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U.S. allies join day of global rememberance

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LONDON —Friends and allies of the United States joined in a day of global remembrance for the victims of Tuesday's terror attacks as President George W. Bush authorized the call-up of 50,000 reserve troops Friday.

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Bush to "use all necessary and appropriate force" in retaliation for the assaults.

Fears of U.S. retaliatory strikes hit the dollar, European stocks and sent the oil price sharply higher.

In Kabul, many Afghans fled their capital for fear Washington would unleash retaliatory raids on a country whose Taliban rulers have given safe haven to Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden, widely suspected of masterminding Tuesday's assault, which left thousands dead or missing.

The United Nations said it feared a further massive refugee flow in war-shattered Afghanistan if the United States attacked it.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said European nations had little influence over what retaliation the United States might pursue.

"I don't want there to be any illusions. The Europeans (including) Germany have limited scope to influence the formation of American will," he told ARD television.

In New York, high winds and heavy rain slowed rescue workers battling through the rubble of the World Trade Center as Bush prepared to visit the shaken, jittery city groping for some semblance of normality.

London stops as Big Ben tolls hour

In London, as the Big Ben bell in Parliament's clock tower struck 11 a.m., traffic halted, classes stopped and people stood for three minutes of silent reflection on the 5,000 people missing and feared dead.

People bowed their heads and shed silent tears. Several hundred Britons are among those missing, making Britain one of the countries worst hit other than the United States itself.

Wall Street was shut for a fourth day, but the financial mood in North America had to be judged from Toronto, where the stock index fell by over 2-1/4 percent.

European shares tumbled to near three-year lows. Analysts said the U.S. Federal Reserve could cut interest rates by half a percentage point to keep the economy moving and cushion the impact of mounting speculation of U.S. military action.

The concern was fueled by market reports that the U.S. military was seeking to buy jet fuel in domestic and international markets for possible use in revenge strikes.

World aviation was thrown into chaos when the United States closed its airports and air space after Tuesday's attacks.

Aviation officials in Washington said U.S. airlines expected to run up to 50 percent of their regular flights Friday as they resumed services.

The Federal Aviation Administration said foreign passenger and all-cargo airlines were free to resume operations to the United States once they and the airports they depart from meet tighter security requirements.

Fundamentalist Taliban clerics and the militant Hamas organization in Gaza urged the world's Muslims to unite against the United States if it does lash out in retaliation.

Muslims remember the dead

Elsewhere, Muslims remembered the dead.

"This tragedy has hit us all," said Omar Camiletti, a spokesman for the Rome Mosque, one of Europe's largest, where worshippers observed a period of silence to commemorate the victims of Tuesday's suicide attacks.

It was one of countless mosques across the world where Muslims took part in a day of mourning. But amid the condemnation and sympathy came expressions of anger and frustration at the way Muslims had been cast as the villains.

In Israel, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was reported to have compared Palestinian President Yasser Arafat to bin Laden.

"He (Arafat) is like bin Laden, bin Laden also has a coalition of terror ... but the difference is that Arafat still has a choice, he can still make a switch," government spokesman Raanan Gissin quoted Sharon telling U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell by telephone.

The Palestinians dismiss the charge. Arafat has roundly condemned the attacks on New York and Washington, urged Arab states to join an international coalition against terror and donate blood for the victims.

A senior Israeli political source said Sharon had instructed Foreign Minister Shimon Peres Friday to cancel plans to hold truce talks with Arafat Sunday.

A Palestinian cabinet minister accused Sharon of vetoing the meeting so he could "continue his terrorist war" against the Palestinian people.