2000 News and Interesting History Tidbits

Brush Fires Worst In 50 Years
( August 2000 ) As the number, intensity and area of the Western United States affected by brush fires increases to more than 1.5 million hectares burned making this the worst year for wild fires in 50 years. Below is an idea and the scale of the problem

US States Affected

Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Firefighters involved in fighting the fires

State, Marines, Army, National Guard, Canadian Assistance, Mexican Assistance

Number of Fires

60,000 fires so far

Number Of Acres Burnt So Far

Four million acres

Number Of Acres Still Burning

900,000 acres

This has been the worst in 50 years and firefighters see no end to the problems because of more continued high temperatures, low humidity, and rainless thunderstorms causing lightning which ignites most of the fires in the first place. This year may well go down in record books as the worst in history because August and September are traditionally the worst months of the year and this is just the start of August.

Price Of A Barrel Of Oil drops below $30.00
In July Saudi Arabia has announced it may well break from OPEC and make a unilateral decision to increase it's oil production by 500,000 barrels a day to ease oil prices. This will be in addition to the Opec announcement to increase production by 708,000 barrels a day.
The price of crude oil has tripled in just 18 months from $10.00 a barrel to $30.00 a barrel causing concerns over a world wide recession due to inflation pressures. ( The price of gas in the US has now soared to close to $2.00 a gallon breaking new ground. )

Vladimir Putin Elected
Vladimir Putin was elected president of Russia for the first time he went on to be re-elected in 2004 and is the current President of the Russian Federation.

Dow Jones Jumps 500 Points In One Day
The Dow Jones Average shot up 500 points on March 16th. This was one of the busiest trading days in the history of the New York Stock Exchange.

Zimbabwe White Farmer Shot And Killed
Problems with racial tension continue in the country of Zimbabwe as President Robert Mugabe pressed on with his plan to remove Zimbabwe's farms from white ownership, with the latest death when a white farmer in Zimbabwe is shot dead by squatters occupying his land.

2000 Presidential Elections
The Florida Supreme Court ordered an immediate hand count of about 45,000 disputed presidential ballots.

Republican Candidate George W Bush won the most electoral votes

Democratic candidate Al Gore, received more popular votes

In the American system of presidential elections, the electoral vote system determines the winner and George W Bush went onto become the President of the United States.

Florida was still performing recounts on December 12 when the United States Supreme Court decision ended the Florida recounts and allowed Florida to certify its vote giving the result to Bush.

New York Senate Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of President Clinton, has won a seat for the Democrats representing New York in the Senate to become the only First Lady to win elective office in US history.

Concorde Crash Paris
An Air France Concorde jet bound for New York crashes upon takeoff in Paris killing everyone onboard as well as four people on the ground.

First Draft of Human Genome
At a press conference in London Scientists from the Sanger Centre hand over the gift of the human genome partially funded by the Wellcome Trust to the world with 85% of the code written in DNA accurately sequenced and put in its proper order.
The Human Genome Project has the capacity for impact on every human on Earth and society and politicians must decide if the knowledge is used for great good or great evil for mankind and many believe it is modern science's greatest achievement .
The Human Genome which is the 2m-long string of DNA contains the instructions for every physical aspect of your body, from the pattern of fine capillaries in your lungs to the unique speckled pattern of your iris. As big business becomes involved concerns over the use and control of the information will raise a number of concerns and ethical questions which society will need to address.

Panama Canal Handed Over To Panama
As the new millennium begins the United States has handed over the Panama Canal to Panama, ending nearly 100 years of American control over one of the world's most strategic waterways. The Panama canal is nearly 50 miles long joining the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and has been run by the US Defense Department since it opened in August 1914

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The latest Harry Potter book has been released and for the first time a Harry Potter book is released simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic. This is the forth book in the Harry Potter series and the initial run is over 5 million books with many book sellers opened at midnight for devoted followers to get their copy.

Pete Sampras Wins 7th Wimbledon Mens Championship
Pete Sampras wins his seventh and final Wimbledon singles title beating Patrick Rafter , tying the record with William Renshaw for men at the All England Club. He had won on 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 Mens Wimbledon Championships.

