RODGERS: Many in this Muslim country openly question whether the United States has a case against bin Laden. They do not want their country used by the United States to launch attacks against fellow Muslims in Afghanistan. This Muslim cleric warning the consequences of that could be violent.
HAFEZ NASSEEH ACHMED, SIPH-E-SAHABA PARTY LEADER (through translator): As far as the streets of Pakistan, the reaction will be severe. Our greatest regret is our country becoming a theater of war. The United States will suffer in all places where Muslims live.
RODGERS: That is certain to be the position of Islamist (sic) radicals, that no evidence the U.S. presents could be credible. But there are people here who try to keep an open mind, if the United States makes that evidence public.
"If they present proof and the Afghans still do not cooperate, then an attack is the only way out," this man said.
(on camera): The test of whether Pakistanis believe their government when it says the United States has made a good case against bin Laden could come after Friday prayers. If there are large anti- American demonstrations then, that would suggest the Pakistani public does not believe either its government or the United States.
Walter Rodgers, CNN, Islamabad.
HEMMER: Let's pick up more on that point now. Already Friday in Pakistan, albeit the middle of the night there, CNN's Nic Robertson is up live with us. And, Nic, on that last point Walter was making, can the Pakistani government convince its own people about what it's talking about, relative to evidence?
NIC ROBERTSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it can convince, certainly, a large number of them. There's a group in Pakistan that really call themselves the silent majority. Many of those have been inclined to support the government at this time. They would be typically in the middle class, typically businessmen, who are looking out for the better economic interests of the country.
The ones that they will find it hardest to convince are, as Walter Rodgers was reporting, some of the hard-line Islamic clerics, who traditionally have had very, very strong with the Taliban.
When talking with some of these clerics, some of the ideas that they put forward, for who was responsible for these bombings, are really, effectively so outrageous that they don't bear repeating. And they certainly say that they don't believe anything the United States says is credible. So these are the people that the Pakistani government is going to find it hardest to convince.
And perhaps there are some people in the middle ground, as well. Now, the Pakistani government has said it would like to see this evidence put in the public domain. And it is, perhaps, these people in the middle ground who could be swayed either way, by the hard- liners, or swing perhaps with that silent majority. These are the people that the government really wants to keep on site.
I think the government here has a very good idea of just how many people these radicals could call out if things deteriorated inside Afghanistan. And it probably has already worked out a pretty effective way of keeping them under control. Certainly, it's avoided confrontation so far. The government here does have a good assessment of that, but it really will be determined -- what will happen will be determined on the actions in the coming weeks -- Bill.
HEMMER: Nic, I want you to stand by there in Islamabad. I know you cannot see what we are running here on CNN, but we want to show our viewers some videotape we just arrived here, from Al-Jazeera television, that's out of Qatar. And this, coming in to us a short time ago. We don't know much about this videotape. We are told it was taken recently. But there was no firm time given. Osama bin Laden, seen here on the right, along with a number of his lieutenants, one would assume from Al Qaeda but, again, quite a bit of information not clear, regarding this videotape.
I do not speak the native tongue there, Nic, but I guess it should be most important to point out to our viewers it is extremely rare for any pictures to come out of Osama bin Laden, extremely rare for any journalist to get near him.
I'm wondering, and based on the little information we have right now, is this part of a possibly a PR campaign on behalf of Osama bin Laden, to use the network out of the Middle East there, to get possibly a message out?
ROBERTSON: Well, certainly the Al-Jazeera station has developed close ties with the Taliban over recent years. They are the only broadcast network to be allowed to remain inside Afghanistan. They're based in Doha, in Qatar. Now, they have also been used by bin Laden as a conduit for information, for statements, and for video releases like this.
Now, typically, the video releases that have come out -- one thinks of earlier this year, of bin Laden's son's wedding. The videotape there released not long after the wedding supposedly took place. But, again, the time of when the pictures are taken to the time to release can vary an awful lot. There was quite a large amount of video material that Al-Jazeera was able to release from bin Laden -- purportedly from bin Laden earlier this year, depicting bin Laden, depicting the training of the Al Qaeda network. And much of that video appeared to have been shot over a period of time. So it would be very difficult to assess when that material was shot. But it would also be reasonable to say that this is a tried and tested, and often in the past, successful outlet for bin Laden, through the Al-Jazeera network -- Bill.
