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KWAME HOLMAN: The search-and-recovery phase at the Pentagon officially ended today when the FBI took control of the jetliner crash site on the west side of the building. A similar transition was underway today in Lower Manhattan where the mayor acknowledged the rescue mission is coming to an end.
MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI: I think what will happen is that over a period of time, the emphasis will change. Right now the chance of recovering anyone alive is very, very small. The chance of recovering significant numbers of people who survived is impossible. And if there’s a miracle that occurs and we can find someone we’ll obviously do that. So it’s a difficult, very, very difficult situation. I think as people become more knowledgeable about this, the focus is going to change to how many human remains can we find, that we can identify with a particular human being?
KWAME HOLMAN: Mayor Giuliani said officials were examining lists of missing persons from more than 40 countries, trying to confirm whether they were among the estimated 6500 who were lost here a week ago Tuesday. The remains of the skyscrapers were toured today by the heads of the FBI And the Justice Department along with New York leaders. Engineers now worry about possible water damage to the twin towers foundations, which would endanger nearby high rises. Attorney General John Ashcroft spoke to reporters about how safe Americans should feel.
REPORTER: There were reports earlier that Boston may have been a target for a terror attack this weekend. What information do you have on that and what can you do to assure the American public at various venues this weekend that, in fact, they are safe?
JOHN ASHCROFT: Well, the President of the United States has indicated very clearly that his awareness that we are vulnerable, and this has taught us that we are vulnerable. And yet he has told us that what we should do is we should go to work and we should conduct ourselves as Americans but we should have a heightened awareness. I can assure that the FBI in conjunction with the Justice Department and state and local police authorities who have been very, very effective as well as cooperative, are doing everything we can to share any information and to minimize any potential of a reoccurrence.
SPOKESMAN: Come to order.
KWAME HOLMAN: At the Capitol, Congress continued to work on an aid package for the struggling airline industry. It would provide air carriers with $5 billion in direct aid and $10 billion in loan guarantees. Negotiations continued this afternoon over liability protection for the airlines whose planes were involved in the terrorist attacks and a compensation package for tens of thousands of laid-off employees. Nonetheless congressional leaders expected to approve an aid bill tonight.
SEN. TRENT LOTT: This airline package is one of the keys to showing that we are determined to do what’s necessary to be helpful to this industry, which is a key leverage component of our economy, and for us not to act, I think would not be the responsible thing to do.
KWAME HOLMAN: The faltering airline industry contributed to this week’s 14% drop in the stock market, the worst in percentage terms since the Great Depression. Stocks fell 7% Monday and kept declining all week.