May 11, 2000 – A day things spiraled out of control.
The fire consuming Los Alamos New Mexico initially began as a “controlled burn”. But owing to an unexpected wind shift, it quickly exploded into one of the deadliest fires in New Mexico history. As of news time, the fire had destroyed some 400 homes and showed no signs of letting up. While firefighters scrambled to douse the advancing flames, officials were asking questions and demanding answers. No matter the answers, it was just too late for many who had lost everything because of a mis-calculation. One witness described it as “a scene from hell”. Unfortunately, it was only one of several fires burning out of control in the Southwest.
The seemingly never-ending saga of Cuban-refugee/political-football Elian Gonzalez was back in court. As Cuban-Americans demonstrated outside, a Federal Appeals Court in Atlanta was hearing arguments this day in the case. Before a packed courtroom, Elian’ Miami family sat in the front row, the three Appeals Judges heard a plea for Elian’s life. Attorneys argued that if Elian was sent back to Cuba, he would face a lifetime of persecution. The Justice Department arguing before the court that, although Elian is due a hearing as much as any other alien, he was too young to apply for one, and therefore must adhere to his father’s wishesof returning to his homeland. The court was expected to issue its decision in a few weeks.
And The Million Mom March for stricter gun control, planned for the upcoming Sunday (which was Mothers Day) at the National Mall in Washington, was promising to be the biggest demonstration against gun violence ever in America. Centerpiece was a 54 foot long, 12 foot high wall, containing the names of 4,001 gun victims who had died just since the Columbine School Massacre a year earlier. The Million Mom March was created to push Congress to enact tougher gun control measures.
And that’s just a portion of the news that happened on this May 11, 2000 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup.