Timeline: 1998

Jan 1  Smoking is banned in all California bars and restaurants.

Jan 2  In Pakistan, the government of Nawaz Sharif files corruption charges against former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari.

Jan 11 In Algeria, more than 100 people die in the Sidi-Hamed Massacre. Thirty girls are reported kidnapped.

Jan 12  Nineteen European nations forbid human cloning.

Jan 16  Lawyers for Paula Jones want evidence of President Clinton's sexual misconduct with women other than their client. A Pentagon employee, Linda Tripp, meets with them. She has recorded telephone conversations between her and Monica S. Lewinsky telling of a sexual relationship between Lewinsky and Clinton while she worked as an intern at the White House.

Jan 16  Linda Tripp gives a taped statement to the Independent Council, Kenneth Starr. Starr contacts Attorney General Janet Reno and receives permission to broaden his investigation of President Clinton. He is interested in the possibility of Clinton having persuaded someone to commit perjury in the Jones case.

Jan 17  President Clinton gives a deposition in the Paula Jones lawsuit. He denies having had a sexual relationship with Lewinsky. An "internet journalist," Matt Drudge, reports the Lewinsky affair.

Jan 21  The Washington Post reports the Lewinsky affair.

Jan 23  President Clinton assures his Cabinet of his innocence. Betty Currie and other aides are subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury.

Jan 26  At a White House press conference, President Clinton says "I'm going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Jan 27  Hillary Clinton appears on the Today Show and describes attacks against her husband as part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Jan 29  The judge in the Paula Jones lawsuit rules that Monica Lewinsky is "not essential to the core issues" of the Jones case, and has ordered that all evidence related to Lewinsky be excluded from the Jones proceedings.

Jan 29  In Birmingham, Alabama, a bomb explodes at an abortion clinic, killing one and severely wounding another. Eric Rudolph is the suspect.

Feb 18  The Clinton administration is known to be planning a military strike to punish Iraq for violations of its peace agreements. At a Town Hall Meeting at Ohio State University, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Defense Secretary William Cohen and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger are surprised by a prolonged hostile disruption that includes the chant "we don't want your racist war."

Feb 20  To prevent military action by the United States and Britain, President Saddam Hussein of Iraq negotiates an agreement deal with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. Weapons inspectors will be allowed to return to Baghdad. 

Feb 23  Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa, declaring jihad against all Jews and Crusaders.

Feb 23  US diplomat Robert Gelbard describes the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) "without any question a terrorist group."

Mar 5-7  In Kosovo, Serb security forces have begun moving against so-called terrorists and massacre over 50 members of the Jashari family in the village of Prekaz. In the city of Prestina, ethnic Albanians (Kosovars) begin large protests.

Mar 7  Madeleine Albright declares "We are not going to stand by and watch the Serbian authorities do in Kosovo what they can no longer get away with doing in Bosnia."

Apr 10  Britain, Ireland and most of Northern Ireland political parties agree that the constitutional future of Northern Ireland should be determined by the majority vote of its citizens – known as the Belfast Agreement.

Mar 13  Arguing against the dismissal, Jones's attorneys file 700 pages of documents alleging that Clinton made advances toward several women and took part in a "vast enterprise to suppress evidence."

Apr 16  A federal district judge dismisses the lawsuit of Paula Jones. Jones announces that she will appeal and says: "I believe what Mr. Clinton did to me was wrong."

May 13 India announces completion of tests of five nuclear devices in the past three days.

May 14  In Indonesia, riots erupt against ethnic Chinese.

May 15  UN weapons inspectors learn that an Iraqi delegation has traveled to Bucharest to meet with scientists who can provide the country with missile guidance systems.

May 21  In Miami, five abortion clinics are attacked with butyric acid.

May 28  Pakistan tests nuclear devices, and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declares Pakistan a ''nuclear power." This makes Pakistan the seventh nation reported to have nuclear weapons.

May 29  Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, Kosovars Albanian president and a professor of philosophy, meets with President Clinton, seeking support for the well being of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians.

31 May  In Kosovo, Serbs kill as many as 20 ethnic Albanians in retaliation for the death of a Serb policeman near Glogovac.

Jul 5  Japan launches a probe to Mars, joining the United States and Russia as an outer space-exploring nation.

Jul 10  The Diocese of Dallas agrees to pay $23.4 million to nine former altar boys who claim they were sexually abused by a former priest, Rudolph Kos.

Jul 17  At a conference in Rome, 120 countries vote to create a permanent International Criminal Court to prosecute individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression.

Jul 17  In Saint Petersburg, Russia, Nicholas II and his family are buried in St. Catherine Chapel.

