Chronology: APRIL Citing a lack of evidence to prove sexual misconduct, Judge Susan Webber Wright of Federal District Court dismisses the lawsuit filed by Paula Corbin Jones against Pres. Bill Clinton (see January 17). Festus Mogae is sworn in as president of Botswana, replacing Sir Ketumile Masire. The Japan Prizes are awarded in ceremonies in Tokyo; Leo Esaki, president of the University of Tsukuba, Sakura, Japan, wins in the area of materials science, and two Belgians, Jozef Schell of the Max Planck Institute, Cologne, Ger., and Marc Van Montagu of the Flanders Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology, Ghent, Belg., win in the area of agricultural biotechnology. The 57th annual George Foster Peabody Awards for excellence in radio and television broadcasting are announced; the ABC comedy series "Ellen" and the CBS news program "60 Minutes" are among the recipients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves Sucralose, a new no-calorie sweetener 600 times as sweet as sugar and the only artificial sweetener made from sugar. 2 Douglas F. Groat, former veteran officer of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, is arrested for espionage and accused of having revealed U.S. secrets to two foreign nations. Maurice Papon, former member of the collaborationist government in Vichy, France, is convicted of war crimes for having turned Jews over to the Nazis during World War II. Jean-Marie Le Pen, leader of the far right in France, is convicted of having assaulted an opponent while campaigning in France; Le Pen was later declared ineligible to run in European parliamentary elections in 1999. 3 Leaders of 10 Asian nations and 15 member states of the European Union gather in London for the second Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM); discussions focus on the Asian economic crisis. The Swiss National Bank, Switzerland's central bank, announces its intention to fight an American lawsuit accusing the bank of having aided Nazi Germany in the acquisition of looted assets during World War II (see August 12). 4 Approximately 280 people are believed dead when a boat en route to Gabon capsizes in rough waters off the coast of Nigeria. American figure skater Michelle Kwan wins her second world figure-skating championship in Minneapolis, Minn.; Russian Aleksey Yagudin had won the men's title two days earlier. Earth Summit wins the Grand National steeplechase in Liverpool, Eng. 5 The world's longest suspension bridge, the 3.9-km (2.4-mi) Akashi Kaikyo Bridge linking Japan's Shikoku and Honshu islands, is officially opened; the bridge has been built to withstand earthquakes of magnitude 8.5. Charlotte Bacon receives the 1998 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for her short-story collection, A Private State, at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. 6 President Clinton imposes a permanent ban on importing 58 types of military-style assault weapons. The World Trade Organization orders the U.S. to cease prohibiting imports from countries that do not try to preserve endangered sea turtles by keeping them out of shrimp nets, which the WTO considers a restriction on free trade. Citicorp Bank and Travelers Group Insurance, two of the largest companies in the U.S., agree to a $70 billion stock merger. Gramophone magazine, perhaps the most respected voice in classical music journalism, celebrates its 75th anniversary in ceremonies in London. 7 Tara Lipinski, U.S. figure skater and gold medalist at the 1998 Winter Olympics, announces that she will turn professional. At Barbican Hall in London, British composer Andrew March receives the first Masterprize at the conclusion of an 18-month international competition designed to encourage new classical works; the prize, supported by a number of British cultural organizations, is valued at 25,000. 8 The Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis Pharma announces that it has earmarked $250 million for the creation of the Novartis Institute for Functional Genomics in La Jolla, Calif., to track down and record the function of genes as they are discovered. American architect I.M. Pei is named the recipient of the Edward MacDowell Medal for his contributions to the arts; Pei is the first architect to receive the award in its 38-year history. The results of a survey conducted for more than 20 years by botanists and conservationists around the world are announced in Washington, D.C.; the study finds that 12.5% of the 270,000 known plant species are at risk of extinction. 9 More than 100 Muslim pilgrims die in a stampede in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, while participating in a religious event known as "stoning the devil" during the last day of the annual hajj. Powerful tornadoes rip through Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia, killing 39 people and leaving many homeless. A federal jury in New York City awards Sandra Ortiz-Del Valle $7,850,000 in damages for sex discrimination at the hands of the National Basketball Association, which prevented her from becoming a referee. The National Prisoner of War Memorial Museum, situated on the grounds of the Civil War prison at Andersonville, Ga., is officially dedicated. The Northern Ireland peace talks in Belfast produce an agreement between Catholic and Protestant representatives that will allow members of both religions to govern jointly in a 108-seat national assembly in Northern Ireland (see May 22). 