Tiger Woods Grand Slam
Tiger Woods today became the youngest player to win a career Grand Slam after winning the British Open at St. Andrews

George Speight Attempted Coup Fiji
The Rebel coup leader George Speight who led the coup to overthrow Fiji's democratically elected government in May by taking Fiji's Indian Prime Minister, Mahendra Chaudhry, and members of his multi-racial government hostage for 8 weeks has been arrested and will face treason charges.

He was found guitly of treason and is currently serving a term of life imprisonment for his role in the overthrow of the constitutional government.

Same Sex Couples Civil Unions
Vermont Gov. Howard Dean signed the nation's first bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions.
Other states in the US have had "domestic partnership" agreements for some time, some with a lesser status and fewer benefits, but others including the states of California, Oregon and Washington with enactments similar or equivalent to civil union.

Elian Gonzalez
The six year old little boy Elian Gonzalez who had survived a shipwreck in which his mother who was trying to enter the US as an illegal immigrant drowned, is taken by a swat team from other Cuban relatives in Miami and following a number of court battles the little boy is returned to his father in Cuba.

EU Beef Import Ban Trade War Looming
Following a ban by the European Union on all Beef Imports from the US over the widespread use of growth hormones which the EU believes could cause increased cancer, nerve disorders and other health problems. The US has placed trade sanctions worth $116m on EU Goods.

All European Union farmers are banned from giving hormones to cattle because of health fears.

Many believe this could spread to an all trade war between Europe and America as GM crop imports are also restricted due to concerns over possible health issues.

As of 2008 the European Union still has a ban on beef raised with the use of hormones, which bars most U.S. beef imports. They also now have a ban on US pork produced with a growth hormone and poultry treated with chlorine and other chemicals. Europe is still also refusing to accept imports of any unauthorized GM crops which again effects imports / exports between the EU and the US.

Britain Cracks Down on Illegal Immigration
New measures to curb illegal immigration are implemented at ports throuout the UK with more containers and lorries being searched and new measures implemented on the Channel Tunnel.

International Space Station
One American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts became the first to move into the international space station, preparing for a four-month stay.

BSE Report in UK
A report on BSE ( Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy ) commonly called Mad Cow Disease places the blame on many organisations and politicians for the spread and growth of BSE and it's human form vCJD ( Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease ).

1. The danger to the public was not identified quickly enough

2. The Government did not inform the public quick enough

3. Recycling of animal protein in feed was the main cause of the spread of the disease and should have been identified much earlier.

4. Ministers were more concerned with damage caused by panic to the beef industry than the health of it's citizens.

There were 3,253 cases of BSE identified and 18 human deaths from vCJD.

Ozone Hole Increased
According to NASA the hole in the Ozone layer over Antartica has increased by .62 sq miles to 17 square miles in just 12 months

Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel fire
A fire at the Childers Palace Backpackers Hostel in the town of Childers, in Queensland, Australia has left 15 backpackers dead after the fire completely destroyed the hostel. Investigations are continuing to find the cause but it is believed to be arson.
Robert Paul Young was later charged with murder and sentenced to a life sentence.

Pope John Paul II In Israel
Pope John Paul II who is currently on visiting Israel as part of his Millennium Pilgrimage, prayed for forgiveness of the sins of those involved in the Holocaust. John Paul II has said visiting the area has fulfilled one of his dreams since he was elected Pontiff in 1978. The trip is a milestone in relations between Catholicism and Judaism.

Guiness Bubbles Float Downwards
This was a big debate in the city of Dublin, Ireland-one of the more peaceful and light-hearted this nation has ever taken part in. The question was asked why the bubbles float downwards rather than upwards when Guinness beer is poured into a glass.

The Tate Modern Opens
The Tate Modern art gallery in a conversion of the former power station on Bankside in London opens its doors. The Tate Modern is the worlds largest modern art gallery with 84 galleries on three levels.

Millennium Bridge
The new Millennium Bridge connecting St Paul's Cathedral to the Tate Modern gallery on the South Bank across the Thames is closed after it begins swaying violently in the wind under the weight of hundreds of pedestrians on opening day.

