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Special Event

Millennium 2000: Mountain Zone Celebrates New Millennium; Military Intelligence Communications System Experiencing Problems

Aired January 1, 2000 - 2:00 a.m. ET


JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: It is a little over two minutes to midnight Mountain Standard Time. For Olympic cities past and future in North America, the new millennium is about to arrive.

BERNARD SHAW, CNN ANCHOR: And at this hour, another Olympic city, Berlin, marks its first sunrise of the millennium.

WOODRUFF: Calgary hosted the '98 Winter Games, Denver had them but let them go, and scandal-tainted Salt Lake City is prepping for 2002.

SHAW: But in those Rocky Mountain cities and others, it's now a time for fun not games.

CNN's coverage of millennium 2000 rocks on right now.

In Phoenix, Arizona, from deserts to the dessert of a new and special year. The millennium is approaching.

WOODRUFF: And in Salt Lake City where first-night celebrations abound and where they are shipping -- sipping, instead of champagne, apple juice, 36 seconds to go.


SHAW: Wherever you are in the world, thanks very much for joining still another hour of CNN's special, live, unprecedented coverage of the celebration of life as the world's humanity embraces the Year 2000. For some, another, a new millennium.

We're going to check in with CNN's Patty Davis at the Pentagon. She has a report for us, an update on a domestic communications system.

Patty, what's the word?

PATTY DAVIS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, the Pentagon tells CNN that a military intelligence communications system is experiencing some problems. However, they are not saying that it is necessarily Y2K related. They have yet to determine that.

The glitch amounted to a temporary interruption in the Pentagon's ability to communicate with that intelligence system. That problem has now had a temporary fix put in place. They are now working on a more permanent one.

The Pentagon had -- had been anticipating a problem with this system going into Y2K as it had with many other systems. It had put a patch in place. Apparently, that patch may have not taken.

Otherwise, however, the -- the Pentagon says it has had a pretty good rollover into the new year, no major problems, no minor problems.

There was one problem going into -- into the Middle East with the communications system there, and they're saying that that was not Y2K related.

One senior military official does tell CNN that the Pentagon has had fewer problems going into the new year than it does on any typical day.

Patty Davis, CNN, live at the Pentagon.

SHAW: Patty, I'm just fascinated, if not bordering on being flabbergasted, that the United States military would tell us that one of its communications systems is not working in a minor way? Do you find -- don't you find that interesting?

DAVIS: It is interesting and, in fact, they -- are being pretty closed lip about it, pretty tight lipped. We don't know very much about what it is. We do know, in fact, that it is a military intelligence communications system, and that is about all that they're saying at this point.


SHAW: OK. Thank you, Patty Davis, at the Pentagon.

WOODRUFF: And, Bernie, now we want to go, while we're on the subject of the military, to Colorado Springs, Colorado, which, by the way, has just observed the Year 2000 about eight and a half minutes ago.

Our own Martin Savidge is there at the NORAD, North American Aerospace Defense Command.


MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Judy, we are located right next door to that at Peterson Air Force Base where they have been enjoying a fireworks display coming from Pike's Peak, elevation 14,000 feet. It has been watched by the people here at Peterson.

It is also, as you mentioned, the headquarters to NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command. These are the only fireworks that they had hoped to see today and, in reality, that was exactly the case.

Peterson is also the temporary home, though, to the Center for Strategic Stability, an unprecedented, historic, cooperative effort between the United States and Russia that saw Russian officers and American officers seated side by side in the same 20-by-40-foot room monitoring the two nations' nuclear missile arsenals during the critical rollover periods. It was designed so that there would never be any miscommunication, no misstep, no problem that could accidentally trigger a nuclear confrontation.

As it turns out, there was no such event. However, their work is not done here. It will continue for another two weeks to make sure that there are no latent Y2K problems that show up. None here expect any.

The real legacy is not so much what happened here today but what could come about as a result in the future. The cooperation and the facility itself here is looked upon as a role model for a permanent facility to be located in Moscow, to be manned 365 days a year, 24 hours a day by Americans and Russians with the prospect and hope that the possibility of any accidental nuclear confrontation like the Cold War itself will be relegated to the past.

For now here, they enjoy the fireworks. At the end of a remarkable day, a routine day, a day that, when you're dealing with the world's two most powerful nuclear arsenals, is the -- just the sort of day you would hope to have.

Happy new year from Colorado Springs.

Bernie and Judy.

SHAW: Thanks very much, Martin.

A very interesting picture behind him. An F-4 Phantom jet from the Vietnam War era, as he tells about what's happening right now.

WOODRUFF: That's right. And he's right. This was all the fireworks they wanted to see, was a minor local fireworks that went off near Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs. They don't want to see any more than that, and while nobody is assuming anything, at this point, the news is good. It's quiet. It's as expected.

SHAW: Midnight in Boise, Idaho; Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Denver; Phoenix; Salt Lake City. We have much much more to tell you about and to show you.

We'll be right back.