11 Talks between North and South Korea about the provision of agricultural assistance by Seoul open in Beijing; the meeting collapses with no resolution regarding relief aid needed by North Korea or the South's desire to reunite family members split by the 1945 division of the Korean peninsula. 12 Girija Prasad Koirala is appointed prime minister by King Birendra of Nepal; Koirala takes office on April 15. Heavy rains flood mine shafts at the Mererani tanzanite mines in Tanzania, killing at least 55 workers. Some of the worst storms and flooding of the century hit eastern England and cause at least four deaths. The first emergency shipment of American water-purification equipment arrives in the Marshall Islands, which have experienced a severe shortage of freshwater because of freakish El Nio-related weather. American Mark O'Meara wins the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga., his first major title, by one stroke and finishes nine under par. 13 Nationsbank Corp. of Charlotte, N.C., and the BankAmerica Corp. of San Francisco, in a merger worth an estimated $60 billion, create the nation's first coast-to-coast banking institution. The celebrity sheep Dolly, the first mammal to be cloned, gives birth--naturally; the lamb is named Bonnie. Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin signs a law prohibiting the return to Germany of art objects that were looted by the Red Army during World War II (see March 6). The Hindu ceremony of Mahakumbh, held every 12 years, brings more than 10 million pilgrims to Hardwar, Uttar Pradesh state, India, to bathe in the holy Ganges River; the ceremony, believed to be the largest convocation in the world, has often been the scene of sectarian violence in the past. The Pulitzer Prizes are announced in New York City; among the winners are Philip Roth's American Pastoral for fiction and Aaron Jay Kernis's String Quartet No. 2, Musica Instrumentalis for music. The Gillette Co. introduces the Mach 3, a shaver featuring three blades rather than two; Gillette's $300 million marketing budget is one of the largest advertising campaigns ever. The trial on contempt charges of the former president of South Africa, P.W. Botha, opens in George, Western Cape province. Economist Radu Vasile is confirmed as prime minister of Romania; Vasile is the nominee of the Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party of Romania. Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge revolutionary movement in Cambodia, who is held responsible for the murder of a million civilians in his country, dies of a heart attack in captivity. 16 In what may be an attempt to disrupt peace talks between Chechnya and Moscow, gunmen kill Russian Lieut. Gen. Viktor Prokopenko in North Ossetia, a republic in the north Caucasus region of Russia. Tornadoes ravage Arkansas, Tennessee, and Kentucky, killing 10 and injuring more than 110 people. 17 It is reported that a 40 5-km (25 3-mi) chunk of the Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica has broken off; scientists are concerned that global warming will cause additional crumbling of the ice shelves. Ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson receives a cordial welcome in Kabul, Afg., on the first high-level visit by a U.S. official in 25 years; Richardson meets with Taliban leaders in the capital and with the opposition Northern Alliance in the town of Sheberghan. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and the Toronto-Dominion Bank, two of Canada's largest banking institutions, propose a $15.9 billion merger; the merger will consolidate Canada's already-compressed banking system, leaving just four major national banks (see January 23). Israeli violinist Pinchas Zukerman is named conductor of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa; he succeeds Briton Trevor Pinnock. 18 In Kilbuye, Rwanda, two Roman Catholic priests, the Rev. Jean-Franois Kayiranga and the Rev. Edouard Nkurikiye, are sentenced to death for their collaboration with Hutu militants in the deaths of 2,000 Tutsi during the 1994 genocide. The Shroud of Turin, believed by some to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ and by others to be a medieval hoax, is placed on public display; some three million pilgrims view the cloth before the exhibit closes on June 14. 19 Chinese dissident Wang Dan, a leader of the 1989 Tiananmen democracy movement, is exiled to the United States by the Chinese government. Thomas Klestil is reelected president of Austria in a landslide vote. Italian Renzo Piano, designer of the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the new Kansai Air Terminal in Japan, is named the winner of the 1998 Pritzker Architecture Prize. Fire destroys the 9th-century Taktsang Monastery, the oldest Himalayan Buddhist shrine in Bhutan. 