February 5, 2000 – a Saturday, and a wrapup of the week’s important stories from CBS News – starting with the New Hampshire Republican and Democratic primaries. Arizona Senator John McCain scored an huge upset victory over rival, Texas Governor George Bush, bolstering McCain’s chances at a victory, come convention time. And the dropouts in the Presidential race were continuing – this week it was former Reagan White house adviser Gary Bauer who decided continuing the race was going to be more of an uphill fight, since he received an anemic 1% of the vote. After New Hampshire, anything could happen.
Tragedy off the West Coast town of Ventura as Alaska Airlines Flight 261 lost control and broke up over the ocean, killing all 88 passengers aboard. The tragedy was worsened by news that most of the passengers on the ill-fated jet were entire families who were vacationers heading back from to Seattle from Puerto Vallarta. A massive turnout of Coast Guard ships and private fishing boats joining in the search for wreckage and bodies. An investigation was immediately launched to find the cause of the accident.
In New York, the trial of four police officers involved in the shooting death of immigrant street vendor Amadou Diallo began. Diallo was gunned down outside his apartment by police, who fired some 41 bullets. The shooting of Amadou Diallo occurred on February 4, 1999, when Amadou Diallo, a 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea, was shot and killed by four New York City Police Department plain-clothed officers—Sean Carroll, Richard Murphy, Edward McMellon and Kenneth Boss—after they mistook him for a rape suspect from one year earlier. The officers fired a combined total of 41 shots, 19 of which struck Diallo, outside his apartment at 1157 Wheeler Avenue in the Soundview section of The Bronx. The four were part of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit. All four officers were charged with second-degree murder and acquitted at trial in Albany, New York.
Diallo was unarmed, and a firestorm of controversy erupted subsequent to the event as the circumstances of the shooting prompted outrage both within and outside New York City. Issues such as police brutality, racial profiling, and contagious shooting were central to the ensuing controversy.
In Austria, despite International protest, a new government was formed that included followers of a right-wing extremist. The U.S., The EU and Israel all expressed strong concern as The Freedom Party led by Jorg Haider, joined a coalition government with the Conservative People’s Party. Heider, an extreme Right-wing populist who created popularity among Austrians for his anti-Foreigner views and largely considered a Nazi sympathizer who had expressed approval of some of Adolf Hitler’s policies. More recently he renounced some of those policies, but many viewed those renunciations as lip-service while many groups dismissed his renunciations as a smokescreen in order to gain power. U.S. officials vowed to review relations with Austria in an effort to keep an eye on this governing coalition.
Meanwhile, back home; the St. Louis Rams won the Superbowl.
All that, and a lot more as supplied by CBS Radio’s Weekend Roundup for February 5, 2000.