HEMMER: OK, Nic. Nic Robertson, up late there in Islamabad. Nic, thanks to you.
And as we go to a break, we want to show the videotape again. Again, Al-Jazeera's a network out of Qatar, and they have released this videotape to us here at CNN. We don't know much about it, but again, Osama bin Laden with a number of his lieutenants around him. We will try and decipher not only what is being said and chanted there, but also the identities of the people around him.
CNN's Mike Boettcher is standing by in Atlanta. We will talk with Mike, and also a guest here, about the current relationship between the Taliban and the Pakistani government. Quick break here. Back with a lot more after this.
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (speaking in native tongue)
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HEMMER: Again to our viewers, in case you're just joining us here, a videotape just given to us from the Al-Jazeera network that operates out of Qatar. And this is Osama bin Laden surrounded by several members of Al Qaeda. One would assume it's in Afghanistan but, again, a lot of the information that we have regarding this piece of videotape not clear just yet.
CNN's Mike Boettcher in Atlanta with us right now. Mike, I know you have studied this network quite closely. Of that videotape you just saw, who were we looking at around Osama bin Laden?
MIKE BOETTCHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bill, we're told that the videotape was delivered to the offices of Al-Jazeera. Of course, there's bin Laden on the right, and to the left right here, that is Ayman Zawahri, who is the No. 2 to bin Laden. He is the position. He was on trial in Egypt as part of a larger conspiracy in the assassination of President Sadat. He is a very media-savvy person. He is the one who has an apocalyptic vision of a conflict between Islam and the West, and he is a guiding light, in terms of doctrine, to Osama bin Laden, shown right here.
Now, to the this side, at some point you'll catch a small glimpse of a man with a red beard -- right there. I'm blocking it, let's go back again. A man with a red beard -- that is his No. 3, the military commander. You only catch a short glimpse of him. That would be Mohamed Atef, who is the military commander. He is also Egyptian.
He started out as an Egyptian policeman, and he then rose very quickly when he went to Afghanistan, in the ranks of Al Qaeda, fought with the Mujahideen, and suddenly became the military commander with, frankly, not all that much military experience. Just recently, last summer, I believe, Atef's daughter married Osama bin Laden's son in a big ceremony. And we saw another videotape from that wedding. But this is the most recent videotape, according to Al-Jazeera.
Now, we should talk about Al-Jazeera, Bill. It is a satellite news channel out of Qatar, as you said. It usually gets the first videotaped releases, and videotapes of weddings and whatever, from the Al Qaeda organization. They are always the first with this sort of information, so...
HEMMER: Hey, Mike?
BOETTCHER: Go ahead, Bill.
HEMMER: Yes, you say "recent." Any indication on a better time frame than recent?
BOETTCHER: Well, what we're being told is that this was taken within two weeks, but you've got to consider the source it's coming from, Al-Jazeera.
HEMMER: All right, Mike, thanks. Stand by there in Atlanta. I want to talk more about this now, on the Al Qaeda network and what Pakistan may or may not do, given the statement we had earlier. With us in the studio, Jurgen Dedring, who is a professor from NYU here in Manhattan for the center for international affairs, with us now live.
Professor, how are you? You were just watching and listening. What else can you add to the videotape we just saw there?
PROF. JURGEN DEDRING, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY: Well, as far as I could see, of course, this is an attempt to show to the world that the organization exists as a very secretive group of people. The Egyptian-turned-deputy was also shown in the picture who had been described rather carefully.
And it shows that this is a very interesting organization, in that those who act are usually small groups that are independent from the leadership. And it is comparable to revolutionary movements in Algeria and other cases.
HEMMER: You touched on it in your first answer, also an indication to get the word out that Osama bin Laden is alive and healthy.
DEDRING: It would appear that he's alive and healthy, wherever he is, and it will be extremely difficult to find out where he is and how to capture him. But that is something -- a truism that we all know about, so it's not going to be easy to find him.
HEMMER: Talking earlier today about the Islamabad announcement. The Pakistani government indicating that they now know and believe that the evidence is sufficient that the U.S. has built a case to indict Osama bin Laden and possibly others. What does Pakistan do now at this point, professor?
