Narrowly averting what could have amounted to blood on the tracks, New York's transportation workers agreed to a tentative contract last week, thereby averting a crippling bus and subway strike.

By coming to terms on a three-year deal, the municipal workers and the authority that employs them handed the city a Christmas present that keeps on giving (at least until the next contract crunch), sparing native New Yorkers and, not insignificantly, the millions of visitors flocking to town to revel in millennium activities that won't roll around again till you know when.

Of course, we do not take sides in municipal disputes such as this one, but we do root for amicable, reasonable and expeditious resolutions when tourist destinations -- and isn't the Big Apple right up there with the best of them -- are threatened by social disruption and/or violence.

But with the strike threat already an unpleasant memory and the normal holiday gridlock about to give way to extraordinary millennium madness, New York is primed for the holidays.

But a word of caution.

Unfortunately, not all is right with the world as far as terrorism and tourism are concerned.

According to a public announcement by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. government has "credible information" that terrorists could be targeting Americans anywhere large gatherings are planned to celebrate Christmas, New Year's and Ramadan.

Specific notices alert travelers to potential threats in Sudan and Jordan, the latter following the detainment in that country of 13 men linked to the infamous Osama bin Laden on terrorist charges.

Maybe the next millennium will not be informed by warnings such as these. Maybe in the next century or even the next decade we will all figure out how to get along. At least, this is our hope for the new century.

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