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December 30, 1999 – lots going on, the day before the last day of 1999. Terrorists on the loose were generating a goodly amount of panic among law enforcement and causing many to consider curtailing New Years Eve festivities out of fear Ahmen Ressem and his gang of Al-Qaeda comrades were going to blow everything up from New York to Washington State. The FBI were in full swing, making arrests and checking incoming flight passenger lists; anyone with anything resembling a fake passport or an Algerian last name was being dragged off for questioning.
And if that weren’t enough paranoia and dread to pass around, the looming fear over Y2K, the infamous “bug” that was alleged to be poised to take down just about everything on planet Earth was still sending waves of fear and dread throughout the world in big, bold letters. Some bugs were found and deactivated, while pundits, experts and the media were busy pondering the what-ifs if all the potential culprits weren’t found by the time Midnight rolled around on December 31st. Newspaper headlines and news programs were overflowing with precautions, predictions and worst-case scenarios. Supermarket, Department Store and Sporting Goods shelves were picked clean and survivalists were doing a brisk business peddling “how to” books on living in borderline stone age conditions. If you could make a buck peddling a doomsday scenario and how to avoid it, you’d be up to your knees in money. Oh, what a time to be alive, or at least around.
And there were shooters in our midst – not bad enough the looming dread of either a Y2K catastrophe or a terrorist bombing gummed up our otherwise sublime festivities, there was a report of a shooting at a Miami Hotel where four employees were shot dead by a disgruntled co-worker and police were out in force to track the murderous malcontent down.
All that, and a lot more for this next-to-last day of the 20th century via The CBS World News Roundup; Late Edition.