DEDRING: Well, Pakistan would try to win time in this particular situation, anyway. But it's quite clear that Pakistan will continue to close up Afghanistan and will also have to break off diplomatic relations very soon, because it's part of the overall campaign that's being organized. The effect of both cutting off Afghanistan and breaking off diplomatic relations will be very serious for Afghanistan and the Taliban leadership, since both the flow of money, as well as the flow of energy is critical.
And since Pakistan is the only country that has recognized -- or is still in the state of recognizing Afghanistan, it's quite clear that the connection to the outside world thereby will ultimately collapse. And this will be absolutely clearly of important effect for the Taliban regime, since the people need to be fed, they need to be taken care of in some form, And even that kind of need will not be covered under the current scenario.
HEMMER: Jurgen Dedring, from NYU, appreciate your thoughts and stopping by. Many thanks to you.
We're going to get a quick break here, but coming up more, we will dissect that videotape a bit more, and also the latest developments we have at this hour. Stay with us. Back with more in a minute.
HEMMER: All right, we are a bit past half the hour. We will go to Atlanta now and Joie Chen -- the very latest developments we have right now -- Joie.
CHEN: Bill, thanks.
We're following up here. The FBI is investigating a case of anthrax contracted by a man who is now in a hospital in South Florida. The Bush administration calls it an isolated case and says there is no -- no evidence suggesting any link to terrorism. This rare disease can be contracted through exposure to natural elements, such as soil and livestock, but it can also be spread by biological weapons. The man stricken in Florida is said to be an avid outdoorsman.
More news this hour: President Bush announcing plans to assist American workers hurt economically by the recent terror attacks. Today, the president unveiled a package of extended unemployment benefits, with the most help going to workers laid off since the attacks last month.
Also, today, Mr. Bush announced plans to send humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. He said U.S. anger toward the Afghan government does not extend to the Afghan people.
Officials in Washington say the United States has evidence that a Russian airliner which crashed into the Black Sea today was mistakenly hit by a Ukrainian missile. Ukraine has denied any involvement in the crash of the plane, which was carrying 77 people from Israel to Russia.
In New York today, recovery workers dedicated a cross of steel uncovered in the wreckage of the World Trade Center towers. And a city official announced that the terror attacks last month are likely to cost the city more than $100 billion over the next two years -- now back to Bill in New York.
HEMMER: OK, Joie.
Also today, the airport closest to the nation's capital back in business -- Reagan National back in business on a limited basis, anyway. Its close proximity to those key government buildings in Washington had kept it closed since the attack -- here a live picture now, as the sun begins to set again, just a mile from the Pentagon, only three miles from the White House -- security, again, quite tight there and quite specific: air marshals on every flight in and out of Reagan National, at least for the time being.
It has been more than three weeks now. And across the country, things are changing in the way that Americans travel. We know that now. We have three reports tonight.
First, what we are starting to see at the nation's airports.
JEFF FLOCK, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Jeff Flock, Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, where you are looking at something you don't typically see. That is National Guard troops that have been deployed here at this airport, this one of the first airports to have Guard troops deployed.
And another thing that you don't typically see, downstairs at the check-in, that is where stations have been set up where, if you bring a bag in and it's tapped randomly, you need to display it and have the contents displayed and checked.
I'm with Lieutenant Colonel Tim Donovan, Wisconsin National Guard.
Why was it you were able to deploy your Guard troops here so much before anyone else?
LT. COL. TIM DONOVAN, WISCONSIN NATIONAL GUARD: Well, first of all, because Governor Scott McCallum told to us to support the security mission as quickly as we could . We were able to do it quickly because we used military police troops, who are trained to...
FLOCK: So these are MPs.
DONOVAN: Yes, for the initial response, we are using military police who are trained in law enforcement.
FLOCK: Now, what about training from the FAA?
DONOVAN: That is beginning today for the troops that will follow the MPs after their initial response is finished in about two weeks.
FLOCK: How long are you going to be here?
DONOVAN: We're prepared to sustain this for up to six months if we have to.
FLOCK: Up to six months. Colonel, thanks very much.
That is latest here from Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.
I'm Jeff Flock, CNN, reporting.
BILL DELANEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm Bill Delaney at an Amtrak station in Canton, Massachusetts, south of Boston, where security isn't much different as at Amtrak stations around the country than it was before September 11: no metal detectors, no frisking.