WOODRUFF: So this is the way it looked in Boise, Idaho, about 14 minutes ago when the clock struck 12:00. Boise, Idaho, the State of Idaho, joins along with the other states in the Mountain Time Zone. The year 2000.

SHAW: Right there in Olympic Plaza. WOODRUFF: And it's just one part of the Rocky Mountain part of the United States celebrating and making a big night of a night that -- a day that started at 5:00 this morning Eastern Time out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as midnight has worked its way around the globe. It's not quite back to where it started. It's going to be 25 hours before it's all over.

SHAW: Yeah.

WOODRUFF: It started at 5:00, won't end until 6:00 Eastern tomorrow.

SHAW: And we still have the West Coast...

WOODRUFF: Today. Today.

SHAW: ... of the United States.

WOODRUFF: Today now. That's right.

SHAW: And then we're going to pop out into the Pacific, the Hawaiian Islands. A lot coming up.

WOODRUFF: But before we get too carried away with moving West, we're going to look back East -- or, in our case, as we're sitting in Atlanta, we're going to look up North -- to Times Square in New York.

Our own Fred Hickman.

Fred, we were told the crowd was thinning out, but this still looks like an awful of people.

FRED HICKMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, that's the truth, Judy. When we look at it now -- that's a pretty good crowd for, say, Granbury, Texas, but it's thinned out to about -- I'd say about 50,000 people, and they're all right near the Con Ed stage which is the center activity for all of the different -- some 24 productions that have gone on or will be going on up until 6:00 a.m. Eastern Time as we ring in the near year in all the different time zones but, clearly, a much smaller crowd that what we had earlier tonight.

As we moved in on midnight, the estimated crowd by the deputy mayor's office was between two and three million people, probably closer to three million people, just stretched and just socking in the entire Times Square area and then spilling over some.

The good news is everything here was incident free. There was a lot of love here as new year's came in. We have some numbers now from the NYPD. There were 14 arrests affected as of now. All of those for very minor offenses. But there were some 48 bomb threats called in, and that is a relatively high. However, none of those have developed into anything serious. They were more or less threats.

So, all in all, the evening went very, very well. I'm sure that Mayor Giuliani and everybody at the New York Police Department has to be very happy. No Y2K-related incidents that we know of at this point. In fact, we understand that all of the elevators here in Manhattan were stopped on the ground floors at 11:30 just in case anything were to happen, but no power outages to report and no major glitches whatsoever.

It was just a great time here bringing in the new millennium. We saw the Waterford crystal ball that came down and would only come down the one time. It will not be back again next year. We're not sure what they're going to do with it. The estimated cost of that particular piece of crystal, by the way, $1 million, plus to produce, but priceless in that it was a one-shot deal. So we're looking at it now.

I still can't believe all the humanity that we had out here at midnight, but it was quite a spectacle and quite a spectacular evening all the way around, and it's starting to wind down now. But you know what? This is New York. It never closes.

WOODRUFF: And, Fred Hickman, I have a -- one personal question. If you hadn't had to work tonight, would you have waded into Times Square?

HICKMAN: You want my honest answer? My honest answer would be...


HICKMAN: ... I would be at home in Atlanta with my wife and my two kids and sitting up and watching you guys on television. But, having said that, I would not have traded this experience for the world. It has been truly wonderful all the way around.

WOODRUFF: Well, we wouldn't have traded anything to have you there. Thanks a lot. Fred Hickman.

HICKMAN: Thank you. Happy new year, both of you.

WOODRUFF: And to you.

SHAW: And to you. And your wife and your kids have enjoyed watching you as you watch the people in Times Square where he indicated they're winding down.

But not on the West Coast. Not in Hollywood.

Let's go to Kyra Phillips.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Bernie and Judy. We are less than a hour away from the Hollywood sign lighting spectacular. You're looking at a closeup right, actually at the stage where a performer is going to perform.

Now I wish I could tell you who it is, but we're told we have to keep it a secret. He's one of L.A.'s hottest musical producers. Matter of fact, he's called the Quirky King of Cool. How's that for a title? He recently put the polishing touches on Fiona Apple's new album and wrapped up work recently on the orchestral score for the new film "Magnolia." Now, as a popular session musician, he's worked with a wide range of artists, from Melissa Etheridge to Nine Inch Nails.

Now in regard to the lights, I was talking to the crew over there at dinner break. Four hundred lights they set up up there. Sixteen lighting experts. And it's going to be a laser show. Everything done by computer. It's not like the old days where you flipped it up manually. It's going to all be done by computer.

And, right over here to my left -- I'm going to have Greg (ph) pan over so you can see what's happening on the stage here -- this is what's sponsored by the city and hosts -- former talk-show -- Will Shriner (ph) and actress Maria Cochita -- Conchita rather -- Alonso will be hosting the actual flip-on of the lights with Mayor Richard Reardon and Jay Leno.

