The Home Front: Latest Developments
At the devastated World Trade Center site in New York, hope has given way to grim reality. "We are going to end up with a situation where we do not recover a significant number of human remains," Mayor Rudolph Giuliani told a news conference Tuesday.
"The fire department is still conducting it as a rescue operation, but the realities are just the realities -- the amount of time that has gone by -- and we have to just begin this process," Giuliani said.
Some 6,398 people were listed as missing Tuesday, but only 279 bodies have been recovered in the two-week-old rescue operation. Five people were pulled alive from the rubble -- but that was within the first two days of the operation.
This week, authorities took steps to make it easier for families whose loved ones are missing in the Trade Center ruins to collect death benefits without having to produce a body. Relatives also will be able to claim insurance benefits, workers' compensation and access victims' bank accounts without needing a death certificate.
There was some good news, according to the Associated Press: Statistics released Monday showed violent crime dropped in New York City by 17.5% last week, compared with the same period last year.
Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik said that the high security since the Sept. 11 attack also seems to have had an effect in curbing crime. "Day in and day out, this is the safest city in America," Giuliani said Tuesday.
As of Tuesday morning, 106,838 tons of the wreckage had been removed from the Trade Center's Ground Zero. And phone company Verizon said on Monday that it had reconnected two-thirds of the voice lines in lower Manhattan that were affected in the attacks, although 100,000 lines still remain without service.
New York City primary elections were held on Tuesday, with both major parties selecting their candidates for the Nov. 6 election for mayor. Giuliani, a Republican, was not on the ballot, but given his overwhelming popularity since Sept. 11, some voters were expected to write in his name.
Wall Street markets opened higher again on Tuesday. A strong rally on Monday made up around a quarter of the ground lost last week when the market had its largest fall in nearly 70 years.
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