2001
THIS YEAR IN LAS VEGAS ...

WHILE IN THE WORLD ...

Paris, Las Vegas
On March 1, a bit of France has arrived in the Las Vegas Strip, with the opening of Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. The big opening ceremony includes a spectacular fireworks show enveloping the Eiffel tower.

Other New Property Names
Another property opening this year, on November 15, is the Palms Casino Resort, located in Flamingo Road.
A further new name appearing this year, ''Greek Isles Hotel Casino'', actually indicates an older property that, through the years, has had different names: ''Paddlewheel'', then ''Debbie Reynolds Hollywood Hotel'', and ''Convention Center Drive''.

A ''Lifetime Contract'' for Siegfried and Roy
Magicians Siegfried and Roy sign a contract for at least for four more years at The Mirage, with an option of further two years beyond that.
In contrast with how ephemeral things can be in Las Vegas, this agreement is announced ad a ''lifetime contract''.
A terrible accident that will occur to Roy in 2003, will risk making this definition macabrely correct.

Tennis Stars Wedding
On October 22, Tennis champion Andre Agassi ans Steffi Graf get married in Las Vegas.
This marriage is in some way different from those of other stars: Agassi is native of Las Vegas and, rather than a chapel, Andre and Steffi choose a private ceremony by a Las Vegas judge.
This is the second marriage for Agassi, after that with Brooke Shields, while it is the first one for Graf. The couple is expecting a child by the end of the year.

Nine Eleven
On September 11, members of the terrorist group ‘‘Al Qaeda’’, a fundamentalist Islamic organization, hijack four commercial airlines. This attack will have catastrophic consequences.
Two planes are sent to crash against the twin towers of the World Trade Center, in New York, killing about 2,600 people, beyond another 158 on the two flights. A third one hits the Pentagon, killing 125 people plus 64 passengers.
Only the fourth plane misses its target, thanks to a heroic reaction of the passengers. All 44 people are killed in the crash. Speculations are that the flight was intended to hit the White House or the Capitol.

War on Terrorism
After the 9/11 attask, the United States announce that a ''War on Terrorism'' has begun. A list of the 22 most wanted terrorists is presented. The most important is Osama bin Laden, leader of Al Qaeda.
President Bush also signs an act that allows military tribunals to prosecute any foreign people suspected of having connections to terrorist acts on the United States. This represents the first such act in the United States since World War II.
United States accuse Afghanistan of hosting and protecting Osama bin Laden and, within the framework of the War on Terrorism, an attack to this country is seen as a necessary consequence.

United States Attack Afghanistan
The military campaign, originally dubbed ''Operation Infinite Justice'', is quickly renamed ''Operation Enduring Freedom'', in order to avoid any religious suggestion.
On October 7, an attack starts with bombs and Cruise missiles against military and communication facilities in Afghanistan. The invasion begins on November 25, when U.S. Marines landing by helicopter conquer an airbase south of Kandahar.
In December, the U.S. and allied troops besiege the Al-Qaeda stronghold in Tora Bora, suspected to host Osama bin Laden. After a heavy bomb attack, U.S. army conquers Tora Bora, but Osama bin Laden succeeds to escape.

Successes in Space
On February 12, about one year since it started orbiting around asteroid Eros, NEAR (for ''Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous'') satellite successfully performs a touchdown in a saddle region of its surface.
On October 15, NASA's Galileo spacecraft reaches the closest approach to a Jupiter moon ever, passing only 112 miles from Io satellite. Io, the moon closest to Jupiter, has a volcanic surface and a very active magnetosphere.

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