Illegal Immigrants
The bodies of 58 Chinese illegal immigrants have been found in the back of a Dutch-registered lorry at the English port of Dover during a routine search of the lorry. The illegal trafficking of immigrants has been increasing through British Ports as immigration rules are tightened

Iceberg B-15 world's largest recorded iceberg
Iceberg B-15 breaks away from the Ross Ice Shelf, Antarctica in March 2000, and it broke up into several pieces in 2002 and 2003, the largest of which, B-15A, was the world's largest free floating object 1,200 square miles, or approximately the size of Luxembourg).

Freak Weather In England Causes Chaos
Unusual severe weather including blizzards and the coldest day in April on record brings chaos to Roads, Rail and Air Travel throughout the UK.

US Microsoft Antitrust Case
A case started in 1998 filed against Microsoft Corporation by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and twenty U.S. states claiming Microsoft abused it's monopoly power in its handling of operating system sales with it's bundled web browser ( Internet Explorer ) to eliminate competition in the Browser Wars between Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator and Opera.
The main issue in the case was that Microsoft embedded it's Own Browser in it's Operating System for free .
On 3rd April 2000, Judge Jackson issued a two-part ruling: his conclusions of law were that Microsoft had committed monopolization, attempted monopolization, and tying in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, and his remedy was that Microsoft must be broken into two separate units, one to produce the operating system, and one to produce other software components.

The Beginning Of Reality TV Shows
Big Brother Shows are shown around the world for the first time in 2000
It is generally accepted that the beginnings of Reality TV Shows ( fly on the wall ) style started with Big Brother where contestants live in a house cut off from the outside world and the house is fitted with cameras that record everything with the producers deciding what will be shown for each day.
This style of television has gained wide popularity because the Internet allows the audience to check on the house at any time.
The number of shows that have spawned from this style of Television Programming has increased in ever increasing numbers
Although "Big Brother" Appeared Worldwide from 2000 onwards the game was originally created by John de Mol for his production company, Endemol and shown in the Netherlands in September 1999

Olympic Games 2000
The Summer Olympic Games of the XXVII Olympiad are held in Sydney, Australia.

Steve Redgrave of Great Britain became a member of a small select group who had won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics in the coxless four.

Marion Jones, winner of three golds and two bronzes for
100 m, 200 m, 4x100 m Relay, 4x400 m Relay, Long Jump
admitted in 2007 to taking steroids prior to The Sydney Games and The United States Anti-Doping Agency imposed sanctions that included disqualification of all her competitive results obtained after September 1, 2000 which included all her Olympic titles and medals

M25 Road Rage Killer
Kenneth Noye the so-called M25 "road rage" killer is beginning a life sentence after being convicted of murder at the Old Bailey in London.

Elected Mayor Of London
Ken Livingstone an independent is elected as London's first elected mayor with a clear victory polling nearly 40% of first preferences in the mayoral election.

Madonna Marries
Madonna has married British movie director Guy Ritchie at an exclusive ceremony in the Scottish Highlands.

AOL Merger with Time Warner
The FTC approves the $111 billion merger of America Online and Time Warner.

DOT COM Bubble Boom and Bust
The Dot Com Bubble based on the new Internet sector and related fields that had started to burst from it's highs on March 10th 2000 ( NASDAQ 5,048.62 double it's value in just one year ) . By March 16th had dropped nearly 10% and in July 19th was continuing it's downward spiral with closing of 4,055.

There are a number of reasons quoted for the DOT.COM boom and bust cycle including:

IPO's for companies that had never shown a profit.

Massive spending on advertising campaigns that yielded little in the way of resulting sales.

But the most basic reason was that good business practice went out the window because investors were chasing the next big thing and super high profits.

By 2002 following a number of high profile DOTCOM companies going bust ( eToys.com Boo.com, Freeinternet.com, Webvan.com ) and others trading at share never reached again, By late 2002 the NASDAQ had dropped to lows below 1,500 and is currently ( July 8th 2008 ) trading at 2,294.42.

Cable Car Fire Austria
A cable car taking skiers up to a glacier in Austria catches fire as it passes through a mountain tunnel and 156 people die. The fire was caused by an illegal space heater in the cable car.

Mississippi River
A major environmental disaster happens when Over 300 gallons of black sludge is released into the Mississippi River near Inez, Kentucky as the result of the collapse of an energy company’s dam resulting in the death of millions of fish and cost nearly 78 million dollars to clean up. the company was charged guilty of Clean Water Act violations.

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