What is different: If you pay cash for a ticket, you will have to show an I.D. If you use a credit card, you are subject to a background check against the FBI wanted list. But, in general, security at Amtrak stations much less severe than at airports, although Amtrak officials have asked for $3.8 billion from Congress to upgrade security and safety at Amtrak stations and on Amtrak trains. Eventually, the U.S. transportation secretary, Norman Mineta, has said it is possible metal detectors will be put in Amtrak stations.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is Jason Carroll at the Port Authority bus terminal in New York City, the busiest bus terminal in the entire world; 200,000 people pass through here every day. Today it is just is busy as ever -- very few delays, despite all of the added security here.
The yellow gates that you see through the traffic there are part of the barricade that now surround the Port Authority. All the buses and cabs that used to park directly in front are no longer allowed to do that. Also, two of the three streets that are closest to the Port Authority are now closed, restricted to official traffic only.
We had an opportunity to speak to a Port Authority spokesman, who told me that all of these security measures will remain in place until further notice.
HEMMER: All right, Jason, thank you -- Jason, Bill Delaney, Jeff Flock out across country today.
When come back here, down to ground zero and a particular place that is giving a lot of people quite a bit of faith -- that story in a moment.
HEMMER: President Bush said today that he hears the cries of American workers who have their lost jobs in the wake of attack on 9/11. And during a speech at the Labor Department earlier today, he announced a measure of help.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: First, in the post-attack economy, some workers need more help for more time. So I propose extending the unemployment benefits by 13 weeks in states that have been hardest hit by job losses related to the September 11 attack.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HEMMER: The states that would qualify are those where the rate of unemployment has risen by 30 percent or more since September 11. In addition, Mr. Bush is pushing a package of $3 billion for unemployed workers nationwide.
Also, as of today, we can talk in greater specifics about the blow to American workers since the attacks.
And CNN's Brooks Jackson standing by live in Washington with some rather telling numbers from the Department of Labor -- Brooks, hello.
BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Bill. You are right.
This is one of the earliest statistical indicators we have. And it shows the blow to the U.S. economy is real. According to the U.S. Labor Department, claims for unemployment insurance last week jumped again for the second week in a row, this time by 71,000.
Just look. The week of the attack, unemployment insurance claims had been dipping down a relatively modest level of 393,000 new claims. But by last week, the level had surged to 528,000, an increase of 35 percent and the highest since July of 1992. New York had the biggest increase in the week following the attack. But California and Michigan also had large jumps. The impact has been national.
In that first week, 39 states and territories reported an increase in claims. And only 14 reported a decrease. Those state-by- state figures, by the way, come out a week after the national figures -- Bill.
HEMMER: Hey, Brooks, how bad before it gets better? Is there a way to tell right now how bad before the bad can be stopped, I guess is another of saying it? JACKSON: Bill, we are really in kind of statistical black hole right now. The unemployment figures that come out tomorrow, the monthly figures for September, normally would be the ones we pay attention to. But they're going to be not of much use right now because of this, because the survey on which they're based began before the attack, continued for a few days after the attack.
The best those numbers that we're going to get tomorrow morning can do is tell us what economy was doing in terms of employment about at the moment of the attack. To find out what is going on since then, we are going to have to wait weeks, at least a month until the next's months figures come out. And we'll probably need two-months' figures to really get a fix on it.
HEMMER: It shall all settle in in time, one way or the other, good or bad.
Brooks, thanks -- Brooks Jackson in Washington.
With the eye on those unemployment numbers, though, one industry making plenty of new hires is the security business -- back to Atlanta and Joie with more on this angle -- Joie.
CHEN: Bill, in many workplaces, we are seeing evidence of it already: more security folks in place. Where are they coming from? And how many are needed?
Joining us now, Bill Daley, a former FBI investigator, now a consultant to businesses on security issues. His company is called Control Risks. And I would assume that would be control as a verb, Bill.
Thanks for being with us. Can you talk to us little bit about -- I'm sorry, Bill Daley, can you hear me?
Bill Daley obviously having a little trouble hearing. Let's see if we can take a break here and come back to Bill Daley, talking to us about security issues, after this.
HEMMER: And through the magic of television, Bill Daley can hear us now, because he is sitting right next to me.
Good afternoon to you.
BILL DALEY, CONTROL RISKS: Good afternoon, Bill.
