17 October 2001, 10:03  OVERNIGHT BoE's George predicts 3-yr global downturn; BBC in anthrax

LONDON (FWN) - Eddie George, the governor of the Bank of England, has warned the global economic slowdown could last for three more years and hinted he would back further cuts in Britain's interest rates, the Financial Times reported Wednesday. The Bank of England chief warned of "a bumpy ride" ahead, but believed the British economy could avoid a recession, with domestic demand helped by government spending and robust consumer confidence.
LONDON - A series of suspect substances including one in BBC offices sparked alarm in Britain Wednesday over a possible anthrax threat following attacks with the deadly bacteria in the US. Police were called to a building in Millbank, central London, which includes BBC studios after reports that a suspicious substance had been found in the reception area. A BBC spokesmansaid: "There has been an incident that police are investigating ... however we do not discuss security issues."
JERUSALEM - A gunman shot and seriously wounded early Wednesday Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi, a far-right politician outspoken in his opposition to making concessions to the Palestinians, Israel radio reported. Police confirmed that a minister had been shot, but would not confirm his identity.
LONDON - Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that if Osama bin Laden, prime suspect of the Sept 11 terrorist attacks, ever became available for trial, he should be tried under US law. "It is against the US and its people that bin Laden committed his crimes of mass murder and it is under the United States law that he should be tried if he ever becomes available for trial," Straw told parliament. Comparing bin Laden to former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, Straw said the UN war crimes tribunal was set up to try him in The Hague because no state was either capable or willing to judge him in their own courts.
LONDON - A senior minister in Afghanistan's Taliban regime has for the first time offered to hand over suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden without first seeing evidence of his alleged crimes, The Guardian reported, citing senior Pakistani official sources. The Taliban militia has proposed to hand over bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US, in return for a halt to the bombing of Afghanistan, the paper said.
WASHINGTON - A US Navy fighter on Tuesday mistakenly dropped 1,000-pound bombs on one or more warehouses used by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Kabul because they were believed to store military equipment, the Pentagon said.
WASHINGTON - Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said positive GDP growth in the fourth quarter depends on a rapid rebound in the travel industry, and confidence levels, and cautioned that time is running out for such a possibility. "Every day is important," O'Neill told reporters following a meeting with Senate Republicans on a fiscal stimulus plan, when asked at what point the window of opportunity will close to avoid a recession.

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