So less than an hour away. You can hear the choppers above. Actually, they're -- we've got the LAPD flying around. We've got news choppers. We've go the crew here setting up. And we're basically on standby, you guys, for the big spectacular. Oh, and I'm told -- there you go. There's a teaser right there. You're actually getting a little -- I guess a practice run. What do you think, you guys? How does it look?

SHAW: You know, Kyra, I'm wondering are they testing this, having learned what happened to the French in Paris when the clock on the Eiffel Tower failed to operate at the required moment, but it had been operating perfectly days before -- but, of course, they did have those two major storms that swept through Paris and in parts of France. I wonder if this is just a -- an insurance check.

PHILLIPS: Well, let me tell you something. We've had rain here. It was beautiful all week, 70 degrees. Today, we wake up. There's rain. Matter of fact, the fog -- you couldn't even see the sign. So God has blessed us today, and it's looking pretty good right now. So let's hope it doesn't happen and everything goes off without -- without a hitch.

SHAW: OK. Kyra Phillips in Hollywood.

In Las Vegas, they're doing more than gambling. When we come back, we're going to look and see what they're doing.



WOODRUFF: These are live pictures of Phoenix, Arizona, where they are still shooting up fireworks into the sky, even though it is 23-1/2 minutes into the new millennium. They don't want to stop celebrating.

SHAW: And one of the reasons they're doing this...

WOODRUFF: Why should they?

WOODRUFF: Well, indeed, and -- and this is the largest ever fireworks display in Arizona, we're told. WOODRUFF: Pictures in Phoenix, courtesy of KTVK. We'll give them -- give them a credit verbally as well as on camera. And is that temperature right? I saw 51 degrees. It's mild everywhere in the United States.

SHAW: Yeah. Very, very good.

WOODRUFF: To Las Vegas, Nevada, and our own Laurin Sydney who has been visiting with some very talented people.


LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Bernie and Judy. They might have fireworks, but we have Barbra Streisand.

The Las Vegas Strip below our vantage point here at the Four Seasons Hotel is buzzing with activity and revelry. Gamblers are starting to stroll out into the streets, ready to celebrate the millennium new year's.

Meanwhile, thousands of music fans are enjoying concerts here. Bette Midler next to us at the Mandolay Bay. Santana at the Hard Rock Casino. But the biggest ticket in town is, of course, Barbra Streisand at the MGM Grand.


SYDNEY: It is definitely the hottest ticket in town and the steepest, $2,500, but Streisand fans around the world won't let a little Y2K and inflated prices stop them.

Our Paul Vercammen caught up with two big fans of the singer and found out that they feel that they are the luckiest people in the world.

PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Raw adrenal coursing through the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Why? Barbra Streisand diehard fans. Some of them paying $2,500 per ticket. Fifteen hundred dollars. Including Janet (ph) here and her cousin Krofty (ph).

Now tell us about your passion for Streisand.

JANET: We started our passion for Streisand when we were in college in the early '70s. In fact, when we got ready to party on weekends, we'd listen to "Funny Girl" versus like really wild songs, and we partied with Barbra. We love her!

VERCAMMEN: Krofty, your opinion on this whole affair tonight.

KROFTY: It is one of the most exciting things I've ever done in my life. There's just -- everyone's in a good mood. Everyone's happy, here to see Barbra, and it's going to be a show of a lifetime.

VERCAMMEN: Now we're going to pull out here to show that you've already started to buy some things, I believe.

KROFTY: Just the beginning.

JANET: We bought a deck of cards for our parents because they play cards. So we wanted them to appreciate Barbra Streisand, too, the last day of the millennium, and we bought our programs, and we have our ticket stubs, and we're finding anything else we can.

VERCAMMEN: I'm going to play devil's advocate with you. Someone's going to say, "My goodness. Fifteen hundred dollars apiece. That's $3,000. Why not put it in the stock market?"

JANET: Oh, forget it. I mean, this is -- this is much more appreciation than the stock market will ever have. Ever.

KROFTY: And it's guaranteed.

JANET: It's guaranteed.

KROFTY: It's not risk for this.

VERCAMMEN: We thank you so much for taking time out.

JANET: Happy new year.

VERCAMMEN: Barbra Streisand -- happy new year -- getting everybody revved up in Las Vegas. Now back to you.

SYDNEY: As the Lilabee (ph) concert set the all-time Ticketmaster record for one-day sales of a single event.

Back to you, Bernie and Judy. But before we go back -- I was going to give this to Barbra, but I'm ready to offer it up as an offering for the new year to you. We -- is this a taker?

SHAW: We gladly accept.


WOODRUFF: You can...

SYDNEY: It's in the mail.

WOODRUFF: You're going to have to carry an extra bag on the plane coming back to New York, Laurin -- you know that...

SYDNEY: Right. And we're not done yet.

WOODRUFF: ... for all these goodies.

SHAW: Indeed. She says they're not finished yet.

SYDNEY: You deserve it. You've worked hard today.

WOODRUFF: So did you.

SHAW: The millennium arrives here in about 33 minutes. When we return, we're going to take you to see Seattle to see what they're doing there.


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