HEMMER: We talked about an uptick in this industry. Specifically, where are you seeing it?
DALEY: We see a tremendous increase in the staffing area, in the manpower deployment. Buildings around the city, around the country are looking for people to secure their facilities, check people coming in, check packages -- a tremendous concern about what people can do about their property. HEMMER: And only since 9/11, you've seen this clearly.
We saw, in the industry, end of the Gulf War, there was a concern. It draped off. A couple of things, terrorist incidents, upticked it. But it dropped off. Here we are seeing this uptick again. Our concern is that it doesn't drop off.
HEMMER: And if people are looking at this industry -- you mentioned the National Guard. And it remains to be seen just yet how long the responsibilities and the duties really are increased. What you are seeing out there?
DALEY: Well, what we are seeing here is that the National Guard is being deployed to support the existing security at the airports. The question will be: What role will they take in the substantive day-to-day screening process? And, really, at the end of this, where do we go with it?
Will we always have National Guard there? Or will we have a different type of security organization in place that the government will be supporting? Because we can't let it go back the way it was.
HEMMER: How much of this is psychology and how much of this is really and truly implemented to keep people safe?
DALEY: Well, I think right now we're really kind of a blend of both. I think people need to see the force. They need to see people in uniform. They need to know the government is there doing something. The question will be how we can get the substantive part, how we can get the checking done, how we can make sure that the screening is done equally across the board, and consistently.
And that will be the challenge. And that's really what I think we are relying on the government to help us do. We, for a long time, we relied on the private security services, under FAA regulations, to do certain things. The question is: How can the government now make sure that these people are doing their jobs?
Or maybe different people -- maybe we have people who are government employees, people who are trained, have a career path similar to what you see in the customs service or immigration.
HEMMER: Now I think you put your finger on it. It's a question now of: How long does it last?
DALEY: That's right.
HEMMER: And we will watch that.
DALEY: Yes. And we want to make sure that, not just from the industry, but overall, that we don't have a drop in it after people feel as though there is a sense of well-being.
HEMMER: We got it. We will watch it. Bill, thanks. Bill Daley, thanks for hanging in their with our technical issues, too. Many thanks.
Break here -- back with more after this.
HEMMER: As we have been talking about, the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, on a four-nation tour right now, currently in Egypt.
And that's where we find CNN's Jamie McIntyre by telephone to update us on the distribution of aid, $300 million earmarked bill. That was announced today by President Bush -- Jamie, what do you have for us?
JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Bill, a very interesting comment tonight here in Cairo, Egypt, from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who said that the Pentagon is drawing up plans for airdrops of food and medicine to the Afghan people.
And he said that food drops would only be done in the event that it was very clear that surface-to-air missiles and other threats would not pose a problem. And we asked him, "Does that mean that the U.S. would consider preemptive strikes against air defense sites in Afghanistan?" He said he wouldn't answer that question.
But a short time later, a senior Defense official traveling with the secretary indicated to CNN that the U.S. is, in fact, considering the idea of preemptive strikes against air defenses in Afghanistan to neutralize any threats that military U.S. planes dropping humanitarian assistance might encounter. That's the first time we've had an indication of what kind of military action could be conducted in Afghanistan.
And, again, it was not confirmed by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. But a senior official traveling with him said that at least that idea is under consideration, as the U.S. considers how the best way to get food to the Afghan people -- Bill.
HEMMER: So, what they're saying, again, Jamie, though, is the plan is to knock out any air defenses located on the ground, then allow that airspace to be free in order for that food to be dropped.
The question is, the Afghan -- in Afghanistan, there are loads of shoulder-fired Stinger missiles that the U.S. provided the Afghan rebels during the Cold War. And there are also some bigger surface- to-air missiles. Now, the questions, if you are going to fly over Afghanistan and try to drop food to people, how much of a threat are those missiles?
And the Pentagon hasn't committed to anything. But what we are learning tonight is that there is at least consideration of the idea of taking out some of those missile sites so that the humanitarian relief flights don't have to worry so much about the threat from surface-to-air missiles. That would be a pretty provocative action, essentially bombing in Afghanistan in order to provide humanitarian relief.
HEMMER: Jamie, take us back in history 10 years. Some of this was done, the airdrops of food in northern Iraq and in parts of Turkey about 10 years ago, during the end of the Persian Gulf War there with Iraq.
