Rumsfeld Mideast Last Show of Diplomacy?

The Bush administration and the Senate Judiciary Committee continue to argue over anti-terrorism legislation, focusing on sharing grand jury information among government agencies. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chairman of the committee, had proposed a provision that would require the Justice Department to notify a federal judge after passing information obtained by a grand jury to intelligence agencies. The Bush administration initially sought to make such information generally available to the intelligence community, but Leahy says the White House later withdrew the proposal. White House Counsel Al Gonzales told ABCNEWS that the CIA and FBI thought the provision was not effective.

Russian President Vladimir Putin received a report from U.S. officials on the evidence against bin Laden. Putin, who reaffirmed his support Tuesday for a U.S.-led military action against terrorism, softened his tone on NATO expansion to the east, suggesting it could be possible for Russia to look at the alliance as a political entity, rather than a military one.

Pakistan says it is studying evidence provided by the United States that seeks to link bin Laden to the Sept. 11 attacks."Today we received some more material which is being studied … in reference to the question of both evidence and the status of investigations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Riaz Mohammad Khan told a news briefing. Khan said the information was "being studied by the concerned people" and he was not in a position to say more.

At the site of the World Trade Center attack, the casualty toll was revised down for the second time this week, as officials are finding more duplications on various lists. The count stands at 4,986 missing, with an additional 369 confirmed dead, 310 of whom have been identified. New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said that urns filled with soil from the site of the World Trade Center would be given to victims' families.

The Washington Post reported that the CIA secretly trained and equipped Pakistani commandos to capture or kill bin Laden in 1999. The paper also reported that three years before, the agency considered an offer from the government of Sudan to arrest him and place him in Saudi custody.

The anti-Taliban Northern Alliance says it expects fresh arms deliveries from Russia and Iran and desperately needs humanitarian aid to cope with a flood of refugees fleeing Taliban-controlled areas.

An aide to ex-Afghan King Zahir Shah says he will go to Italy to consult the exiled monarch, amid growing international pressure to depose the Taliban. His announcement coincides with Italian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Margherita Boniver saying that Pakistan, previously the main backer of Taliban, wanted the former king to quickly send an emissary to Islamabad to discuss the future of Afghanistan. Zahir Shah, 86, has been living in exile in Rome since 1973 when he was toppled in a coup by his cousin Sardar Muhammad Daoud.

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