Volume 95, Issue 26

Thursday, October 18, 2001
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Protest chaos headed for London?

The world at war

Drag queens tuck, strut with pride

Flaming tires plague LTC buses

Sher talks Truscott travesty

Gay clubs on campus to represent

News Briefs

The world at war

By Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

The United States House of Representatives was shutdown yesterday as anthrax attacks struck Washington, D.C. while the conflict in Afghanistan raged on.

Wednesday morning, U.S. Senator Tom Daschle announced 31 people from his office had tested positive for anthrax exposure in connection with a letter sent to the senator last week.

Despite the positive test results, Daschle said no employees had reported anthrax-related symptoms.

"There is absolutely no evidence of infection at this point, he said. "All of those who had this positive nasal swab have been on antibiotics for some time and the good news is that everyone is OK."

Speaker Dennis Hastert said anthrax had been found in the Senate mailroom and the House would be shutdown until at least Tuesday to ensure a thorough safety check can be conducted.

"To ensure safety we thought it best to do a complete sweep, an environmental sweep," he said.

In New York, anthrax was discovered in Governor George Pataki's Manhattan office.

The anthrax was found in a room used by his state police detail, he said. The governor's offices have been closed for further testing and decontamination, but would reopen Monday, Pataki said.

No employees in the office have tested positive for anthrax but all of them, including Pataki, will begin taking the antibiotic Cipro as a precaution.

Elsewhere in the U.S., four people have contracted anthrax and nine have come in contact with the disease.

The FBI continues to investigate letters sent to Daschle and NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw in New York.

No links between the letters and terrorist groups have yet turned up, FBI officials said.

"While organized terrorism has not been ruled out, so far we have found no direct link to organized terrorism," FBI director Robert Mueller said.

On the war front, the Northern Alliance closed in on a key northern city as U.S.-led strikes continued to decimate Taliban forces.

U.S. jets struck fuel dumps in Kabul, igniting a huge blaze, while Taliban officials claimed the U.S. hit two trucks, killing seven civilians who were trying to flee the onslaught.

International aid organizations appealed Wednesday for a pause in the bombings to allow them to rush food to Afghan civilians before winter arrives.

–with files from Associated Press and Canadian Press

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Copyright The Gazette 2001