Can you can take us back and tell us again how that was carried out by the U.S.?
MCINTYRE: Well, the United States says that -- the United States, after the Persian Gulf War, did drop relief supplies to the Kurds in the north of Iraq. But it was a very makeshift operation, dropping large pallets of food. In some cases, people on the ground were actually injured by that.
The U.S. refined it a bit back in the 1990s, when they did airdrops to relieve starving people in Bosnia. In that case, they dropped smaller kinds of food, and in fact developed a new kind of ration that could be dropped out of a airplane.
Again, it was a worry then about Bosnia about the threat of surface-to-air missiles. But the U.S. conducted those flights without any problems. And there never was a serious threat from that, even though there were loads of missiles on the ground. So we are not saying that this is something that the United States is actually going to do. It's just interesting to know that they are even considering it.
Jamie McIntyre by telephone, traveling with the defense secretary, again, in Cairo, Egypt -- Jamie, thanks to you.
Back here in the U.S. now, another tribute in New York, today honoring the Port Authority. The mayor, Rudy Giuliani, and the governor, George Pataki, attended an event at Madison Square Garden in the past hour. They are there to honor the agency workers who responded to the World Trade Center disaster; 74 Port Authority police and civilian employees were killed in the attack three-and-a-half weeks ago.
Also, word from the Trade Center site today of yet another in the many emotional scenes we have witnessed since the terrorist attacks. Workers moving debris uncovered several steel beams that had fallen in the shape of crosses. They showed the crosses to a Catholic priest at the work site who persuaded city officials to keep the largest of the crosses as a memorial.
Joining us now: the man who discovered one of those, Frank Silecchia. He is live here in our studio.
Frank, good evening to you. Nice to see you.
Take us back two days after -- I believe it was 9/13, September 13 -- you had just pulled about three bodies out from the World Trade Center site. You had looked up. You were frozen in your tracks. What do you see?
FRANK SILECCHIA, WORLD TRADE CENTER RESCUE WORKER: I seen this crucifixion standing up staring at me. And I was overwhelmed by its view. It was dark for the time that we were working with flashlights. And morning had broke. And I just fell to the side in tears, because it was something I didn't expect to see in all that tyranny there.
HEMMER: Frank, you can see this videotape, right?
HEMMER: As you look at it, is that the way you saw it on that day?
SILECCHIA: Not off that angle -- staring you straight crossways, straight up, with the metal shot around the end of it. And that's what I had seen. I seen Christ's cross. It was basically looking at Calvary with all the other crosses, those three other pieces of structure in the shape of crosses. But that one had the most significant value.
HEMMER: It was a crane operator, apparently, who wrote "God's house" down there -- communion given out.
SILECCHIA: I did.
HEMMER: It was you?
SILECCHIA: Yes. I wanted to spread the word of faith to be healing. It's had remarkable values. Everybody I have brought there, from fire workers and EMS workers and devastated police officers, civilian alike -- I had Barbara Walters there. Benjamin Netanyahu, he visited the site -- Reverend Jesse Jackson.
All these people inspired me to want to bring this, not only to New York City workers that are working there and devastated by this tragedy, but my message is to bring it to my nation, because I know my nation hurts -- and even the world, because this isn't a religious value. This is a faith. It's got significant values of strength.
And that's what this country needs at this point, because ground zero looks like hell. When you see something of religious value standing up and staring you in the face, it makes you regain your values.
HEMMER: Thanks, Frank.
SILECCHIA: I would like to thank you for taking the time to allow me to voice my point about this.
HEMMER: Certainly. Not a problem.
SILECCHIA: Thank you, OK? Thank you.
HEMMER: Frank Silecchia -- grew up in Brooklyn, living in New Jersey, right?
SILECCHIA: Now I'm back -- I'm now in Jersey -- I was born and raised and proud of it.
HEMMER: Thank you, Frank.
SILECCHIA: Thank you, sir.
HEMMER: Most appreciative. Keep up the good work.
SILECCHIA: Thank you.
HEMMER: With that, we are going to conclude our program.
To Joie Chen in Atlanta, many thanks to her -- and also to Mike Boettcher, who helped take us through that videotape we saw of Osama bin Laden, again from Al Jazeera, the network providing us that videotape a short time ago.
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