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News Briefs

Developer Promises To Rebuild Trade Center


Less than two months after closing on the lease to the World Trade Center, Larry Silverstein promised Monday to rebuild the destroyed Twin Towers.

Speaking through tears, Silverstein said he told New York Gov. George Pataki that “we have an obligation to our children and our grandchildren” to rebuild the complex.

Asking the help of lenders, insurers, the government and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owned the towers, Silverstein said not rebuilding would be a win for terrorism. “I personally commit to the rebuilding of the World Trade Center,” he said.

Earlier this year, Silverstein, 70, won a hard-fought battle for a 99-year lease on the Twin Towers and two other buildings in the complex, as well as the retail mall. He paid $3.2 billion, the most ever for a parcel of New York City real estate.

In the late 1980s, Silverstein had developed 7 World Trade Center, which also collapsed in the attack. His private company, Silverstein Properties, has developed more than 10 million square feet of office space, primarily in the financial district and along Fifth Avenue.

Priorities on Capitol Hill Shift But Approaches Don’t


Reverberations from last week’s terrorist attacks are not only rearranging Washington’s immediate priority list, but also reshaping the long-term political climate on debates as diverse as the budget, defense spending and immigration reform.

In Congress, both parties are shifting their focus toward issues such as an airline bailout and airport security while downplaying earlier concerns such as creating a patients’ bill of rights.

The radically new environment has left both sides scrambling, but the upheaval is placing congressional Democrats in a particularly difficult position. They are reluctant to argue with President Bush about virtually anything during a national crisis, but they are equally reluctant to simply give him everything he wants on issues such as spending or the internal security package the administration is preparing.

Beneath the broad promises of bipartisan cooperation, that concern is producing a subtle conflict between the parties: Republicans are pressing for quick action on an array of administration priorities, while Democrats are looking to defer decisions not essential to the immediate response.

Germans Pursue Suspected Accomplices in U.S. Attacks


German police are hunting three suspected accomplices in the New York and Washington terror attacks, government and university officials said Monday. All three of the men being sought are former or current students of Technical University here, where two of the hijackers studied.

Another Hamburg school, the University of Applied Sciences, said Monday that Ziad Jarrahi, a 27-year-old Lebanese national who is a suspected hijacker aboard the United Airlines plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, studied aircraft engineering at the school.

The University of Bonn said one of the hijackers had studied German there before moving to Hamburg.

It now appears that six or more of the hijackers and those who worked with them studied and lived in this prosperous port city, which is reeling from the daily revelations about terrorists who lived here.