Jul 28  Lawyers for Monica Lewinsky work out a full immunity agreement with Kenneth Starr.

Aug 5  Iraq suspends all cooperation with UN weapons inspectors.

Aug 7  US embassies in Tanzania and Kenya are bombed, killing 224 and injuring more than 4,500.

Aug 17  At the White House, President Clinton makes a statement on tape for a grand jury. He follows this with an admission to television cameras that he had "a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible. But I told the grand jury today and I say to you now that at no time did I ask anyone to lie, to hide or destroy evidence or to take any other unlawful action." 

Aug 20  The US embassy bombings will soon be linked to Osama Bin Laden. The United States military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum is destroyed in the attack.

Aug 21  From Khartoum, denials are made concerning chemical weapons production at the al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory.

Aug 21  The missile strikes of August 20 was a team effort that included pentagon and intelligent community strategists. But people are describing the missile strikes as motivated by President Clinton's desire to draw attention away from his scandal. They are inspired by a movie called "Wag the Dog" that happens to be playing at theaters. Jim Gibbons, Republican congressman from Nevada, is among them. He says, "Look at the movie 'Wag the Dog.' I think this has all the elements of that movie." (Quoted in the Ottawa Citizen.)

Aug 26  Scott Ritter resigns from the UN weapons inspection team. He criticizes the Clinton administration and the U.N. Security Council for not being vigorous enough about insisting that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction be destroyed.

Aug 31  North Korea reports that its first satellite has reached orbit, but evidence of it is not forthcoming.

Sep 2  A United Nations court finds Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of 9 counts of genocide. It is the first time that the law against genocide has been enforced.

Sep 7  Two Stanford University Ph.D. candidates, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, establish a company called Google.

Sep 9  Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr submits his report and 18 boxes of supporting documents to the US House of Representatives.

Sep 23  The UN Security Council, concerned about what they consider to be an excessive use of force by Serb forces in Kosovo and ethnic Albanian refugees, approves Resolution 1199, which condemns violence by both sides in the conflict and demands a cease-fire and negotiations.

Sep 26  More than a dozen Serb police are killed in fighting with the KLA, followed by Serb security forces killing 35 villagers, to be known as the Gornje Obrinje Massacre.

Oct 5  UN Secretary General Kofi Annan reports Serb (Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) violations of Resolution 1199.

Oct 13  NATO has authorized air strikes against the Serbs in response to events in Kosovo. After more than a week of negotiations, US diplomat Richard Holbrooke secures the "October Agreement." It calls for Serbian compliance with UN Resolution 1199, a cease-fire, Serb troop withdrawals from Kosovo, elections in Kosovo, and some autonomy for Kosovo. President Milosevic agrees and the air strikes are called off.

Nov 4  The forced busing of students for the purpose of racial desegregation has been widely opposed across the nation since it began in the 1970s and 80s. Today in Seattle – known for its tolerance regarding race – the School Board ends race-based busing of students in middle and high schools as of the 1999-2000 school year. The School Board considers mandatory busing a failure. It didn't improve the academic performance of minorities who shouldered a disproportionate burden of busing. Parental involvement in cross-town schools did not increase and the financial costs of the program also hurt the district. Across the nation, forced busing inspired a rise in private schools and increased support for the conservative political position against too much government.

Nov 9  Britain abolishes the death penalty.

Nov 12  A member of the Clinton administration signs the Kyoto Protocol at the United Nations. India and China have not signed. The Clinton administration is aware of the difficulties in getting Senate ratification, and it says it will not ask for Senate ratification until "developing countries" agree to participate.

Nov 13  President Clinton gives Paula Jones the entire amount of her claim in exchange for her agreement to drop her case. The amount is $850,000. All but $151,000 of it will go to pay her legal expenses.

Nov 19  Armed with Kenneth Starr's papers, the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, led by Republicans, begins impeachment hearings against President Clinton.

Dec 8-9  In Algeria, guerrillas slaughter 81 in a manner that indicates extraordinary sadism, to be known as the Tadjena Massacre.

Dec 17  The US and Britain begin four days of limited air strikes against Iraq.

Dec 19  In a vote largely along party lines, the US House of Representatives impeaches President Clinton on charges of lying under oath to a federal grand jury and obstructing justice. The case moves to a trial in the Senate.

Dec 21  In the UN Security Council, France, Germany and Russia call for the end of sanctions against Iraq and call for UN inspectors to be disbanded or their role to be recast. The US says it will veto any such proposal.

Dec 26  Iraq announces its intention to fire upon US and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern "no-fly zones."

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