20 The Cabinet of Prime Minister Armen Darbinyan (who was appointed on April 10) is approved by Armenian Pres. Robert Kocharyan. Moses Tanui of Kenya wins the 102nd annual Boston Marathon, for the second time in three years, with a time of 2 hr 7.34 min; Ethiopian Fatuma Roba wins the women's division for the second year in a row with a runaway time of 2 hr 23.21 min. 21 American astronomers working in Chile and Hawaii report having observed a complete planetary disk, the best evidence yet of the formation of planets around a young star. The 1997 Heinz Awards are presented to John Harbison for arts and humanities, Amory Lovins for the environment, Carol Gilligan for the human condition, Ernesto Corts, Jr., for public policy, and Ralph Gomory for technology, the economy, and employment. 22 Animal Kingdom, an $800 million theme park from the Disney Co., officially opens in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.; there is some criticism of the operation in mid-May when it is revealed that at least 29 of the animals died in transit or in the park. The new Berlin Prize fellowships are awarded to 16 American scholars by the American Academy in Berlin; playwright Arthur Miller is designated the distinguished inaugural senior fellow. The Red Army Faction, the terrorist organization of the 1970s, announces its dissolution because their cause is "now history." The National Academy of Sciences disassociates itself from a statement and petition circulated by former NAS president Frederick Seitz, which attacks the theory of global warming and enjoins the U.S. government to reject the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. 23 Konstantinos Karamanlis, a prominent politician in Greece for more than half a century, dies at age 91. James Earl Ray, convicted killer of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., dies in Nashville, Tenn. 24 The Russian Parliament approves Sergey Kiriyenko, President Yeltsin's choice for prime minister, with a vote of 251 to 25; a government restructuring ensues (see August 23). In Rwanda 22 people convicted of genocide during the nation's civil war are executed by firing squads. 25 A pyrite mine reservoir at Los Frailes mine on the Guadiamar River in Spain ruptures, flooding the valley with contaminated mine wastes and threatening the Coto Doana National Park, the largest nature preserve in Europe. Upon releasing the results of a poll of its members, the Sierra Club announces that it will not endorse any policy on federal limits on immigration; the issue had radically split the environmental group's membership. 26 A prominent Guatemalan bishop, Juan Gerardi Conadera, is beaten to death with a concrete block in the garage of his home two days after he delivered a report on human rights violations during the country's 36-year civil war. In an effort to restore civilian rule, Nigeria holds parliamentary elections; fear of violence and distrust for Gen. Sani Abacha, however, keeps 50 million registered voters from the polling places (see June 8). 27 U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher releases a report on the dangers of tobacco use among minority groups; American Indians and Alaskan natives are found to be especially vulnerable. The Actors Studio of New York celebrates its 50th anniversary (through May 18). 28 Over U.S. and Turkish opposition, Russia agrees to deliver S-300 advanced antiaircraft missile systems to the Greek Cypriot government in August. 29 Russian financial mogul Boris Berezovsky is appointed chief executive of the Commonwealth of Independent States at the organization's summit meeting. Brazil agrees to set aside about 25 million ha (62 million ac), approximately 10%, of the Amazon rain forest for conservation (see June 17). Vickers PLC, owner of the British Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, accepts a $566 million takeover offer from German car manufacturer BMW. It is revealed in Oslo that in experiments conducted for decades until 1994, Norwegian and American researchers used mentally ill or retarded Norwegians in tests of the biological and genetic effects of X-ray radiation on the body. 30 A cease-fire agreement is signed at Arawa, capital of the island of Bougainville, potentially ending the decade-long movement of many islanders to secede from Papua New Guinea. It is announced that the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto will become the only site in North America to exhibit what many consider to be the rarest collection of Impressionist and Postimpressionist paintings; the show, from June 10 to September 21, will include works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, Czanne, van Gogh, Degas, Gauguin, and Seurat. Four hundred years ago Don Juan de Oate of Spain crossed the Rio Grande and entered what is now New Mexico, introducing the first Spanish settlements to the Southwest; the anniversary is celebrated by Hispanics in New Mexico and Texas. Chronology: AUGUST Milan Kovacevic, a Bosnian Serb medical doctor and civic leader who ran three detention camps near Prijedor, dies of an apparent heart attack in his cell at The Hague; on July 6 Kovacevic became the first defendant at the UN War Crimes Tribunal to be charged with genocide (see