It’s unclear whether the U-S and its allies will continue attacks on Afghanistan during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins in about three weeks. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says it will be a difficult decision to make.Harkin would not say whether he’d support a halt in the attacks or not, saying, “I’ll leave that up to the military commanders.”Airlines, travel agents and many other tourism-related ventures continue to suffer following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Senator Harkin isn’t sure whether the government will be able to step in with more bailouts, as it’s already done for the airlines. He says it depends on the economy and whether people start traveling again. He says there needs to be some sort of stimulus package to pick up the economy.Harkin says the federal government has already handed the airline industry five billion dollars, in addition to ten billion dollars in loan guarantees.The process called electronic pasteurization or “irradiation” may soon be used in mail-processing facilities across the U-S to wipe out any potential pathogens like anthrax. Senator Harkin says irradiation was largely developed in Iowa.Irradiation has been used for years in Iowa to make sure beef, pork and poultry products are free of bacteria. Harkin is coming back to Iowa to see how the process can be used for this new purpose in fighting terrorism.Reports say irradiation machines would -not- likely be placed in every post office nationwide, just larger mail facilities in key locations.
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