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The BBC's Emma Simpson
"They're confident there will be no material disruption"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 29 December, 1999, 05:39 GMT
UK opens Y2K bug website

auckland skyline The first information will come from New Zealand

The government is launching a special internet site to report on the effects of the millennium bug around the world.

Into 2000
Throughout the millennium weekend, the Millennium Centre ( will offer live news and information from more than 76 countries.

The website will be run by the Cabinet Office, relying on updates from Foreign Office consular staff, television and internet news feeds.

Initial reports from Fiji and New Zealand are expected to arrive shortly after 1200GMT on 31 December, when they experience the year 2000 date change.

Reports from other countries - including the UK - will follow as the date change happens.

action 2000 logo Tackling the bug: Biggest single task since WWII
Foreign Office minister John Battle said the site would be useful to anyone living or travelling abroad.

"The millennium bug is a global problem and we are trying to ensure we co-ordinate information about its effects," he said.

"That's so that we can pass on travel advice to people wishing to go abroad during the millennium.

"We will also be able to tell people what the situation is like for any of their relatives living overseas."

The millennium bug is a computer glitch which results from dates being stored in two-digit form on older computers.

It means some computers could interpret '00' as 1900 instead of 2000, causing system failure or unpredictable behaviour.

This has led to fears of disruption on a massive scale, with predictions of aeroplanes falling out of the sky, nuclear bombs going off or people's bank accounts being cleared of funds.

Ministers say tackling the bug has been the biggest single project since World War II, involving every government department and business.

However, they say they are now confident there will be no material disruption.

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See also:
15 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
UK 'prepared for Y2K'
16 Dec 99 |  South Asia
India 'all set' for Y2K
08 Dec 99 |  Europe
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08 Dec 99 |  Europe
Russian missiles 'millennium proof'
17 Nov 99 |  Americas
US 'prepared for Millennium Bug'
15 Sep 99 |  World
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