June 29). After meeting in Kiev, Ukrainian officials and representatives of the International Monetary Fund report that the way has been cleared for the IMF to pay the first of three tranches of a $2.2 billion loan to Ukraine. Disturbances against the central government of Pres. Laurent Kabila break out in several towns in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo near the Rwandan border (see August 13.) Fifteen years after his troops fled a U.S. invasion in Grenada, Cuban Pres. Fidel Castro visits the Caribbean island, the last of three stops on a six-day tour of the region. Marco Pantani wins the Tour de France, the first victory by an Italian since 1965; festivities are subdued, however, because of the drug scandal that haunted the year's running of the world's most important cycling race (see July 17). 3 The Indian Cabinet approves a proposal to create three new states: Uttarakhand from the existing Uttar Pradesh state, Vananchal from Bihar, and Chattisgarh from Madhya Pradesh; the measure later ran into opposition from the affected states, however. Albertson's Inc., a grocery store chain, announces that it will acquire American Stores Co. for $8.3 billion in stock, forming the largest supermarket corporation in the U.S. (see October 19). Figures released by the Department of Justice indicate that the prison population in the U.S. has grown by more than 60% since 1990 and by 1997 totaled 1,250,000 in state and federal institutions. The Dow Jones industrial average drops almost 300 points, reflecting, experts believe, a delayed reaction to the Asian economic crisis (see August 31). The government of Canada and the Nisga'a Indian Nation sign an agreement that would give the Nisga'a title to 2,000 sq km (770 sq mi) of land and a cash settlement of some $100 million over 15 years in return for their renouncing any other present or future land claims; this is the first such agreement between the Canadian government and a native people. 5 At the United Nations in New York City, Indonesia and Portugal initial a settlement of the problem of the island of Timor that would give the secessionist Portuguese province of East Timor self-government and limited autonomy within Indonesia. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein announces that his country is ceasing all cooperation with the United Nations arms inspectors; criticism from the UN and elsewhere is quick and sharp. In Canterbury, Eng., the Lambeth Conference, a gathering of Anglican bishops from 160 countries held every 10 years, adopts a resolution against the ordination of homosexuals. Monica Lewinsky admits to having had an affair with Pres. Bill Clinton; she had denied this in earlier sworn testimony (see August 17). Swimmer Michelle Smith-de Bruin, the first Irish swimmer and first Irish female athlete to win an Olympic gold medal, is banned from further competition for having tampered with a urine sample in a test for illegal drugs she may have used. Bombs explode nearly simultaneously in the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanz.; about 270 people, mostly local citizens, are killed. In Colombia, Andrs Pastrana Arango is sworn in as president together with his Cabinet; Santaf de Bogot is under heavy security during the ceremonies. 8 Forces of the Islamic Taliban overrun the city of Mazar-e Sharif, the last major stronghold of the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan. It is announced in China that the worst floods in 40 years are threatening major cities in the central part of the country; more than 3,000 people have died and 5,000,000 homes have been destroyed to date. 9 The government of Brazil announces a reform of the country's labour laws; the reform is designed to introduce greater flexibility into labour contracts and to make part-time employment more common. 10 In a colourful ceremony in the capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, Prince al-Muhtadee Billah, the eldest son of the sultan of Brunei, is officially installed as crown prince. The partners of the private investment bank Goldman, Sachs & Co., valued at $28 billion, vote to offer the company to public trading. In Chicago two boys aged 7 and 8 are charged with the sexual molestation, robbery, and killing of an 11-year-old girl; the boys apparently wanted the girl's bicycle; the charges were later dropped. Garth H. Drabinsky, cofounder of Livent Inc., which has produced several successful Broadway theatrical productions in recent months, is suspended after the discovery of what the New York Times calls "serious accounting problems involving millions of dollars." Twenty years to the day after the first crossing of the North Atlantic in a helium-and-hot-air balloon, adventurer Steve Fossett becomes the first to cross the South Atlantic in a flight from Mendoza, Arg., to the southern tip of Africa; Fossett continues his second attempt of the year to circumnavigate the globe but fails again on August 17 when his balloon, Solo Spirit, is punctured and plunges 9 km (5.6 mi) into the Coral Sea. The Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, a high-tech facility to promote knowledge of the history and culture