News for this July 15, 1996 had to do with bad manners, mixed signals and no-shows. Russia’s Boris Yeltsin abruptly cancelled a planned meeting with vice-President Al Gore, with Kremlin officials stammering and making awkward excuses. But the question around Washington was whether or not Yeltsin was really ill, just snubbing Gore, or if there was something a tad more cynical going on. Moscow was no stranger to sudden intrigues, and the sudden cancellation of a much anticipated meeting between Gore and Yeltsin had many worried. The meeting was scheduled to take place the following day, leading some of the more cynical in the Press corps to conclude that Boris just had a nasty hangover.
But there was more going in the world this day.
Police in London were busy making arrests and recovering bomb-making equipment in connection with the bombing of a luxury hotel in Northern Ireland the day before. The arrests sparked an outburst of violence in the wake of the burial of a member of an Irish Nationalist militant group in Londonderry who had been killed during riots a few days earlier.
And the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana was one step closer to being over as a London court granted a preliminary decree of Divorce. The Royal couple weren’t present at the proceedings and neither were their legal counsel. The court read the decree to the waiting press. It took some 2 minutes to bring the 15 year marriage to and end. In what started as a gala marriage, marked by pomp and ceremony, ended in a London courtroom.
And this day marked the beginning of a new cable News channel: MSNBC. The outgrowth of a partnership between Microsoft and NBC, the 24-hour news channel joined the growing number of cable channels devoting their programming solely to news. The new channel would benefit from NBC News personalities joining the ranks – with Tom Brokaw, Katie Couric and a host of others, delivering the news 24/7 to an information starved world. At least for a while.
And that’s a small slice of what happened on this July 15, 1996 as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.