of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, opens near Mashantucket, Conn.; the $135 million facility is funded with receipts from the Foxwoods Resort Casino owned and operated by the tribe. Two large Swiss banks, the World Jewish Congress, and lawyers representing 31,500 survivors of the Holocaust announce in New York that they have reached an agreement on compensation for the survivors' claims; the banks agree to pay the claimants $1,250,000,000 over three years, and the Holocaust survivors will drop claims against the banks and other Swiss institutions. Myanmar (Burma) opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is halted by police outside Yangon (Rangoon) and prevented from meeting with supporters; in protest, she refuses to leave the minibus she is traveling in until August 24, when she is finally forced to return home (see September 6). Rebels press in on Kinshasa, capturing the strategically important Inga Hydroelectric Dam and cutting power to the capital (see August 2). 14 The government of Thailand announces a series of measures involving outlays of $7,240,000,000 to put the country's financial institutions back on a sound footing. 15 A car bomb explodes in the town of Omagh, N.Ire., west of Belfast, killing 28 persons and injuring more than 200 in the worst terrorist incident since the signing of the Ulster peace agreement (see April 10). Ral Cubas Grau assumes the office of president of Paraguay and swears in his Cabinet. 16 It is announced in Amman that King Hussein of Jordan, currently undergoing treatment for cancer at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has delegated significant responsibilities for the conduct of state business to his brother and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Hassan. Vijay Singh, a native of Fiji, wins the Professional Golfers' Association of America championship with a score of 271, 9 under par, at the Sahalee Country Club near Seattle, Wash. Under increasing economic pressures, the Russian government effectively devalues the ruble by more than one-third until the end of 1998, places a 90-day moratorium on repayment of foreign debts, and institutes other stringent measures. (see July 13, August 23). Following his testimony to a grand jury, President Clinton goes on national television and admits, contrary to earlier sworn statements, "I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong" (see August 6). Having been delayed by rains, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament is completed six and a half months after it began; Phil Mickelson wins with a score of 14 under par. 18 Winston Peters leads his New Zealand First Party out of the centre-right coalition four days after he was dismissed as deputy prime minister by Prime Minister Jennifer Shipley. As she tacks her 36-ft yacht into San Diego, Calif., Karen Thorndike of Washington state becomes the first woman to have sailed solo around the world; the 61,116-km (33,000-naut mi) trip has taken two years and two weeks. 19 The 1998 Fields Medals for achievement in mathematics are awarded at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Berlin; the winners are Richard E. Borcherds, William T. Gowers, Maxim Kontsevich, and Curtis T. McMullen; a special award goes to Andrew Wiles of Princeton University, and Peter Shor of AT&T Laboratories in Florham Park, N.J., receives the Nevanlinna Prize. An official of the Taliban indicates that the Islamic fundamentalist organization would be willing to talk to U.S. officials about granting access to Osama bin Laden, the Saudi Arabian businessman suspected of having masterminded the Nairobi and Dar es Salaam embassy bombings, if hard evidence of his involvement can be produced (see August 7, August 20). Missiles fired from U.S. warships and a submarine in the Indian Ocean destroy a chemical factory believed to be producing components of nerve gas in The Sudan and terrorist training camps in Afghanistan thought to be Osama bin Laden's refuge. The Supreme Court of Canada rules that the province of Quebec does not have the constitutional right to secede from Canada but that the confederation must negotiate with Quebec if secessionists in the largely French-speaking province win a referendum on the issue. 21 Former South African president P.W. Botha is convicted on contempt charges for refusing to testify before the country's Truth and Reconciliation Commission (see April 15). A court in Hattiesburg, Miss., finds Sam H. Bowers, former imperial wizard of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, guilty of murder in the Jan. 10, 1966, firebombing of the house of Vernon Dahmer, Sr., near Hattiesburg. 22 Leaders of the 16 countries of the Caribbean Community, including Cuba's Pres. Fidel Castro, sign a free-trade agreement in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic; the accord will eventually remove all tariffs among the signatories. Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar, military ruler of Nigeria, swears in a new Federal Executive Council (Cabinet); Nigeria has been without a government since the earlier FEC was dissolved on July 8. Frustrated and disgusted with their inability to halt the growing economic crisis, Russian Pres. Boris Yeltsin fires all his top government economic officials and invites former prime minister Viktor S. Chernomyrdin to assume the top post again. The Nepali Congress Party (NCP) and the United Communist Party of Nepal-Marxist and Leninist agree to form a coalition government; the country has been led by a minority NCP government since April 1998. 24 Workers who walked off their jobs on July 20, in protest against plans by South Korean automaker Hyundai to lay off more than 1,500 employees, return to work after a compromise solution is found. Plans by the U.S. Bureau of the Census to use statistical sampling to enhance the efficiency of the 2000 census run aground when a federal court declares the plan a violation of federal law. 25 Marco Aurelio Das Alcntara, a former policeman in Rio de Janeiro, is convicted of complicity in the murder and attempted murder in the killings of eight street children in 1993. A group of conservation organizations publishes the World List of Threatened Trees, which finds that more than 8,750 of the 80,000-100,000 known species of trees are at risk of extinction, 1,000 of them critically so. The government of Libya conditionally accepts an offer from the U.S. and Great Britain to try two Libyan nationals alleged to have been involved in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scot., in 1988. William S. Ritter, Jr., the longest-serving U.S. official on the UN arms inspection team to Iraq, resigns, claiming that lack of support from the UN secretary-general and the Clinton administration undercuts the team's efforts. Previously unknown text from the diary of Anne Frank, the Dutch girl who perished at the hands of the Nazis after the occupation of The Netherlands in World War II, are published in the Amsterdam newspaper Het Parool; five pages were removed from the manuscript by Anne's father because they contained unflattering descriptions of the Frank family's relations with each other. 27 Investors desert Russia in droves after its central bank stops supporting the ruble; it is announced in New York that the investment company owned by financier George Soros has lost $2 billion in Russian markets during the crisis. (see August 17). An intense blast of cosmic radiation--gamma rays, X-ray radiation, and high-energy particles--from a magnetic flare on a star 20,000 light-years away strikes Earth's upper atmosphere and causes perturbations in radio transmissions and Earth satellites. 28 In the Pakistani National Assembly, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif proposes a constitutional amendment to introduce Islamic law throughout the country; the proposal is quickly criticized by the opposition and human rights leaders. Boris Yeltsin goes on national television to assure his countrymen that he will finish his term as president, which is scheduled to expire in 2000; many observers believe that politics, economics, or ill heath will intervene. 29 The Air Line Pilots Association goes on strike against Northwest Airlines, underlining a long history of differences between pilots and management in this industry. The baseball team from Toms River, N.J., defeats the team from Kashima, Japan, 12-9 to capture the 52nd annual Little League Baseball World Series. 30 Only 8 of the 22 Formula One autos entered in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa finish in an unusually accident-ridden race. The September issue of The American Psychologist carries a report by a team of scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pa., that home Internet use adversely affects social involvement and personal well-being, with those who use the Internet more reporting higher levels of depression and loneliness. The Angolan National Assembly, dominated by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, expels the opposition National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the former rebel movement, because UNITA has not disarmed as prescribed in the 1994 peace accord ( see October 28). A German court finds Rolf Glaeser, a swimming coach in the former East Germany, guilty of causing bodily harm by administering performance-enhancing drugs to women team members; this is the second such court decision in Germany. Japan protests a violation of its airspace and suspends food-aid deliveries after North Korea tests what is first believed to be a ballistic missile; North Korea replies on September 4 that the event was not a missile launch but rather the country's first launch of an artificial Earth satellite. The Dow Jones industrial average drops 512 points, or 6.4%, the largest fall since October 1987 (see August 4). Chronology: DECEMBER 1 The two largest oil companies in the world, Exxon and Mobil, say they will merge in an $80 billion deal that would create Exxon Mobil, the world's largest corporation, with some $200 billion in annual sales. The French petroleum company Total SA announces plans to acquire the Belgian petrochemical firm Petrofina SA in a stock swap valued at $13 billion. Two of Europe's largest chemical and pharmaceutical companies, Rhne-Poulenc SA of France and Hoechst AG of Germany, announce they are beginning a process of merging; a new company, called Aventis, will become the second largest pharmaceutical firm in the world and number one in agricultural chemicals. 2 Gen. Radislav Krstic is arrested by Western troops in Bosnia and Herzegovina; he will be tried by the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague on charges of genocide for his leadership of the brutal attack on Srebrenica in 1995. Sanofi SA and Synthlabo SA, two large French pharmaceutical companies, announce they will merge to form a new entity, Sanofi-Synthlabo, in a deal valued at $10.4 billion. 3 In anticipation of the introduction of the euro, the common European currency, and in response to the depressing effects on their economies by the Asian financial crisis, central bank authorities in 11 countries drop their lending rates to a uniform 3%, except for Italy, which drops to 3.5% (see December 31). A team of six American astronauts and a second piece of an international space station are launched into Earth orbit from Florida aboard the Endeavour; Endeavour's payload, the American-built Unity module, will be joined with a portion placed in orbit earlier by Russia (see November 20). Bill Bradley, former Rhodes scholar, professional basketball player, and Democratic senator from New Jersey, announces his interest in running for the presidency in 2000. The body of Mohammad Mokhtari, a prominent Iranian poet and anticensorship activist who had been reported missing, is found on the outskirts of Tehran; no cause of death is given, but suspicions fall on the ruling circles in the country. 5 James P. Hoffa, son of James R. Hoffa, who led the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1957 to 1971 and disappeared under murky circumstances in 1975, is elected to lead the labour union. 6 Hugo Chvez Fras, who led a coup attempt in 1992, sweeps to victory over the establishment candidate, Henrique Salas Rmer, in the Venezuelan presidential elections. Playing in Milan, Italy, Sweden defeats Italy four matches to one to win the Davis Cup men's professional tennis championship for the second year in a row. 7 Differences between Islamic fundamentalists and those eager to promote a greater economic role for women result in violent clashes in Bangladesh. Americans begin voting for one of six designs for a new gold-coloured one-dollar coin featuring Sacajawea, a 16-year-old Shoshone woman who traveled with the Lewis and Clark expedition through the Northwest in 1804-05, that will be introduced in 2000. 8 The severed heads of one New Zealand and three British telecommunications engineers who had been working on a Russian telephone-installation project with the support of the local Chechen authorities are found 40 km (25 mi) south of Grozny, the Chechen capital; the bodies are recovered some weeks later. The AT&T Corp. announces that it will acquire the global data network of the International Business Machines Corp. for $5 billion in cash. 9 The British pharmaceutical firm Zeneca Group PLC plans to merge with the large Swedish firm Astra AB to form AstraZeneca, the world's fourth largest drug company, with an estimated $14 billion in sales. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the international convention against genocide, the United Nations General Assembly resolves for the first time to consider anti-Semitism as a form of racism. Ruth Dreifuss is elected president of Switzerland by the Swiss Federal Assembly, the first woman and the first Jew to hold the position. It is announced in Johannesburg, S.Af., that a virtually complete 3.5 million-year-old skull and skeleton of an Australopithecus has been discovered at Sterkfontein by Ronald J. Clark of the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Spanish poet Jos Hierro is awarded the Cervantes Prize for lifetime achievement in literature. 10 On the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Human Rights Prizes go to activists on five continents: Sunila Abeyesekera of Sri Lanka, Angelina Acheng Atyam of Uganda, former president Jimmy Carter of the U.S., Jos Gregori of Brazil, and Anna Sabatova of the Czech Republic. During its 50th anniversary assembly in Harare, Zimbabwe, the World Council of Churches rejects the membership application of the Celestial Church of Christ, established in Nigeria in 1947 and claiming more than five million members, because some of the church's longer-serving clergy have more than one wife. 11 The Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives votes in favour of impeachment of Pres. Bill Clinton on three counts; a fourth count is approved on December 12, and the recommendation is forwarded to the full House (see December 19). Science magazine reports that researchers at the Sanger Centre, near Cambridge, Eng., and Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., have successfully transcribed the complete genetic code of an animal; the genome of the microscopic worm Caenorhabditis elegans reportedly contains 97 million chemical units and 19,099 genes. Science also prints a report by scientists at Kinki University, Nara, Japan, stating that they have successfully cloned eight calves from cells gathered from a single adult cow (see December 16). The Mars Climate Orbiter spacecraft is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida; the craft and its mate, the Mars Polar Lander (scheduled for launch in January 1999), will study Martian weather and look for evidence of water on the planet. 12 Marc Hodler, a longtime International Olympic Committee official, alleges that four agents acting for a few of the 115 IOC members had for many years been "selling" blocs of votes to city organizations eager to win the fiercely competitive bidding for the Olympic Games; Salt Lake City, Utah, site of the 2002 Winter Games, for example, reportedly paid $400,000 in such a scheme. Saving Private Ryan is chosen best film of the year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and its director, Steven Spielberg, best director; on December 16 the New York Film Critics Circle also chooses Saving Private Ryan as best picture but gives the director's award to Terrence Malick for The Thin Red Line. 13 The United States is defeated soundly by the International team 20 1/2 -11 1/2 in the Presidents Cup professional golf tournament at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia. Ty Murray of Stephenville, Texas, wins a record seventh world all-round rodeo cowboy title at the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, Nev. 14 The Canadian Ministry of Finance announces that it will not approve two planned major bank mergers that would have left the country's financial industry concentrated in too few institutions (see January 23, April 17). The General Motors Corp. announces that it has appointed Cynthia M. Trudell chairwoman and president of its Saturn operations, the first woman in any auto company to head a car division. 15 Gnter Dreyer, director of the German Archaeological Institute in Egypt, announces the discovery in the tomb of Egyptian King Scorpion I about 500 km (310 mi) south of Cairo of clay tablets containing what is believed to be the earliest example of writing. British magazine publishing firm Emap PLC says it will acquire the American Peterson Companies Inc., publisher of magazines for young men, for $1.2 billion. 16 President Clinton calls for air strikes against Iraq, citing the continued refusal of that country to permit UN arms inspectors to do their work; the operation, called Desert Fox, is joined by Great Britain and continues for four days. Because of the attacks on Iraq, Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress postpone the impeachment vote against President Clinton that was to have begun on December 17. Researchers at Kyunghee University, Seoul, S.Kor., report that they have taken the first step toward cloning a human being by combining an egg and a cell from an infertile woman and creating a four-cell embryo (see December 11). 17 The World Meteorological Organization reports that in 1998, for the 20th year in a row, the surface temperature of the Earth has been higher than the average of recent years; 1998 is the warmest year on record. Without changing its claims to sovereignty over the Falkland Islands, Great Britain eases the arms embargo against Argentina that it imposed in April 1982 at the time of the Argentine invasion of the islands, known as the Islas Malvinas in Spanish. The nomination of Jacques-douard Alexis as prime minister of Haiti is ratified by the Chamber of Deputies; final approval of his program and his government is still required. 18 It is announced in Lusaka, Zambia, that the Anglo American Corp. of South Africa mining company will purchase three large state-owned copper mines in the country. The U.S. House of Representatives impeaches President Clinton on two articles of perjury and obstruction of justice; two other articles do not pass. Speaking during the impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives, Robert L. Livingston announces that he will not stand for the post of speaker of the House and will leave Congress in six months' time; on December 17 Livingston had admitted having had extramarital affairs in the past. 20 Nkem Chukwu, a native of Nigeria, completes her delivery of octuplets--two boys and six girls with a total weight of 4.45 kg (9.8 lb)--in a hospital in Houston, Texas; this is the first case of octuplets' being born alive, but the smallest girl dies on December 27. 21 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yields to pressure from within his party and from the opposition, acknowledges the end of his government, and agrees to call early elections in 1999. Four days of icy temperatures grip southern California, destroying as much as one-third of the valuable citrus crop. 22 Unable to compete with the better-funded and better-publicized Women's National Basketball Association, the American Basketball League terminates its schedule partway through the third season and says it will file for bankruptcy. 23 The Belgian Supreme Court finds some of the best-known names in Europe's military-industrial sector, including French military aircraft manufacturer Serge Dassault, the Belgian former secretary-gener

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